Man by Craig J. Clark

What are you going to do, just sit there and stare at me? Didn’t you notice when you sat down in the driver’s seat that your vehicle had a passenger? What do you expect me to do? Fly away or something? I’m hanging on for dear life here! I’m sure this trip would have been no picnic even if I had stayed under the hood, but I was tired of being cooped up under there. I had to go exploring.

Good God, man, watch the road! Are you trying to get us both killed or something? If you want to see what I am, wait until we reach a stoplight or something. In the meantime, do you think you could slow down a little? I know the posted speed limit is 30 mph, but it’s taking all my strength just to stay curled up in this little ball. You think it’s easy being an insect? You try it sometime.

Whew! Finally. Just give me a second or two to gather my wits and I’ll get out of your line of sight. Maybe if I’m out of sight I’ll also be out of mind – and you won’t be tempted to use the windshield wipers on me. Don’t pretend you weren’t thinking about it. I saw you take your hand off the steering wheel. I’m on to you.

Okay, time to get moving. Oh, crap, that was a short light. And, of course, you’re off like a shot, not even giving me a chance to dig my suckers in. Oh, man. I feel like I’m being blown around like a rag doll. What are you doing picking up speed? Can’t you see I’m barely holding on here?

Now I’m losing feeling in one of my legs. No, two. Now three. Watch them flapping in the breeze. Pathetic. Wait. Did I call this a breeze? It’s like a gale-force wind to me. Tell you what, the next time we stop, why don’t you just get something to scrape me off this windshield – put us both out of our miseries. I don’t know why I’m so surprised. I should have expected something like this to happen the moment I started crawling on your accursed automobile.

Oh, hey. And now I’m airborne. I would have loved to stick around, guy, but my other three legs just gave out. And look, here’s another windshield coming right at me. At least I’ll get to go out with a bang.

Err, splat.


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Great stuff, Craig! When I saw you'd posted two stories back to back, I wondered what was up. Then I saw the titles and figured it out. This actually makes me long for the old Pork Pony format, with two different stories running side by side on the same page.

I love how the human's version is so calm and low-key and the bug's is so angry. "Man" is a fun one to read aloud, too, in a sort of Peter Lorre voice.

Of the two of these sister (or brother) stories, I prefer the one from the man's POV. I realize they're not presented as competing pieces and favorites aren't supposed to be chosen, but I chose a favorite. Anyone want to do something about it?

I've certainly been guilty of feeling guilty for not helping out a bug in need, but then again, I'm not a fan of death in general.

As for a potential celebrity narrator for "Man," I vote Judy Tenuta.

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This page contains a single entry by published on July 10, 2008 4:54 PM.

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