Even the Largest Avalanche is Triggered by Small Things.

The “daddy longlegs” sits on a dry root, watching me with multiple prismatic eyes.

A common enough encounter, the little surveillance bots skitter everywhere in this desert. Microscopic plutonium chips power their round bodies, and they have multi-segmented legs that look very similar to pholcidae, cellar spiders.

The tiny scouts don’t take much notice of humans, as a rule. They still give me the jeebies, out here in the barrens, so I pack up my kit and prepare to move along.

A sharp buzzing draws my attention. One of the nasty hunter/killer waspbots, a “mud dauber,” swoops in on the longlegs. The two of them roll around in the dust battling, until the wasp lands a powerful electric “sting” that disables the smaller unit.

I throw my backpack over my shoulder and hike into the Omaha wasteland, while the machines continue to make war in the wreckage of human civilization.

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150 words. Inspired by this week’s Picture It & Write prompt:

Original image found here: http://www.thedesignwork.com/weird-pictures

Room with a View

“It was nice of your Uncle Caius to find a room for us to stay during the Bacchanalia season.”

“It’s… quaint,” Antonitus responded. “Peasants can’t expect a palace, I suppose.”

“Hush, at least it’s dry and warm. I’m concerned about getting sleep, though.”

Loud music pounded in from the main temple, with some very human squeals and grunts from time to time.

“Sounds like the orgy is in full swing already,” she sniffed. “Do you know why this pit is here, Tony?”

They both paused and leaned over to examine the large, deep pit in the center of the room. It dropped into the shadows of the temple’s sublevels.

“Not sure. Maybe it’s for some sort of sacrificial use?”

Caecilla squealed when he mock-shoved her toward the pit, “rescuing” her at the last moment.

“You bastard,” she kicked him, grinning.

“Is the wine cellar down there?”

A bacchanalia temple guard, dressed in full Legionnaire costume and obviously enjoying the party, weaved into the room from the temple. He grunted something unintelligible and raised his cantharus in salute before turning away from the bewildered couple.

He fumbled briefly with his pteruges and a yellow stream arced outward into the pit.

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197 crude words. Inspired by this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt:

A Room in the Roman Painted House, Dover