Free Short Fiction Monday – The Great Escape

Corporal Jaws rested for a moment as he pried at a crack in the glass. He had been working on opening up this crack for days ever since his anthill had lost the war. They had been loaded up into cardboard boxes and sent, who knows were for who knows what purpose.” He suspected they were part of some government experiment.

When that huge ape-like face had looked into the glass, he had felt the first stirrings of fear. He slapped himself mentally. He was a soldier and he lived by the conduct. “Article 3,” he whispered under his breath, “I will make every effort to escape and help others to escape.”

It was the only thing that was keeping him together.

He had recognized many of the ants who had been dumped in the cardboard box with them. They had worked together and played together. Some felt the despair of capture and were not interested in escaping. The food dumped in the top of the glass box kept them from doing more than dig homes. They ignored the eyes that watched them. They whispered to each other that soon it would be over.

Jaws couldn’t quit. He pulled some of the grass to the opening to hide his escape route. He would have it open very soon. Jaws worked at night. A few days later, the opening was just wide enough so that he could pull his body through it. When he finally made it to the table, he saw miles and miles of terrain. It would be weeks before he could get some help.

He slipped back through the crack to apprise the rest of the colony the news. This time he left with grass tied to his back. It would take weeks, but soon they would start a colony in a fresh environment that could support them. They could only survive so long on carbohydrates.

When he left, the young boy who fed them every day didn’t notice. What was one ant among many?