This piece of flash fiction was written for Writer’s Digest’s 2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge Day 10. I spent one and a half hours on this story; this is the fourth draft. The prompt: “Write about an animal. Real or imaginary, the choice is yours!”
The Weaver Queen
One day, deep, deep within the lush jungles of the Amazon and high in the capacious treetop nests of a Weaver ant queendom, a new queen hatched from her egg. Through random mutation, this queen was born with advanced cognitive ability that went far beyond simple instinct. The queen grew and thrived in the colony. It also plotted and schemed, something other ants never did. Instead of founding a new queendom, as most Weaver queens did when they came of age, this intelligent queen overthrew the old one and took control of the colony.
With an already thriving and powerful colony of workers and warriors, the new queen swiftly used her superior intellect to expand her queendom’s borders. This queen spawned thousands upon thousands of eggs that hatched as larvae with the same higher cognitive ability as their queen mother. Through her, the queendom’s more intelligent armies outsmarted the neighboring queendoms with tactics and stratagems never before employed by ant-kind. The queen also expanded their husbandry of other organisms to include not only a larger array of insects but also worms and amphibians. Such control of other organisms expanded the sources of nourishment the ants could consume and also aided in their conquests.
After having spawned many generations of intelligent broods, the queen perished, overthrown by a queen she herself spawned, this one even more intelligent but with the same desire to conquer, expand, and consume. This cycle continued generation after generation of queens until the single Weaver ant queendom controlled the whole of the Amazon.
Then quadrillions of Weaver ants spilled from the jungle in massive tidal waves to consume new lands.
Humans never stood a chance.
Image from safari-ecology.blogspot.com.