Writers (in order): Irene Tsen, Alyssa Tang, Eileen Hung, Emma Kochenderfer, Binny Park, M.S., Nidhi Nadgir, Basil Lera, Irene Hong, Eman Hussain, Maggie Zhang, Mariarosa Cerritos, Elaheh Khazi, Lyra Thompson
Editor: Ms. Ja
I first thought it was a cord of wire: clumpier in some segments, broken in some sections, but nevertheless the result of some late-night throwing-something-on-my-desk forgetfulness. I yawned, shoved my glasses on my face, looked at my desk again, and shrieked.
A string of ants marched along my desk, culminating in a mound of tiny black bodies gathering around a half-eaten cookie. I cautiously moved closer and grew even more horrified. The ants were all over the handwritten drafts of my etymology paper, due tomorrow. I walked around the table to see if any of my papers were free of the ants—I hadn’t typed up the paper yet, and these pages were all the research and work I’d put in so far.
But no: there were ants on every single page. As I watched, they started new routes across my table, staking more of their claim on my desk.
I had an ant infestation on my hands, and if I wanted to submit my papers on time, I would need to get rid of all these ants.
A twinge of pain shot up my hand in my haste to open up Google: How to get rid of ants quickly. I groaned, rubbing it down the front of my cotton sleep shirt in soothing circles.
Hand throbbing, I sent another frantic look at the swell of beady-eyed insects now clambering onto the base of my lamp. They hadn’t all completely migrated from my paper, however. In fact, there seemed to be another wave crawling up the table legs, flitting through the cracks of my window sill, and marching single file into the soil of my potted plants. Most of their black bodies were concentrated near the blank lines of my paper, dotting the words with splotches of misshapen spirals and clumps. Old English… of West Germanic Origin… Relating to…
First things first—from a quick glance, the article mentioned simply leaving them alone until they left on their own whim. I snorted, sending a dubious look up at the blackening and moving surface area of my desk. Had one of those pests written this?
Vinegar spray would probably kill them, but that seemed excessively cruel, and would also ruin my papers. Given how much they had spread, it didn’t seem like the cookie was the problem either.
“My roommate is going to kill me,” I mumbled. Right as I said that, the ants all halted in unison. They started moving rapidly into formation, like a marching band. It was simultaneously fascinating and terrifying.
Oh. Okay. That wasn’t creepy at all. “Yes?” I answered cautiously.
A few ants jumped up and down at that, as if excited. They then scrambled again to form a new message, their tiny, dark bodies creeping and crawling everywhere, all over my work. I rubbed my temple, more than slightly freaked out.
Okay. That was a good sign. Possibly. “Sara is your friend?” I asked, just to be completely sure. Was I still asleep? Was this a normal phenomenon that I had simply never heard of before?
Alright. Forget my roommate killing me. I was going to kill my roommate. If she was going to invite magic ants over, I would have appreciated a warning.
“Well, could you please leave? I really need to finish this.”