TWA #52 – Quit Bugging Me

“Blattodea Boogaloo” by Tony Southcotte


“Red Silk” by Darryl Foster


TWA 52 Main-01Editors Note: I hate bugs. I have no idea what I was thinking with this prompt. I don’t even want to introduce it…

However, short story lovers, here we are.


The arena needs an exterminator this week. We seem to have an infestation crawling its way around our austere walls. Everywhere we look we see critters with legs and antennae, some of them bite, some of them fly, and they are all disgusting.

The prompt this week, if you haven’t guessed, is bugs. They have been terrifying people since time out of mind. They appear in every culture’s tales of horror, they have plagued Bilbo Baggins, Indiana Jones, and Job.

Our authors’ task this week was to write us a tale with bugs in it. We didn’t want a single bug, mind you, so we applied a strict rule that the stories must have bugs, plural, in them. Lots of ’em.

Oh and we don’t particularly care about scientific nomenclature for this battle. Spiders, insects, centipedes…they’re all bugs as far as the arena is concerned, so we encouraged our authors to pick or invent whatever creepy crawly they desired. Otherwise they were free to interpret the prompt using whatever genre they chose.

Who will make me vomit and who will make me vomit more?

Let’s find out!

Tony Southcotte represents the arena with “Blattodea Boogaloo.”

Darryl Foster battles back with “Red Silk.”

The Bug Battle is on!

We have two judges that will render their decision next Monday. The third vote comes from you, the readers. We ask that you read both stories objectively, and then leave a comment below or on the story itself. Authors are not allowed to comment on their own stories, but we’re sure they’ll be checking in here. We’ll tally up the totals and announce our champion on Monday.

And remember, if you like one of this week’s stories, vote it up in the new all-time best of list (new stories appear at the bottom).

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  1. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for an Arena battle. Both stories were so much fun!
    Granted both were very similar, but I though the differences in tone were interesting. I want to vote for both!


  3. Okay, you got me. I still hate spiders, and horror makes my skull creep. BUT I persevered to the end and am still breathing. Congrats – spiders have beaten giant drone-driven cockroaches in my books. Thanks for an enjoyable read.

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