Just after noon, on a hot August day, Hope sits on her favourite bench. There aren’t many green spaces in London anymore, but Regent’s Park is close enough for her to potter to a couple of times a week. Her repose is suddenly disturbed by a group of journalists following the British Prime Minister and American President as they take a turn about the park.

The sun hangs high, a burning disc in the cerulean sky. Suddenly, across the park, utter and complete silence falls. Then, one by one the insects begin to sing, each species adding a different buzzing tone to the entomological symphony; music is the only method they know that humans might understand. 

The Prime Minister emits a bellow of laughter, exclaiming, “Isn’t it wonderful!”

The insects scroll through three songs, repeating them again and again. Hope gets the message immediately, and pushes herself up from the bench with a grunt of pain. She shuffles across to the gathered group. “Young man,” she shouts at the Prime Minister, poking him sharply in the ribs. “Are you not listening to the message in their choice of songs?” she asks. “We are stealing their homes. You need to wash out your ears!”

He looks at her blankly, but listens as instructed. Then he frowns and Hope notices a tear in the corner of his eye, which he quickly wipes away. Indeed, the insects are scrolling their way through three songs, trying to  impart a message to the humans. The songs they hum and buzz are ‘Help’, ‘Killing Me Softly’ and ‘Earth Song’. The message, simply put; “Help, killing Earth.” Finally, he understands, and nods sadly, acknowledging to the insects that he has to make better choices to help the environment, and he needs to make them now. 

The insects buzz a thankful acknowledgment that sounds a lot like applause, before resuming their normal humming, going about their business.

The Prime Minister gently embraces Hope before turning to the President. “I believe that the environment needs to be our top priority,” he said. “We have some difficult choices to make.”

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17 Comments
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Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
1 month ago

Nice story, Carrie! I wonder if the insects are already trying to tell us something! We should listen more closely. Good work.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

Wow. I enjoyed it so much, Carrie. Nicely done.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

You’re welcome.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
1 month ago

Such a different take on the prompt Carrie, well done! I was aware of the plight of the bees but, of course, there are so many other insects that climate change affects. A beautifully written story with a strong message.

Alexxandria Payne
Alexxandria Payne (@alexxandria-payne)
1 month ago

Hi! I absolutely adore this story. “…music is the only method they know that humans might understand”. That line is gorgeous! Great work!

Leyla Unerli
Leyla Unerli (@leyla-unerli)
29 days ago

This story brought me to so many emotions! I deeply care for the insects which is why I connected greatly with this story. I also love the sensory details in here! Made me feel like I was right there in London! I love your take on the theme! What a great story!

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
28 days ago

As I was reading your story, I was thinking: “Finally someone who stands up for the bees and their rights! So important!“ And then I saw, in your comment to Linda, that it was exactly how you expressed it yourself!
Concerning your comment about editing your story from a much higher number of words: I have been there several times, even going from 2,000 words to 350. It’s a challenge which feels like changing tools from a chainsaw, via a hatchet, to a chisel and finishing up with a sandpaper. You accomplished the job very well. Your story fits together and conveys the message in a great way.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
24 days ago

Carrie, this is a beautiful story. I’m glad that the Prime Minister stopped and listened as instructed and didn’t just brush Hope’s comment away. It is not an easy task reducing the word count so much, but you have done it well. The message is still clear and your story is full of emotion. I enjoyed reading this.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
23 days ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

Carrie, it is a great idea to extend this. I think many more people need to read this.

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