The Night of Devouring…part 1

“A beetle may or may not be inferior to a man – the matter awaits demonstration…”

‘Click’, ‘Click’, ‘Click’.
Oscar Dedmon clipped his nails over the rails of his front porch. Three clips a nail. The excised white clippings could freely spiral into the unkempt foliage below. Discarded nails would cover the brown leaves lying beneath the large bush of unknown phenotype. Other nails would boomerang away and return to the brick base of the porch railing. Some would be caught on the web covered leaves of the shrubs.
Over the years, many lonely years, the whole area below the porch appeared to be a hazy gray. Millions of nails littered the leaves, the ground, and the bricks. The freshest nails, upon closer inspection, could be seen stark white in comparison to the aging brown and gray counterparts. Some shards were actually hanging suspended in air, actually hanging from small unused spider webs. Some were being consumed.
The dense bush created a cool shaded damp area. Beneath the soil and rocks, and broken branches was a vast society of beetles, earwigs, and centipedes. The earth beneath the porch was teeming with shiny black bodies. Passersby would inevitably stop as their eyes would be caught by hundreds of overturned twigs, really beetles scurrying over in search of food. Often the bugs would find nourishment on the discarded dead skin of Oscar Dedmon.
Oscar was actually delighted by this behavior. He enjoyed watching the beetles carry away moldy nails, presumably to some underground burrow. He imagined the beetles and ants took the shards away and cultivated some sort of nutritional bacteria from them. Sometimes an earwig would munch away on a hangnail, or a centipede. This was his guiltless passion.

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