Recently at the manor we had an infestation of ants.
Because we can’t have invaders in the house, running about on their own business, we decided that intervention was necessary. They were just out of control.
So we used some kind of liquid that you put on a piece of cardboard that was actually like water in it’s clarity and consistency. They went apeshit for it, unaware that their feast (so close to their home, too) was actually going to be their doom. They partied, and they enjoyed it, and it was going to murder all of them.
Because I am, among many things, empathetic, I wished that I could have somehow conveyed to them that their place in this universe was not my home, but when you confront a force that is determined to impose, annihilation is the inevitable outcome. Anyone wishing to make themselves a nuisance at my abode would do well to note this.
So they frolicked, they rejoiced in their great find, an abundant source of food, but like one who buys cheap food from a street vendor, the joy was shortlived. I imagined the poor denizens of the ant-world in the unlooked-upon spaces of my home, bodies being torn apart by the great works of mankind’s chemical weapons; a poor disastrous fate. And all they wanted was to enjoy an abundant food source.
They were completely wiped out. Gone. It was like the Mayans, sucked in to the earth by whatever god was angry the week they were wiped clean from the earth.
Only, they were not wiped out.
Like survivors of an apocalypse, the ants who remain are in some sort of half-life, shocked to exist, half in denial, they seem to stumble forth in search of … who knows what survivors search for? Is it death that they seek? Do I have the heart to terminate one, I have already killed so many. So many of their corpses must litter their living space as it is, heaped high, these freshly spawned ants must live in a macabre twisted dungeon – so many of their aunts and uncles must haunt them, their rotten smirks offering a mock-comfort.
I pause, and I consider the survivor of the apocalypse that was my design and wrought by my hands, and I have no choice but to continue down my chosen path. I have empathy for the survivor; in this hell which I have brought down upon him, death is mercy.