's 2013 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by William Robinson

It wasn't always like this.

THEY weren't always like this.

I remember when we first met them...

I was only a kid when it happened.

It wasn't anticipated by anyone at all, really. I mean, what were the odds of ANTS, of all creatures, being the first to use self-made tools to fight a war against their own kind? No one believed that there was really a moat around the hill, or a drawbridge as its entrance! We knew this couldn't be passed up; we snatched up the whole hill, and headed back to the lab.

Under our watchful supervision, the hive grew and prospered in just a few short years, and by the time there was a 12th queen, we were making primitive contact with each other. Granted, we had to teach them sign language, but once that caught on, we felt that they were ready to speak. Surprisingly, it wasn't difficult to make the initial serum, at least, it wasn't after the ants started helping us. And once we could understand each other through pheromones, everything became MUCH better. Science and Technology entered breakthroughs as the greatest human minds worked alongside dedicated ant scientists and doctors. Things were great, and might have stayed great, if we'd stopped to realize one thing: We were helping the ants not only increase their numbers exponentially, but we were teaching them, making them more intelligent.

The Hive Intelligence was now sentient.

It was only 8 years after we'd discovered them that the ants became more intelligent than us.

Calling themselves "The Hive", they started their own country, occupying the soon-barren island of Madagascar.

Then they sent in spies to watch us.

It was simple enough at first; An ant in the window sill, a few under the table. It escalated quickly. VERY quickly.

They started watching our movies, out culture, learning, adapting.

They sent Oogie Boogie to declare war on us.

Granted, it wasn't REALLY a bag of bugs, no. Rather, they killed a man, devoured him from the inside-out, and filled his skin with scores and scores of their finest soldiers. They peeled off their disguise at a UN meeting, a man-shaped chitinous mass of them, operating as fingers and toes to move the body along. The ones in the face began to squirt acid on anyone and everyone in the general vicinity.

We lost many world leaders on that day.

It seemed that they had also seen our media on other members of their species, and found a way to bring them to sentience as well: One of the sapient ones had only to drop a certain pheromone signal to awaken the minds of other tribes of ants. Boundaries were forgotten, species blended, and treaties formed on both sides. While man had managed to band together against a common enemy, the ant had the element of surprise in the form of an infinite number of sleeper agents.

We lost within two years.

They managed to find some way around everything we threw at them, pesticides, DDT, even anteaters.

After the battle, the ants of the world began to gather in one location, stacking and clinging on each other, until a massive pillar reached skyward, and the first and last message from our new masters was projected worldwide.

"Welcome to the Hive. Prepare to be devoured, while your larva are enslaved."

And the end of an age was brought about by the jaws of the ant as the pillar descended upon mankind.