As the sun rose over the horizon and painted light onto the vacant concrete of the Montgomery Community Pool, generations of flesh-gnats that made their home their, under chairs, in the landscaping, and in the few patches of grass, burst into life. Yet as the sun made its slow crawl across the sky, and as generations of flesh-gnat came and went, the ever-growing society of flesh-gnats became discordant.
For years—well over 380,000 generations, the flesh-gnats had great success in the vast and unrelenting geography of the Montgomery Community Pool. Providing for broods counting in the hundreds for every generation. Typically, the prosperity of the flesh-gnats would peak at the start of every new gnat-epoch that began at the vernal equinox. As the Montgomery Community Pool opened every year, with start of spring, the hot-fleshed food would file in to present their ripened bodies to the flesh-gnats.
For the gnats, this cyclical economy offered a stability to the flesh-gnat society that removed any need for migration. The Montgomery Community Pool would feed the colony ad infinitum.
Or so it was to be expected. Since the beginning of the new epoch, a few hours ago, generations of flesh gnat had suffered a rare and unexpected bout of poverty. The historically obedient food, did not file in with the new epoch. As it always had before—the giant metal gates that served as the fountain for the hot and ready food to flow into the Montgomery Community Pool and serve the flesh-gnats remained closed. While the gnats speculated about what crisis or plague might be constricting the food supply, but the gnats lacked the adequate tools or resources necessary to perform a proper study of the problem. All that was certain was that the food was not coming to the pool this epoch.
Since the beginning of the equinox, the corpse of an anole was found, and this was rationed among the gnat-fly population. The reptile’s body had lasted some time but everybody knew that it was not a long term solution to the food crisis. Without the return of the human-stock, the entire flesh-gnat colony was at risk.
“We have to eat the children. Obviously!” buzzed one of the oldest members of the Zzzzz-zab-žaq clan. “Us older flesh-gnats, we’ve been here for hours, nearly 3 for some of us! Which has instilled in us a great wisdom of the montgomery community pool.”
Among the many flesh-gnats, that were gathered around the picked-clean bones of the anole, hidden in the shadow of a pool chair, there were subdued buzzes of agreement and nodding of antennae. “The young ones, born minutes ago, know nothing and are good for nothing!” the old flesh-gnat buzzed angrily. “…but they could be good for food for us old buzzers that are keeping this colony together.” The old flesh-gnat’s speech was blunt and poorly-buzzed, and yet the old-gnat seemed deeply satisfied with their clunky declarations.
But another agitated flesh-gnat started humming, “You’ve had your head buried too deep in rotting reptile to know whats good for you!” said a younger flesh-gnat of the Zzzzzzzzzub-zula-zinc clan. “Without the young ones, our colony is over.” To this there was much passionate buzzing from the colony. “While I wouldn’t veto any suggestion to eat the older generation, who imbibed disproportionately in the reptilian-stimulus to the food supply, I have a more civil suggestion. We must send some to leave the Montgomery Community Pool. To go out and find new food, as our forbearers had to do!” To this many older flies rolled their compound-eyes. “For we would not have this Montgomery Community Pool at all, if it were not discovered, by nomadic flesh-gnats.”
“That is a myth!” Buzzed a deeply agitated flesh-gnat, from the ZzIl clan. “The Montgomery community pool is where our species was born, it is the only natural habitat we have.” said the gnat. “Going out of it would not only be a crime against nature, it would be a rejection of our birthright.” Many of flesh-gnats gathered were enraptured by the small but rhetorically gifted flesh-gnat. “You old gnats, you must have noticed, that the air is not so fresh anymore. We cannot be breathe as easily as in hours past. There is not enough food, the water is acidic.” buzzed the gnat excitedly. “The pool is the birthright of flesh-gnats, but it cannot be for all of us. You old gnats are fools for suggesting we eat the young— we must look after only our clans now, every flesh-gnat family for themselves I say. Not all clans are deserving the great gifts of the Montgomery Community Pool!” said the flesh-gnat. With that, there was much anger and cruel buzzing, as flesh-gnats began to buzz directly at each other.
Just before things started to escalate to violence, the gates of the Montgomery Community Pool, that had been unfruitful since the sunrise, suddenly stirred. Food in the form of Philip Balik, aged 24, climbed over them.
The food named Philip Balik was a junior accounts manager at moderately successful ad agency. Since the nationwide quarantine, he had slowly had been going crazy cooped up in his studio apartment. In an act of willful recklessness, Balik had decided to sneak into the Montgomery Community Pool. Though the pool had been filled with water in expectation of the coming spring and summer season, the gates had to be closed indefinitely, as a pandemic struck the country and catalyzed in a matter of days. Balik, wearing salmon and mint boardshorts and black, circular-lensed sunglasses, had a look of giddy satisfaction about his face as he landed on the hot concrete of the pool area. The Montgomery Community Pool was his alone.
The instant Balik’s flip-flops hit the concrete, the millions of flesh-gnats rejoiced— buzzing in unison. The generations long famine was over! All at once, they erupted into the air, beating their wings, flying headlong towards the warm-fleshed, mammalian providence that had been gifted to them.