Always Wash the Dishes

No one warned them about the ants. Spain was safe, no wars, nice climate and a good health system. What could go wrong? They knew not to drink the water, but no one said anything about bloody ants? Club San Juan and Apartments was perched on a cliff by a beautiful sandy beach and packed with tourists from all over Europe enjoying the sun.

Bob and Carol had been looking forward to their trip for months. They had such a good time the first night that they went to bed without even washing their dinner plates. Mussels, fries and a few glasses of red wine on the balcony before they went to the flamenco cabaret. They woke the next morning to a bit of a surprise. Ants in the kitchen. not everywhere just on the plates and glasses in the sink. Hundreds of tiny ants so small you could barely make them out. Bob followed the thin black line back from the sink, across the work surface to the corner of the wall. Up the wall and on out of the room, through the tiniest gap.

“Oh my God Bob get rid of them they are horrible,” screamed Carol as she looked at the thin, darting, shifting wave of black that moved over her plates and glasses.

“It’s OK dear I’ll wash it down,” Bob set to cleaning the surfaces and plates with hot soapy water. Killing the ants, not one by one but hundreds at a time. Soon everything was clean and tidy with all the ants washed down the sink.

“There that’s done,” said Bob “a bit of breakfast and poolside for me for the rest of the day.”

Deep underground, way beneath the swimming pool word had got back about the massacre that had just taken place in apartment 2216. Soon reinforcements were on their way through the long network of minuscule tunnels. Through cracks, across pavements and up walls.

That afternoon when they got back from the pool Carol wanted some tea to have with her favourite biscuit. Bob duly obliged and opened the food cupboard, what he saw astounded him. The same as before but worse. Thousands of tiny black ants had come in through a crack in the corner of the cupboard and were feasting on the chocolate cookies that had been left open. The same shimmering black swathe a little erratic though as this time they were high on sugar.

“We will have to report this tomorrow,” said Bob.

Once more the good husband set to with his hot water emptying the cupboard of its contents and cleaning it. He killed vast amounts of ants in the process and washed them down the sink. All the plates were washed, the food was wrapped and their apartment much cleaner than before they had arrived. At last it was time for some fun, Bob and Carol had a great night eating, drinking, dancing and it was late when they got back.

“Not an ant in sight, I’m a genius,” said Bob.

“You are my little honey-bun and I will love you forever if you get me a nightcap,” said the rather tipsy Carol.

Bob poured them both a gin and tonic. It was way too large but hey, they were on holiday. The couple sat on the balcony and decided that they were having a thoroughly nice time. Not long after they were both in bed falling sound asleep very quickly. If they hadn’t been quite so intoxicated they might just have stood a chance.

This whole situation had got way out of hand and more reinforcements had been called to the apartment. Not just a few thousand this time though but millions. The whole colony had ventured out from under the pool. Across the gardens, up the wall, and into the apartment. There had been mass murder committed by the drunken Englishman and it was to be avenged. It would have been hard to see them even with the light on. They were there alright, a thin black line stretching from the crack at the far corner of the room to the foot of the bed.

Carol slept soundly snoring loudly. Bob was the same but one by one the tiny creatures crawled onto his skin each injecting him with the smallest amount of poison. Each one took its first tiny bite from his flesh. Slowly they killed him. He stirred but didn’t wake. One by one they crawled onto him a hundred, a thousand a million. Eventually Bob was covered in a seething swarming mass of ants that only two days earlier had been hundreds on his dirty plates.

The feast began, the colony had never known anything like it. Ants just kept coming from all over the resort. They devoured Bob. When carol awoke the next morning the last few thousand were picking his bones clean as he lay silently in bed.

Carol lay there frozen in fear and shock at the sight of her husband. She wanted to call out, to move away but couldn’t. She just lay looking at Bob then down at her feet in horror. The same swarming black wave of ants was now moving rapidly up Carol’s body already covering her legs. The fast-moving black wave would soon envelop her in the same way it had her little honey-bun only a few hours earlier.

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