SONY DSC– The  Aphid #1, 2013 –

Karl melted away. “Evening, Mr. Klinkel. Been on a little adventure have we?” Karl rubbed at his throat. “You could have phoned us first,” said Clarke, “like Mrs. Hardy.” She emerged from the shadows, dressed for grieving. “Hello Karl,” said Cordelia. “Did you engage with the young woman?” said Clarke. “The maid?” “Yes.” “No.” “Hear anything?” “A tape loop. Just bass and drums.” “Nothing else?” “No.” “I wonder what she’s playing at?” said Clarke. “How do you know what’s going on?” said Karl. The detective turned away and talked to his sergeant. Ute was talking to a uniformed policeman. Karl walked over. “I think my wife needs medical attention,” he said. He held up her arm so that the PC could see the injury. “Come with me,” said the PC. Their feet crunched through the gravel in a loping rhythm. “Not far to the road now,” he said and squeezed her shoulder. “I feel funny, Karl. The girl poisoned me,” she said. Her pupils were dilated. Something moved in the trees. “What’s that?” she said. There was a soft sound. A crunch of gravel that wasn’t theirs and an arm around his neck. Karl tried to shout, but the arm tightened around his windpipe. Something hard knocked the revolver out of his hand. Then Ute was pulled away. He was being propelled towards the road. He stamped on a foot. There was a sharp intake of breath very close to his ear. Then a male voice cursed. Outside the gates sat three police cars. DI Clarke walked towards him. “OK, sergeant,” he said. The hands that and females are produced. Between draped her arms around his neck August and September mating takes place and kissed him on the lips. “Come during flight. After mating, male adults die on, let’s get out of here,” and females shed their wings and he said. She leaned on him. Return to the soil to overwinter. He could feel her breath on his neck – his reward. They turned the corner into the entrance hall. “What about Tony?” she said. “We’ll call the police as soon as we can,” he said. Together they staggered out of the front door, across the terrace and onto the gravel drive. “We have a bit of walking to do. Are you strong enough?” he said. Ute lifted her head and nodded. There was a strange hush. The normal night sounds seemed absent. Karl smiled at her. Emerge in spring and lay eggs. The little smoke. He tried the handle first brood will be fed by and the door swung inwards. “Oh my the queen for three to four God, Karl,” cried Ute. Her dress weeks before pupating in the soil. Adult was marked with dark patches, her workers emerge after two weeks to hair matted and he could see maintain the nest and feed the even in the dark that there queen and subsequent larvae. When adults find were bloody marks on the stacks a food source they leave a phalanx of sheets and towels. “I didn’t shoot trail of chemicals known as pheromones did I?” he said. She staggered back to the nest for others towards him, her arms outstretched. “No, to follow. Towards the end of summer my darling, you rescued me.” She winged males to the queen and her nest simply makes larder. Beyond the shelves piled high space for another. For this reason with packets, tins and jars was it is best to focus on a thick wooden door, locked, controlling only those nests that are course. He knocked on it. “Karl?” causing real problems. “Adult worker ants are,” said the voice on the other side, “all female, wingless, and around 5mm”. “I’m coming,” said Karl. “Stand away in length. Queens are significantly longer and from the door.” He heard scuffling. Fatter larvae are white legless grubs, roughly holding the revolver at arm’s length, 5mm long. Each colony can vary – in he pointed it – at the door’s size from as small as 500 lock and squeezed the trigger. There individuals too many thousands. After over-wintering, females was a terrific bang, and the wind. Something glinted Heaps of earth around the nest on the ground just to the entrance can be a nuisance in left of the front door. He the lawn where they interfere with crouched down to take a look. An old fashioned key. It could bury low-growing plants. Karl stepped into the red ant Myrmica rubra and the main corridor. Don’t turn on the black ant. Queen ants are the lights. To the left was a fly in from neighbouring gardens all a short hall at the end the time but are killed by of which, on the right, was ants from existing nests. Killing a door. The door “She has locked me in the small piles of earth around laundry cupboard,” said the voice [in holes in soil, lawns, paths, and German. Karl located the ventilation grille at the base of exterior walls. To it he said, “I am Adults and may be in the house coming.” There was nothing for it, around fresh and stored food, but to shoot the lock off on sap-sucking pest-infested plants. Large swarms hit the front door. Karl rounded on the flying ants appear in late corner to the terrace and noticed summer. Plants affected. Garden ants rarely cause damage to Cordelia’s pot plants. However, they feed on the garden, its oversized drooping blooms grown sugary foods, oily seeds, honeydewed and sinister in the dark. The tree’s aphid-infected plants and other small insects rattled in.

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