The boxelder bug is a common and well-known insect in Iowa that is most abundant after summers when the month of May is very warm and July is very dry.

Boxelder is a band from Jupiter, FL. Boxelder's music is no boundaries groove rock. The idea was to make music for the sake of making music. Music for the people, by the people. The result is music that makes you feel as if you are a part of it, music with a positive message and a hopeful outlook.

Also see box elder.

(flash fiction) 470 words

Tiny Black Roommates

based on a true story

I feel them on my feet sometimes, or on my arms. When they fly, it’s a blurred, loud affair, a low buzz that sometimes grazes my ears, but they seem to prefer crawling. They crawl around on the window, on the walls, on everything, like quiet, six-legged nightmares. Little black spots on the window, puttering along in a mad choreography. A single line, a flash of orange runs across the sides, deadly fire hiding beneath the wing covers.

They gather wherever light shines, meeting for a slow dance on the window, in the sun. Or, at night, they’ll gather beneath the harsh, fluorescent glow of the kitchen light, in the sink, on the wall. Sometimes, when I sit alone, in the dark, suffused in the hard light from the monitor, I hear that seething buzz, and a little silhouette appears on the screen.

Yesterday, I took a drink of soda, and felt tiny legs titter on my tongue. I spat, a violent burst of green liquid pelting the floor, and one of them, thrashing around in the middle of the puddle.

I used to see them, crawling, slowly and unyielding, around on my desk. One of them would come close, and I’d flick it. They’d land on my arms and the powerful uncoiling of a giant’s finger sent them tumbling. They landed on the floor, or the wall, and continued moving. Some of them were smarter. They’d fly right back to their point of departure and begin the meandering, ceaseless journey anew.

“Box elder bugs,” my coworker informed me.

“Oh? Didn’t know that’s what they’re called.”

She nodded and took bite of a cucumber, pilfered from the salad station. “They’re everywhere around this time of year, like the falling leaves, like those damned Asian beetles.”

I wondered what they ate, since they usually left my food alone, and my food, as far as my reasoning went, was the only food in the apartment. Maybe they ate each other. A tantalizing thought, although I’d seen no evidence of even mild discord between them, let alone a fight to the death, to determine who would live and who would become food.

A couple times I’d become annoyed with them. I declared war on them. I sought out every one with a pure, simple motive, insecticide. Each time I crushed one, the carapace would pop, and I felt it in my spine. Or they would simply turn over and flail as I dropped blow after blow, waiting for that haunting crunch.

They weren’t hard to find. Black, slow moving spots in lit areas on white walls, or on the windows. They weren’t hard to crush, either, not so paranoid and quick as houseflies. I could destroy them with such ease that it only added to the guilt.

But they always came back.

It’s their apartment. I’m merely a tolerated guest.

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