Get Down To It

The Italian pasta and the ginger seem safe, but the flour and the beans have already been infested with tiny balls that crush between your fingers like dwarf-cockroaches.
At first, they appeared in the children’s artworks. We had hoped to show the art in the future to let the world see that our pride wasn’t vanity but recognition of geniuses in creation. Instead, the dwarves took over.
We squeezed them and threw bloody bits of art away, speculating that they liked the glue, made of flour and water and all the peas and noodles the children used as material. But then, they advanced to the books. They devoured Mark Twain, Doris Lessing, Ben Hecht, and Thomas Mann. While eclectic, they never touched thrillers and ghost stories. They also avoided our ancient and new bible editions.
When our shelves were half-empty and the children’s desks all cleaned-up, the dwarves moved to the closet for a short visit we never solved. They appeared here and there, as if calling for our fists to come down on them, which we did with the righteousness of a stoned surfer catching his night- mare policeman smoking dope. But the dwarf survivors didn’t spread the rumor to their friends or family. The whole tribe and some visitors made an inexplicably unseen journey from the second floor to the first and settled down in the kitchen.
According to The All Bug-Theory they should have gone for the whole wheat products first, but again, they surprised us and populated the tea bags. Then, they went for the biscuits, and now, their direction is clear. We almost sympathize with the poor bastards. What a hurdle it is to pre- tend you like artworks and books when all you really want is get down to the garbage.

Vital Gad-Cykman lives and writes in Brazil. Her stories appear in magazines and anthologies such as McSweeney’s, Michigan Quarterly Review, Prism International and The Flash, Stumbling and Raging, Politically Inspired Fiction, Sex for America, Politically Inspired Erotica and others. She has completed her first novel and is going to finish another.