Marked Malice

Horse lubber grasshopper Jerry Kirkhart Flickr

Photo credit: Jerry Kirkhart



The Kundo grasshoppers were superior to Greens.  Just ask them.  They jumped higher, chewed faster, kicked harder.  Their vibrant coloring clearly marked them as god-blessed.  Naturally, Kundos ruled, Greens served.

Kundo leader Marako always kept a Green servant nearby to harangue or beat when he was angry.  Marako called him Gak, no matter how often he died and was replaced.

Greens all looked the same to Marako.

One day Gak seemed especially attentive, there whenever Marako turned around.  Suddenly, Marako was surrounded by Greens, trapped.

He couldn’t even tell if it was Gak attacking first.  But that’s a good bet.



Word count: 100.  Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers challenge, hosted by the wonderful Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  Thanks to Shaktiki Sharma for the interesting original photo prompt, below.

FF.yellow-bug-shaktiki

Photo © Shaktiki Sharma



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44 thoughts on “Marked Malice

    • I was thinking on the one hand, that if the fancy grasshoppers have beautiful, colorful markings, they would see all the plain green grasshoppers and think they all look the same because they’re all just green. But more so, I was trying to evoke the racism present in so many oppressive societies, where the lower class is deprived not only of their freedom and dignity, but even of their separate identities and individuality, by being treated as interchangeable and unnoticeable. That terrible thing that should never be said but is, too often: “How can you even tell those [racial slur] apart? They’re all the same to me.” I’m not sure why the image of the grasshopper got me to that place, but it struck me as haughty, that way. I hope that’s clearer; sorry if it didn’t come across.

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  1. The worm turns … Love how the ignored and abused servants – those not even recognised as individuals by their captors – took their revenge. A lesson for tyrants everywhere. Great tale Joy

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    • Thanks Bjorn. Sadly there are too many real-world examples of tyrants like this. And I agree, there may have been a point of turning back, but he went past it. Maybe the next leader of the Kundo will be different.

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    • Oh yes, he is DEFINITELY getting what’s coming to him. Feel free to imagine lots of bad, bad things happening to him, because he deserves them all. Probably, though, they will simply attack and kill him right there, which means he will suffer less than his people have this whole time. But at least they will be free, and perhaps forge a new society on their own — or convince the next leader to take them more seriously! Thanks for the great comment 🙂

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    • Thanks for saying so, Michael. It’s hard to find that balance between feeling like I’m hitting the reader over the head with the Obvious Stick and being so subtle that readers might not all get it. So it’s good to know when it works.

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  2. A great story all round,Joy. As several commenters have said, this ending portrays the fate of many tryrants and oppressors throughout history. Even Julius Caesar got his comeuppance for becoming a dictator in all but name – the only difference in his case being there weren’t so many Gaks’ to gang up on him! I love the way you use story of these two species of grasshoppers to illustrate the various aspects of oppression and unjust inequalities within societies.

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