100-Word Fiction: ‘The Caterpillar’

It is high summer and through the oldest of urban gardens crawls the caterpillar. Which way will it turn today? It approaches a crowd of city kids, tucking into falafel and hummus. It watches them a while: a mixed, raggle-taggle bunch with hungry eyes, holding their lunch proudly, guardedly, as if it were civilisation itself that they cradled. Soon, the shouts go up, eyes are widened – wild – and the caterpillar’s monstrous shadow looms. Had they not heard the warning rattle? Had no one followed those caterpillar tracks? Flags wave. The caterpillar groans that tragic, murderous sound and the gunfire begins.