AND LO THERE WILL COME A DAY when the weather is hot and dry.

Or far too wet.

Or you’ve left a small crumb of chocolate chip cookie out on the counter.

On that day an army in miniature will advance, bringing with them the seething tide of war. Small black bodies, too numerous to count, will crest the plateau of your counters, covering the surface in a teeming, frantic mass of life, overtaking wayward morsels, and venturing forward en masse.

You will spray and spray, watching as countless soldiers break rank and scurry away, desperate to escape certain death.

Many will retreat. Many more will die, anonymously and without honor.

The army will care not about the slaughter, regrouping for another attack. And another. And another…

‘Surely there can’t be many left,’ you’ll think. ‘So many bodies strewn about, I must have wiped out the majority of their troops!’

But no. At another time, likely in another location, the enemy will advance again, relentless in their pursuit of…the thing they’re after, whatever it is.

You’ll never know for sure what they seek. Food? Water? Shade? Purpose?

In the end it doesn’t really matter. The attacks will keep coming regardless how many thousands you kill time and again. Mornings will fill you full of dread as you anxiously anticipate where they’ll turn up next.

Battle after battle. Day after day.

Then, one day without warning, it will stop. The battles will cease. The hordes of small black bodies will vanish, almost as if they had never existed.

As the days pass quietly without attack, you’ll slowly start to feel normal again. You’ll be able to eat breakfast without first combating legions of scurrying soldiers. Soon, you’ll forget the days of battle and slaughter, of feeling like a vengeful demon spraying death across counters, tiles, tubs.

You’ll think, ‘They’ve gone. It’s over! I’ve won!’

Rejoice – for now. The war is not over. No treaties have been signed, no pacts made for peace.

They will return.

One day. When the weather is too hot. Or too wet. Or the counters too crumby.

They will be back. And the battle will begin anew.

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