For The Nest

So it’s prosery day at dVerse. If you don’t know, that means the good folk are writing 144 word stories with a line from a poem as the prompt and a necessary line. Sanaa has invited us to use the opening words of Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem Heartbeat “Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?”
Go read the other amazing pieces of prosery submitted for this prompt

We rend the flesh. One mind for the nest. Back and to, back and to, back and to. The mother compels. The soldiers kill. We harvest. Others feast. Only mouths are we.
Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things? Who grows fat on the work of our jaws? Who is the mother who compels this orgy of blood? We have never seen her. We only hear the voice of loving command.
What is the safety of the nest if we starve with her feast in our teeth? What is the strength of the compulsion that forces our slavery? What is the price of freedom? What is the cost of rebellion?
But no. Mother compels. One mind for the nest. We rend the flesh. So it was. So it is. And so it shall be. Mother knows best.

Hope you enjoy, please feel free to comment
The Lonely Recluse

~ by The Lonely Recluse on May 10, 2021.

31 Responses to “For The Nest”

  1. My goodness this is incredibly potent! I love the shades of sci-fi here, it feels like walking into a portal and entering into another dimension. Especially moved by; “What is the safety of the nest if we starve with her feast in our teeth? What is the strength of the compulsion that forces our slavery?”

    Thank you so much for writing to the prompt! 💝💝

  2. Make peace our feast, not war
    Happy Monday


  3. This gave me shivers! So creepy–more so because I can imagine people like this.

    • Yeah, it started out purely sci-fi/maybe thinking of ants, but I was really struck by how both capitalism and communism work on exactly this – the few feast while the many starve. It’s the pigs nd the farmers at the end of Animal Farm. Glad you enjoyed it

  4. This is so eerie, the image I got was the cuckoo consuming his step-siblings as a parasite… mother knows best made me shiver.

    • I quite like the idea of a cuckoo, I had ants/generic sci-fi hive-mind creatures in mind as I wrote it, but the image of a cuckoo puts it in a different perspective. Thanks for the comment

  5. ANIMAL FARM yes, with a pinch of 1984 and a few flakes from Philip K. Dick for sure. Dystopian, Fascist, Populist and so much more, as Mother Courage leapfrogs Brecht and pushes aside Mussolini. Loved it.

    • I’ll quite happily be put in a list of those authors, I probably don’t quite belong there, but I’ll still take it. Thanks for the kind comment, glad you enjoyed it

  6. I very much enjoyed your story. I like the idea that one of the drones questioned why things are the way they are, even if weren’t able to resist for long. I also thought of “Blade Runner 2049.”

    • I’ve got to admit, I’ve not watched Blade Runner 2049, but I am a fan of the original, and Philip K Dick is a fantastic writer (although again, I’ve never actually read “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”). Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for the comment

  7. Of the post I’ve read, this one did one of the best jobs of incorporating the quote. Normally it sticks out in a jarring way, I almost didn’t notice it here. Nice work.

  8. I like your evocation of ‘the hive mind’ here – rather chilling!

  9. I really like the circularity of this piece, the repetition, and the ambiguity of these hungry creatures in the nest, rending flesh. It is darkly dystopian, and I wonder if they are humans of the future. ‘Mother knows best’ is so creepy!

    • I’m not really sure what the creatures are. Are they the humans of the future? Are they us now? Are they aliens (admittedly I had the “Zerg” from the starcraft games in mind as I came up with the idea)? Or are they just ants, or bees?
      Yeah, I was quite happy with that line. Glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for the comment

  10. Dark and disturbing – I read this as xenofiction. The last line gave me the chills (well, all of it did!). Brilliant.

    • Yeah, I had the image of the Zerg from StarCraft when I first started with the idea, but it does work unnervingly well as a piece of social critique. Glad you enjoyed it

  11. That voice of loving command made me shiver. Like how you managed to write something that’s both sci-fi and social commentary at the same time.

    • It is an aspect I love of (well written) sci-fi or fantasy that you can be given both a piece of escapism, but a social critique of now at the same time (Philip K Dick is a good example that has been mentioned a few times). Thanks for the comment

  12. Simply beautiful … like you, I found myself asking/pondering more questions.

  13. This is compelling. The hive mind here gives Orwellian feels. I really like how you used the prompt poem line. I read read right past it and had to look again to find it integrated so well with it. Nicely done!

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