Frigg | Spring/Summer 2023 | Life Cycles | Zebulon Huset
Life Cycles Zebulon Huset
They ate rat and hare, root and seed and cambium sandwiched between hard bark and phloem, skin and arboreal vasculature. They ate grasshoppers and beetles and crickets, and every 17 years—long enough to only strike twice in the average villager’s life save for the eldest and the most unfortunate—the people feasted on a bounty of cicadas which emerged from their dormant state for one purpose: to mate. The people waited until the bats returned to gorge on the post-mated insects (who promptly die after depositing their fertilized eggs). Harvested before then, they learned in the generations now known as Rib Cages, and the cicadas had no time to lay their eggs and the devastation will be suffered not by the feasters, but their children. Flour was made as the carapaces and guts and every bit was edible. Ground finely and mixed with water and whatever herbs are currently most plentiful—rosemary, dandelion roots—sometimes even slow-soaked and ground acorns fortified the bread. The flour, properly stored, would last through the winter and late that summer, after ages of dark nights stuck indoors with little to do, a new brood of villagers was born and grew strong on an abundance of nutrients in their mothers’ milk. The strength of those lucky generations knotted the community so tightly their folklore told it would never unravel. They hadn’t foreseen aliens in enormous ships. Broad white triangles which harvested the wind like the hand of God.