No pitch! My writing group just challenged me to write a "humorous story." Well, don't know if it's humorous, but
here it is.
Wilfred thought it was a little odd when his neighbor turned into a giant cockroach, but he didn't really start to get nervous until his mother became a housefly while she was taking out the garbage.
It wasn't that Gregor's transformation wasn't a big deal, it was just that it seemed so...meaningful. A poignant, if surreal commentary on man's inhumanity to man, the cruelty of the everyday, and the general ickiness of things with six legs. But by the time that Wilfred woke up from his afternoon nap to find that his prize Pomeranian, Deitrich, had turned into a 3 foot long earthworm, the novelty had definitely worn off.
At first it was just inconvenient; mail coming late because the postman had become a pillbug, heaping wads of garbage all over the sidewalks, and his housefly mother bouncing buzzily off the walls and plodding pell mell fly feet all over the Spatzle. Never knowing who would turn into a spider or a moth when you turned your back made it really hard to plan a dinner party. It took Wilfred four hours at the library just to figure out what a giant moth would want for an aperitif.
Some people took the change better than others. His customers found Hugh the baker as a large slug, frothed to a fine salty fizz in a desperate act of molluscan suicide. It was very messy. On the other hand Gerta, the town notary, seemed, as far as anyone could tell, very happy to have changed from a three hundred bound bureaucrat into a fifty pound monarch butterfly, with a flamboyant 20 foot wingspan, and six seductively slim legs. She spent all day flitting around the Schwartz's flower garden. Old Man Lupke turned into a four foot long cicada, but no one noticed for weeks. He seemed to be taking it in stride himself, spending all day in the rocking chair on his front stoop just like he had when he'd been pinkish and wrinkled instead of blacky-green and shiny.
Pretty soon the insect people outnumbered the people people. Once it reached the tipping point, things started to change. Being an insect was all the rage, and even the folks who hadn't metamorphosed were aping the act, wearing antennae made of pipe cleaners, and wax paper shells. Spitting on your food was cool, and all the kids were speaking in buzzes and clicks.
Wilfred kept waiting his turn, but it just didn't happen.
He dreamt longingly of waking up to find himself with a shiny new carapace and a fully functional sextuplet of legs. He craved an extendable tongue, and taste-buds on his feet. He was desperately jealous of a seamless exoskeleton (what was the point of having your bones on the INSIDE, where no one could appreciate them). He started locking himself in his room because he was embarrassed to go outside so...bipedally. What would the neighbors think? Why was he the only one not good enough for the arthropod life?
And of course, he started to feel guilty for the burden that he put on his family. Not long after his mother had turned into a housefly, his father had become a snail, and his sister had turned into a free-floating mosquito larvae while taking a dip in the public pool. Wilfred had stocked up a large supply of cow blood for when she was done pupating, but he still felt awkward and unappreciated. Every dinner his mother and father feasted on week old cabbage, egg shells, greasy green pork left in the backyard overnight, and other succulent insectile treats. Wilfred had weinerschnitzle, and felt left out.
He couldn't tell because of the compound eyes, but he felt strongly that they were all staring at him whenever he left the house. It was embarassing. Humiliating. Eventually, he locked himself in his room and stayed there. No one came to check on him, and he slowly got thinner and thinner and weaker and weaker, but he didn't care. What was the point of caring? He spent all day, staring out the window looking at the world buzzing and flying and creeping and crawling out there without him, and he felt bad about himself. By the time his sister finally found him, shriveled up into a dessicated husk beneath his yellowing sheets, there wasn't anything left of interest for her.
She took her well-shaped wings, and her big beautiful sharp shiny proboscis, and went looking for more interesting things to play with.