12:00

The bathroom light goes off at the appointed load-shedding hour, throwing the whole ghussal khana into pitch black darkness. Somewhere outside, a lonely cricket chirps.

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Shakira turns around in alarm, ‘Why are we leaving the GK?’ she asks Mak who refuses to answer as they fly out.

‘Mak!!!!’

‘You’ve gotta trust me on this one baby, things are about to go down, which you just don’t wanna know, he says. ‘Now let’s go there’s no time, I promise I’ll tell you all about it later’.

Shakira hesitates momentarily and looks back at the towel stand longingly and then clasping Mak’s outstretched hand, they both fly out through the window.

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A sleek and dark figure quietly moves across the wall, Spindle does not even turn to look, he already knows its Lazarraf, and ‘What do you want?’ he asks gruffly.

‘Is that how you welcome a friend mate?’ Lazarraf feigns hurt.

‘I’m NOT your mate!!’ spindle spins around angrily, ‘at least not any more’ he reproaches himself for letting Lazarraf get to him.

Lazarraf refuses to get bogged down by past enmities, ‘It’s time to revive the “big three” mate, it’s time to purify our homeland from the corrupt practices of this ragtag bunch of no-good despots, the situation is ripe, let’s go out just like we came in, with a bang!’, says Lazarraf, always the commando.

Spindle laughs hoarsely; it is an eerie sound that sends shivers down Lazarraf’s newly grown tail.

‘It’s all over for us, old friend, the times are changing, you and I, we are the last remnants of a time when these creeping, crawling insects knew their places, too much authority too fast has ruined them, there were peace and justice in our time, but now?’ Spindle shakes his head. Lazarraf now knows he’s got him; he pulls out his ace of spades.

‘But it can be just like old times mate, Bruno’s back!’, he waits, Spindle jerks his head up, Lazarraf grins, ‘yes old friend, he is back, and it’s all going to come back tonight’, he comes closer and whispers into Spindle’s ear who smiles for the first time in a long time.

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12:05

Outside the window, the commandos are preparing for the assault. General Choonti moves up and down the columns, checking each soldier’s battle gear, ‘All right men, get in positions!!’ he barks.

Millions of red ants strap themselves on the legs and backs of the fireflies as the long convoy begins to move inside the ghussal khana. Bruno the bumblebee flies around outside the window expectantly, General Choonti pats him as he marches on with his troops, ‘Soon’ he says.

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A large crowd of insects has gathered in front of the toilet seat. The first few rows are occupied by the KKK party workers and important figures in the ministry. There is a hush as Gilly and Remi step up and announce the arrival of Bulgari.

Ever the showman, Bulgari enters, accompanied by a cacophony of sounds and chirps led by a specially flown in music quartet of crickets and roaches.

Bulgari bows extravagantly and then raises his hands; the audience hushes instantly, ‘Insects! all flying crawling and creeping brothers of the Kaumi Keera Kommittee! Welcome!!’ there is a thunderous applause with a smattering of boos and jeers too.

Bulgari is oblivious to it all, as he continues, ‘I welcome you all to this August meeting where we celebrate our second week in power as a truly democratic force. But I know some of you have differences, and I agree mistakes have been made, I promise to address all those issues tonight, but first, let us empty our minds of all the problems, and let’s enjoy, I give to you, the fireflies!!!!’

There is another round of claps, as the fireflies make their way in front of the crowd, there is some murmuring in the crowd, then somebody shouts, ‘it’s the commandos!!!’

For once in his life, Bulgari is caught unaware; he rushes forward and witnesses to his horror, a sea of red ants annihilating the crowd. Suddenly, directly overhead, he hears a cry of GERONIMO!! As a big leathery thing crashes on top of him, Bulgari has his wind knocked out by Lazarraf’s suicide attack, and then he hears Spindle shout hoarsely from somewhere close by, ‘Long live the revolution!!!’

The last thing Bulgari remembers seeing is the silhouette of a bee in the window, caught against the backdrop of the moonlight.

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