Beautiful creature of destruction; you are the embodiment of majesty and grandeur darting through the air; humming past in the blink of an eye, stunning your prey into a shock of paralytic fear; engaged always in aerial combat with the currents that fight your forward progress; rising, dropping, jerking, zipping.

Always seeking…

What is it you seek on those elegant gossamer wings? Perhaps the next meal that awaits you… What else would a voracious thing such as yourself desire? You, with your crushing mandibles and gnashing teeth, so willing to consume all that cross your path and thereafter, your gullet. A beast of miniscule proportion whose lust to sate itself knows no bounds – respects no boundaries.

The patter of rain does not deter you from the hunt – your need for nourishment is all consuming; it’s all your disjointed body knows. The repeated pumping of your clasping organ seeking purchase as it curves downward to secure a hold in this new and foreign terrain. Your legs spread so delicately, laid wide ever so gently, in this most opportunistic of places. Large bead like eyes of gleaming blackness adapted for spotting the smallest of morsels passing by whilst you suckle on nature’s other offerings.

You have at last found a worthy feeding ground amongst the thin grasses of this murky bank. This piece of drift offers a perch from which you may indulge your glutinous greed. You seek a place to hide, a place of recess from which you may ambush unsuspecting prey.

Cloaked by stealth and the hush of your own inner stillness, you await what tasty treat flicks past seeking a safety all its own whilst knowing not that you are now the monstrous dark occupant which all others must fear in this previously safe harbor.

~ Nina D’Arcangela

© Copyright 2012 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.

19 thoughts on “Odonates

  1. Nina, I just love and admire your ability to take something seemingly trivial…in this case an insect, if I dare venture a guess, perhaps a dragonfly type of creature…and spin it into a monstrously wonderful reflection.

    In so few words, you manage to bring me into this creature’s world and hold me captive. So much magic in your telling; always you capture the beauty in what is otherwise overlooked or shunned.

    Beautiful prose. I loved it! Thank you for sharing, Nina!!


    1. Thanks Joe! I seem to work best in a tight corner, and this one was a 300 word challenge, no more, no less. The restriction forces me to push harder, and the end result is ( I believe) better for it.

      I love dragonflies, so this was a ‘must write’ for me. I can’t help but admire their misunderstood ferocity… Beautiful creatures that seem so harmless to us, but are absolute terrors in the insect world. They are magnificent.

      Thank you for the compliments!!! :}


  2. Bitchin’ work Nina. Carnivorous terrors of the bug world. This piece, in and of itself is fantastic. But when experienced shortly after the delightfully gruesome “Testing”, it shows how many powerful literary cogs you have at your disposal.

    You are truly a Dark Angel.

    On another note, I will be heading out of country shortly to a place that is full of Odonata, and this prose has me itching to watch the carnage.


    1. Thank you Zack! This piece is near and dear to me. Not only do I absolutely adore dragonflies, but this was the first comparative flash piece I wrote, and I’m extremely pleased with how it evolved.

      Dragonflies are voracious eaters, and fairly indiscriminate as to whom they consume in the bug world (love that about them). They buz people, and everyone thinks ‘Oh, look it’s a dragonfly. How pretty.’ – if only they knew…

      Thank you for the kind words, and for commenting on my range as a writer – that’s very important to me – I don’t want to be a one trick pony! We never post back to back on Pen of the Damned, this was a rarity, and I’m glad to know that neither piece (as differing as they are) was a disappointment to you.

      You’ll have to let me know how your trip amongst the Odonata goes, and if you have any success with the little experiment we spoke of! I’m eager to know how that goes for you if the chance presents itself! ;}


        1. … or maybe you won’t! Then I’ll have another story to write – Zack-san Becoming!! (I like it… Dibs! LOL)

          Thank you again for the kind words! Kindness should never go unappreciated, and a proper (ahem) lady would be capable of nothing less! ;}


  3. A beautifully-realised description of the dragonfly, Nina, and an excellent example of dark, majestic writing. You highlight the alien nature of the insect while simultaneously conveying its base, natural drives, as a creature that must hunt and eat to survive.


    1. Thomas, thank you! This piece ‘sung’ to me in about a half hour. It was waiting to be written, waiting for me to tell the world about the magnificent dragonfly that I hold so dear. I’m elated to know that I was able to convey it’s beauty and it’s base need for survival in one piece. It describes a merciless hunter in all its majestic glory. I’m glad you liked it, Thomas!! ;}


  4. you did a fantastic job of luring the reader in a little too close for comfort to observe the beauty if this winged predator. Hmm we all could be possibilities for the next meal…


    1. Thank you, Leslie! Any good flash should evoke immediate emotion; tension, empathy, fear, compassion. I’m particularly pleased with this one. I admire and adore dragonflies – they are beauty that isn’t what it seems, but has no shame for it. As many as I’ve had perch on me over the years, I’ve never once been ‘stuck’ or ‘nibbled’… I suppose I don’t seem a tasty treat to them! LOL


  5. What a journey! Your prose and perspective were engaging and I love the dark undertones. Reading this was a bit ironic since I just watched FaceOff last night and they were making designs from insects. Well done, Nina!


    1. Thank you, Tyr, so much for the praise! I love this small piece. I love the way it conveys (to me anyway) the ferocious nature of such an elegant creature. If you haven’t read the comments above, I’ll admit to having an extreme fascination with dragonflies, and this piece (as writers are apt to say) wrote itself. One glance at the photo that inspired it, and I knew every word… Wonderful when that happens! 🙂


  6. D’Arc Nina of Angela-ville *toothy grin*,

    What can I say about your prose that hasn’t already been said. You have such a darkly poetic quality to your work that the words and emotions seem to intertwine and jump from the page. I do very much enjoy reading your pieces because never do they fail to provide a unique insight into the beautiful darkness I know exists behind the walls of your kind heart.

    This piece is no different. It’s lush in its visuals and, as always, I can see your ‘beast’ circling in the ‘skies’ above spinning ever downward toward its prey; while also feeling the tension of scene as it glides ever downward to ‘consume’ its meal, while your readers are made to feel like the most insignificant of creatures trapped in an over-sized world.


    1. You may certainly say anything you’d like! Your appreciation and comments are always greatly coveted and considered. I’m glad I was able to convey what I saw in my own mind in the words chosen to write this piece, particularly knowing what a master of the craft you are yourself.

      Voracious is undoubtedly a state of mind, not size. The tiniest bite in our world may very well be colossal in another. I know, I killed Gandhi with a towel once – it’s a long story…

      Thank you as always, your gracious acceptance and like for my writing is something I hold dear, my Wulven friend… or perhaps I should bend a knee and say m’lord! 😉


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