Carter Higgins had never liked insects. They were disgusting, vile creatures that gave him a weird feeling. Whenever he saw, heard or even thought of an insect, his hairs would stand on end. The insect he despised the most however, was the cicada. He didn't like the way they looked. He didn't like the way they gathered together. He especially didn't like the sounds they made.
But what Carter never knew about cicadas was that he had a particularly large brood of them living beneath his floorboards. And so, summer began. Everything went on smoothly for Carter. He had been living in this house for nearly eight years and he had just finished improving his garden. It wasn't a very big garden, but with the help of his neighbor, James, Carter had managed to make it look like a miniature nature reserve.
It was fun aside from dealing with an ant mound and having to remove a spider nest. Although spiders weren't insects, Carter didn't enjoy their company much either, so he ended up letting James deal with the spider nest while he began planting flowers. Now, it was a summer afternoon and Carter spent some time in the garden, sitting on a bench. Every now and then a bee or fly came around and caused Carter to feel uncomfortable. He decided to draw the line when a fly landed on his arm.
After going back inside, Carter slumped down onto an armchair, wiping the sweat off of his face. It wasn't long before he got himself a glass of water but when he did, he thought he heard something. Almost like a buzzing sound or maybe the chirps of a cricket. He couldn't make out where the noise was coming from but suddenly, it got louder. Louder, louder, even louder. He covered his ears as the sound became deafening; filling the entire house. His head throbbed, his ears pounded and he tumbled onto the floor.
Rubbing his head, Carter got to his knees and looked around, trying to find the source of this horrible racket. He stood up, reaching into his pocket for his phone as he left the room; heading to the front door. At this point, it felt like his ears were bleeding. He walked outside only for the noise to get louder. Then, he saw it. There were cicadas on every tree in sight. Not grouped together, but instead, vastly spread out.
Carter mumbled something angrily before punching in the number for the local exterminator. As soon as he heard the ringtone, he dropped his phone and once again covered his ears. It felt like someone was blaring sirens right next to his ears. His vision blurred as he fumbled to get his phone. Suddenly, Carter felt something on his hand. He could just about make out the shape of a cicada sitting on his hand.
Furiously, he slammed his other hand down on the cicada but it flew away before his fist could land and he hit his own hand. Screaming in pain and anger, Carter pulled himself to his feet and ran back inside the house. He slammed the door shut and ran to the living room. The sound only seemed to get louder though and Carter couldn't take it. He shouted in fury before dropping to the floor, hands holding his head tightly.
Then he heard another sound. The sound of something pounding against wood. Carter opened his eyes and looked on the floor in front of him, his face turning pale as he sees the shape of a cicada trying to break through the floor. Then another one appeared. And another. All around him, cicadas were trying to burst out of the floorboards, all the while he screamed and shouted.
Soon enough, he heard a pop. Then nothing. He looked around, his eyes full of tears. The cicadas had escaped from beneath the floor. Carter lifted one hand up to his ear and pulled it back, seeing a crimson liquid on his shaky fingertips. He screamed some more but couldn't hear it. He couldn't hear anything. Eventually, he blacked out.