Thursday 5 April 2012

E is for Exoskeleton

Fun Facts. No really, they are fun!!!

1) Insects do not have internal skeletons like humans do. Instead, they have an external shell that supports and protects their bodies. This is called the exoskeleton.

2) In order to grow, an insect must shed its old exoskeleton to allow a larger insect to emerge. We call this molting.

3) After a molt the exoskeleton is soft and lacks pigmentation. In this state, the insect is vulnerable to predation and it may take several hours, even days before the exoskeleton hardens and regains its true coloration.                                

Here’s a little flash fiction (~180 words), brought to you on the fly by yours truly, blackbelt panster extraordinaire. Okay, I know this is rubbish. But today, I’m here to make you feel better about your writing.  *drum roll* …

A great pressure built inside the beast. It was alone, restless, and dangerous as it laboured for breath. The expansion inside its body grew by degrees, warping and bending the beast's hard exoskeleton. The beast could not stop the change from completing its task. The exoskeleton was an old carapace that had protected its host during many battles. But over the years it had become worn, and damaged, and a new and larger carapace was breaking free. Soon the change would be complete, but for now, the beast howled in torrents of pain and madness, fraying birds that scattered into the night. Then, a thin seam cracked open at the top of its thorax. The slit was small but relief could be heard in the stillness that followed. Expanding its body one last time, the beast pulled up through the seam and away from the old carapace. A new beast had finally emerged. On the ground lay the old empty shell, translucent and hollow like a ghost. The beast would admire its new exoskeleton another day. Now, with the pain alleviated, the beast rested.


  1. I never thought I'd read flash fiction about insects but you make it delightful to read. Looking forward to tomorrow.

    1. Thanks Sally! I never thought I'd write flash fiction about insects for an entire month either! You all are brave to put up with me. (:

  2. I loved the FF! And this statement: "In order to grow, an insect must shed its old exoskeleton to allow a larger insect to emerge. We call this molting." That's kinda like being a good writer, now? Great post.

    1. OMG you're right! A good writer is nothing but an INSECT! :D We should post about this!

  3. The word exoskeleton took me back to high school biology...
    I like the POV of your piece... the reader experiences the process from an emotional angle... that's a smart move!

    1. Thanks Michelle. I'm playing around with different POVs at the moment. This one was fun. (:

  4. As always, I'd love to read more! (And not just more of the fiction, more of your fun facts too lol) :-)

  5. That's a great excerpt about the beast. I kind of wonder if the thing that has hatched is somehow malevolent...or if it is a nice beast.

    I stepped on a tarantula once. It crunched. There's something creepy about a spider so large that it crunches. Damned exoskeletons lol

  6. Fabulous flash fiction! I have never been so entranced by reading about exoskeletons. Bravo!

  7. Stacey: Thanks you for stopping by. Glad you like the post! (:

    Michael: In some places you would have trampled someone's meal. And tropical roaches crunch too. It's a b**** to clean out of shoe treads. Oh, and the beast is bad in a good way. (;

    The Sarcasm Goddess at her finest! Thanks! :D

  8. You know, I sort of forgot that insects have exoskeletons. The first thing that would have come to my mind before you post would have been something science-fiction related :)


Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!
Comments are the best. Well, the nice ones are. (:
I do my best to reply to everyone either via e-mail,
directly in the comment box or by leaving a comment
on your site. Chat with you soon!

Also, not interested in your spam. Really, I'm not interested.

J'écris, donc je suis (:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...