written by Asia Fontanarosa. Asia (She/Her) is from Naples, Italy. She is a 21-year-old full-time student at UCD and has been studying English Literature and Drama for the past three years. 

I find it kind of ironic that a ladybug was going to be the last thing I’d look at before I died but I’m glad about it. I never cared much for insects but now for some reason, this little speckle of colour on a cold carpet of green kind of…calls to me. It might be the urgency of the situation, prompting me to look at the last beautiful thing I can lay eyes on before it’s too late. 

Now that I’m so close to it …I must admit, they are quite fascinating. Satisfyingly round, an encouraging shade of red, and funny polka dots. I understand now the attraction my Mom had over these little silly creatures. Our garden is covered with funky fairy statues hovering around, and little ladybugs resting on plastic leaves. 

I want to crawl closer to it and take in all the little pretty things that make it so. Unfortunately, both my legs are broken, crushed in …disgusting little pieces, I think. I don’t know. I don’t care to look. But most importantly I would not want my last pointless whim for survival to scare the ladybug away. Who else can boast about being able to enjoy the view of symbolised luck on their deathbed? Because this is what ladybugs are known for right…? I’m not sure, as I said I never cared too much about insects. But my Mom always told me that they were lucky insects and if one of these little fellas were to decide to lay on you for whatever reason…BOOM!

Blessed by fortune. I didn’t believe it, I’m not sure. But maybe she was right. I remember once, when I accidentally killed one. I didn’t do it on purpose, as I said, it was an accident. She always cared too much, over every stupid little thing. It was just a bug, in the end—another one just like it will exist. The look on her face though, made me think otherwise. I felt so bad, I got defensive. Was I going to be damned to misfortune now? I told her she was stupid for reacting that way. I did not care. It was kind of weird when I thought about the same accident years and years later. Years after my mom passed, months after my wife divorced me and took away the kids. I remember thinking…oh yeah, that’s when my life went to shit. Then, at that point, I thought I believed in the ladybug’s luck. 

When the news announced that aliens were real, I was in my dark ensuite apartment with oily hair and a cheesy shirt. I did not care for it because I knew that anyone with a sane mind would know already that aliens were a thing. When the first malevolent aliens came in contact with us, and started to play around with humans and animals alike, I did not care as long as I was safe.

Not even once I thought about my wife and kids, I hadn’t seen them in so long after all, I had kind of forgotten I even had ones to begin with! I did not get preoccupied over my friends of which I did not possess. And not even once did my mind go back to the moment I killed a ladybug.

I never once admitted to myself that maybe me killing the ladybug was not an accident after all and that maybe the look on my Mother’s face was not for nothing. It was not stupid. That maybe if I had cared a little bit more, in my life, in that moment, everything would be different. Who knows, I might not have stepped on the ladybug. My wife might not have left me, my kids would be in my arms.

And you know what? I really care about this ladybug now, I hope it grows to have a nice and happy little ladybug life. I just now realise that the look on my Mother’s face was not because of some silly little ladybug who was stepped on, but out of fear her silly little son would not grow up to care, for anyone. 

And as I crushed you little one, I am being crushed by a bigger, confusing alienated being. And maybe if they cared enough, if I did, if we did. If we cared.

I see now, me and you are just the same. If I were to be a little red spot on the smooth green skin of our mother’s face, would it give me relief to know I am not alone, and we turned the Earth red?

Image: Close to Nature by Ankita Nishant Khimesra

Ankita Khimesra (she/her) moved to Dublin from India in 2017 with her family. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant but because of her keen interest in Art she has decided to pursue a career in this field.