One Bug, Two Bug...
a Bug's Life fanfic
by C. "Sparky" Read
"What were you morons doing out there?" wailed P.T. "You looked completely idiotic!"
Slim eyed P.T. evenly as he, Francis, and Heimlich stepped behind the curtain. "We were trying to look idiotic. It is what we do."
The flea just shook his head in disgust. "Gypsy!" he shouted over his shoulder as the clowns retreated towards their dressing pinbox. "You and Manny get out there, now! We're losing the audience!"
In the stands, the paltry crowd of seven yawned and threw popcorn bits at one another.
"P.T.!" said Rosie urgently, running up to her ringmaster.
P.T. regarded the black widow with annoyance. "Where's that overacting mantis hiding?" he demanded. "I need both of them - "
"P.T.," repeated Rosie, flustered, "Manny can't...perform tonight."
The flea boggled, horrorstruck. "No!" he cried at last, putting his hands to the sides of his head as if to keep it from exploding. "He can't do that to me! We're dying as it is! What's the problem?"
Rosie shook her head sadly. "He can't find a prop," she explained.
"A prop?" roared the flea indignantly. "Can't he substitute? What exactly did he lose, for crying out loud?"
P.T. blinked. "How - no wait, never mind, I don't want to hear it. Okay, fine - you and Dim, out there, now!"
"But P.T.!" cried Rosie, "we've already been out there tonight! We were the opening act!"
"Then get out there again!"
"But - "
P.T. covered his face with his hands and all but wept. "...Disaster!" he moaned. "Not enough acts...Need to give the audience more - "
He stopped upon hearing the boos begin in the audience. Although he was afraid to look, he pushed the curtain aside. Out in the ring, Rosie was having a hard time getting Dim to perform. In fact, she was having a hard time getting Dim to move at all. She was behind the big beetle, putting all her weight against him, but he wouldn't budge. Apparently, Dim felt his duty was done for the night and would give no more. P.T. let the curtain fall back into place and lit a cigar. Things had to change. And before the next show.
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
"All right, see, what I'm thinking is, the audience wants danger. They want deathdefying. They want bugs who are willing to put their very lives on the line in order to make this lousy circus a measly buck."
P.T.'s performers looked back at him as if he had gone insane. "Have you gone insane?" Francis went ahead and asked, for clarification.
The flea chomped on his cigar resolutely. "Maybe," he replied. "You want the long and short of it? Okay, here it is," he continued before anyone could answer. "This show is in trouble. We need another act, and we need it now. Now, either one of you clowns learns to breathe fire - " Francis, Slim and Heimlich balked - "or we find ourselves a new, daredevil act."
"But P.T.," interrupted Gypsy (who had been found locked in one of Manny's matchbox trunks), "won't we need to hire a talent scout?"
The flea waved his cigar dismissively at the moth. "No time, no money," he told her. "We gotta do this ourselves. Now get out there and find me an act." And with that he sprang out of sight to try once again to balance the circus budget. "...A cheap act!" his voice drifted back to the assembly.
Rosie threw her hands in the air. "What does he expect?" she demanded. "That a new act will just fall out of the sky into our laps?"
Everyone paused a moment, waiting to see if that might actually happen. But it didn't.
"All right then," spoke Manny, standing up. "This may take some time. We may as well begin now."
"But where?" implored Slim. "Where do we begin?"
"There?" suggested Dim, gesturing towards the marketplace with a foreleg.
"Sounds good to me," piped up Heimlich, who knew perfectly well there were numerous food vendors in the marketplace.
"Yeah," agreed Francis in disgust. "Let's get this show on the road before it goes belly-up."