Jewel Beetle

He pulled a transparent pill pod out of his breast pocket. The jewel beetle radiated the morning sun in gleaming blue-green, cobalt, gold, platinum, shots of flame.

Took him to brushing Gail’s hair on his deck in the sun, satin in his hands, the prismatic strands blond, chestnut, mahogany, auburn, new copper, dark copper, burnt orange, dark red. Running it through his fingers, the rush of light refraction, singing to her in a trance with the shushing of the Pacific on the beach below. No doubt that’s when she decided to move in.

The beetle looked like armored plates assembled by tiny engineers. Its underside was smooth, colorful, articulated: titanium armor. It didn’t seem like something from nature, more like the subject of a gee-whiz science-channel show, a robot designed to deploy surveillance or diagnostic nanoprobes.

He jumped when the phone rang. His home phone rang even less than the shop’s. Gail used her cell. He picked up the receiver, a heavy thing from the ’40s.

Copyright Bat Hughes 2013. All rights reserved. Protected by Copyscape.

Buprestidae by Gail Hampshire

Further Reading:

Field Guide to Beetles of California, The University of California Press

Arthur V. Evans (Author), James N. Hogue (Author)

“With perhaps 8,000 different species, beetles are easily the largest group of animals in California and can be found virtually everywhere in the state. They grapple over flower heads, lurk in pantries, paddle through pristine mountain streams, amble over dunes, and buzz about porch lights on warm evenings. But until now, there was no single resource for identifying the most commonly encountered beetles in California’s mountains, valleys, and deserts.”

I have no financial or other connection with the University of California Press. This is simply a resource for readers who might be interested in learning more about jewel beetles.


I write speculative fiction, science fiction, horror, fantasy, cross-genre, unclassified, non-fiction, scripts, poetry and dreams. I'm branching out into multimedia projects. My Vampire Madam series is available on Amazon. The first episode is Animals of London. My work has appeared in anthologies, literary journals, newspapers and on websites under a trio of pen names. I made my first sale to the Pan Book of Horror: Dark Voices series.

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