He sat cross legged on the patio. It was hot and he could feel the sun on his back through his shirt. He held a magnifying glass, which he was angling carefully, trapping ants within the heat of the magnified light, burning them and making their insides bubble. He was mesmerised.
He hadn’t done this since he was a child. He hadn’t even thought about it. There had been something about the light of this bright day, the way the garden had looked from his study window that stirred the memory from wherever it had been sleeping.
As a child he had purely been fascinated at the power of the sun and the way that he could borrow it. Now he felt guilt too. The ants weren’t causing him much trouble. Not enough to deserve being burnt alive. He still carried on, however. And the ants kept coming from between the sandy cracks in the pavement. They were unaware of the fate of their friends.
The sun soon took its toll upon his head. It felt as if someone had been holding a magnifying glass above him, as he had above the ants. He stood up too quickly, almost blacking out. He had to wait for the dizziness to pass. When he had recovered he went back indoors. Instead of returning to the study he went to the kitchen. There he placed the magnifying glass on the side and took a can of beer from the fridge. He took it into the living room, where he sat on the sofa. He opened the beer and gulped it down. He soon drifted off into a light doze, the sort he’d wake up from in half an hour or so with a bit of a headache and a dry mouth. Outside, the sun kept shining on the little dark specks that were once ants, their corpses dotted across the patio.