Child of the Deadwood
A xenofiction that centers around a rhinoceros beetle that was captured from the wild for the sake of game and amusement. An allegory of the human condition with existential undertones, the story explores the nature of of being through a detailed scene of the protagonist in a set of competitive battle with other beetles. More
The lives of male rhinoceros beetles are all supposed to be the same--they live only for a short period to find a mate, even fight with other males for it and then die. But something happened to Benjamin Sebastian Beetle--something that makes him unique. Perhaps it has something to do with being held captive to compete in a beetle derby fight. Perhaps it has something to do with meeting a string of characters as unique as himself--a feisty mantis, a profound rhinoceros beetle, a hopeful firefly, an unwanted cockroach, a languishing spider--all contributing their own expertise, experience, and wisdom to mentor him in becoming the best gladiator there is. In the end, it was all up to Benjamin to face his greatest challenge.