the wasps

the wasps

November 8, 2021

Went out to the treehouse
to work and write.
It’s a beautiful day outside,
and my soul specifically called for it.

I was in agreement with this idea
seeing as the hornets and wasps
were probably all gone now
due to the recent cold.


So I gathered up my things
and walked out the backdoor
strode smiling across the lawn
calmly approached the wooden steps
ascended the stairs with confidence
casually opened the screen door
and walked inside.

I was wrong. 

3 wasps. Hornets.
And one of them a Queen.

But I had no wasp spray.
So I exited the hell out of there.

“Guess I’ll have to just sit on the
back patio, instead,” I lamented.

While walking down the steps,
I spotted the 8 wasp spray cans
empty and discarded remnants
of yestermonth’s Wasp War,
sprawled out like slain soldiers
alongside the darkside of the barn
and laid upon a clumpy pile of
clothes and oddities:
winter gloves and an oversized jacket,
a rubber batman cowl and nerf goggles,
stars-and-stripes and a neckguard,
a red bandana and a cheap corona mask
to protect myself
like a crazy spheksophobic person
who fought hard in the Wasp Wars
without a beekeeper suit.

I paid my respects to these old remnants
and felt the pangs of the lost wasp war
and walked towards the back porch,
lamenting the fact that
today really is a damn good day
to do my work in the treehouse.

“Oh well.”

The King is needed.

I froze.
I intuited.
I understood.*

I set everything down,
walked back across the lawn,
past the house, out to the car
down the driveway
and onto Kroger I go

—//—

“Pardon me, ma’am,” asked the Good King,
“But where might I find the wasp spray?”

—//—



I pull back into the driveway,
walk across the back lawn,
gather my things in waiting,
and walk towards the treehouse steps.
I ascend them with weapon in hand,
and cooly approach the screen door.
I step inside.

I spot the two smaller hornets first,
over to the left. The queen was ahead in front.


The smaller ones first.
It is safer that way.


I aimed.
I fired.

Dead.
Dead.
Engulfed by a cold white
hot flame of bubbly foam.

Now the Queen.

I turned.
I aimed.
I paused.
I saw her.

I lowered my weapon.
“Look at her,” I marvelled.
“She is so beautiful.
Look how huge she is!
And her colors!”

And I did not want to kill her
and I thought if theres a way
that I could just let her live
and still be a Good King
and I knew the answer was
no.

I looked through the surrounding screen walls.
Her faithful were outside, flying, working, slaving.
This place is her newly proclaimed home.
“She’s probably nesting,” I wondered.
Looking to build…”

Exactly, came the answer. 

I looked back again at the Queen.
And I felt sadness and sorrow for her.
“I’m so sorry,” I said.

I raised.
I aimed.
I fired.

The white foam surrounded her,
engulfing her in a raging, surging sea.
And before the bubbles cleared
she arose
out from the great white depths
choking and gasping and defiant
scoffing at the forces against her
feigning her torture and overpowerment
and the searing of the burn
as she defiantly crawled away,
her stubborn gaze fixed upon
existence.

It was a sight to behold.

I looked outside.
One of her defenders was angry
slamming into the screen
over
and over
and over again
desperately trying to break in
and save her.

I knew him.
I admired him.
And I felt love for him.

And then I knew
why things are
the way things are.

I looked back at the Queen.
I hated that she was in pain.
I raised my weapon.
I aimed.

I fired.

She rose.

I fired again.
And again.
And again.

And again.

She fell to the floor
and landed on her back,
chocking and struggling.
Legs kicking, thorax raging,
now pinned down onto her side
by some stronger gathering force.

I lowered my weapon.
I walked towards her.
I kneeled down to her.

I knew her.
I understood her.

I spoke to her
I blessed her
I thanked her
and then I crushed her underneath my foot.

I turned round
approached the chair
sat down and layed my
weapon at rest.
Then I rose from that throne
and proclaimed a royal edict
delivered aloud by my mouth
and unto the wasps:


“Listen to me,” I said.
“Make no mistake:
We are not friends.
We are surely enemies. 
This place belongs to the King.
If attempt to come inside,
I will not hesitate to kill you,
and you will die.
Now go in peace.”

And the wasps outside
all heard
and understood
and left.

I set down my weapon,
and eased back the chair,
for the first time in a long time.
I fired up my laptop
and began to work.

30 minutes later. 

*Zip*

One brave little hornet.

Testing the words for himself.
Testing the faithfulness to his oath.
And angry as hell.

He went for my face.

“Poor honorable fool.”

I rise.
I aim.
I kill.

I pull the trigger and soak the poor bastard
in a great white sea of foamy poison. Dead.

“I told you,” I said.
“I will not hesitate.”

*zip – – zip*


Two more.

Dead.
Dead.

“If you come in here,” I said,
“You’ll have to fight me for it.” *

*zip — zip — zip*

3 more.
One of them a different species.
Or… a Queen?

Dead.
Dead.
Dead.

I looked around outside through the screen walls.
Several of them. Angrily flying into the screen, trying to
smash their way inside, though their Queens now be slain.  

They will not stop.
Dusk is coming.
And you will need more wasp spray

soon.

“I’m getting low on wasp spray funds,” I grumbled.

They will not stop fighting for their Queen…
Will you stop fighting for your King? 

Who will win this war? 

_____________

© Charlie Young, 2021.

[Art: Unknown]

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