This story grew out of my lifelong dislike of wasps.
I’ve never had anything against honeybees, bumblebees, spiders, or snakes. But I’ve always loathed wasps. Every summer, I head to Home Depot, where I stock up on Spectracide Wasp and Hornet Killer. Any wasps that build nests in the eaves or crannies of my house are dead, no questions asked
There is a German proverb (which appears in the story that follows): “God made the bee, but the devil made the wasp.” This pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter. There is something about wasps that seems sinister, knowing, and yes, vaguely diabolic. I can’t prove it, but I’ve seen wasps flee when I have a can of wasp killer spray in my hand, only to return boldly when I’ve left the can in my garage.
Earlier this year I was walking around outside and a wasp flew down my shirt. It stung me several times before I knew what was going on. I opened the front of my shirt and saw it right there, just below my collar. The thing looked me in the eye and seemed to say, “that was for my brothers, all the ones you’ve killed”. I ripped off the shirt and stomped the wasp into the sidewalk. Revenge is sweet.
This is a story about a thirty-something everyman named Leo who faces his wasps that have supernatural powers.
As some past readers of this story have pointed out, Leo is a bit of a sad sack, maybe even a wimp. That’s a fair enough criticism. But as you’ll see in the story, sometimes even wimps reach their breaking points.