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Oct 13

The Insect Queen (Part 1)

Posted on Saturday, October 13, 2007 in Poems and things

Once upon a time (but more recently than you’d think), a woman lived happily with her husband and her dog.  She was so happy, in fact, that she soon found that their abundant love had created a child which grew within her.  The couple spent many hours speaking of their child and of its potential, of how lucky they were that such a wonderful thing was happening.

One day, the couple went for a walk with their dog in the woods near their house.  It was a beautiful summer day filled with wonderful smells and birdsong floating around them in a balmy zephyr.  The woman laughed with her husband while absently picking up sticks to throw for the dog which happily pounced about their feet in expectant hope.  Each time she bent down to reach for a new stick, she kept a watchful eye on her dog, for it was commonplace for such an excitable animal to knock people over with his weight and lollopy paws.  It would, after all, do her no good in her condition to find herself sprawled on the forest floor at the mercy of such an enthusiastic beast.  Her concentration was so intense, however, that she accidentally picked up something that turned out to be very untoward indeed.

In almost the same moment that she threw this piece of soggy rotten tree bark, she heard the sound.  It was an unmistakable sound that sends shivers down the spines of most ordinary folk, all sharing the same atavistic fear.  It was not benign or distant, it was an angry buzz and it was right beside her.  It was the sound of an insect intent on revenge, and there is no other insect that is better at exacting revenge than the wasp.

The very second she heard it, instead of stopping to look for its source, she ran.  She ran hard and fast, and only stopped when her breath got left behind. Given the distance she’d fled, she found it quite a shock as she bent over in recovery from her exertion to find that the angry buzz had followed her, and seemed to have doubled in volume.  She felt the stings painfully and in great detail.  Once.  Twice.  Three times.  As she tried to gather enough energy to escape, she found that not only had a wasp become entangled in her hair, but that another had satisfied its blood-lust by trapping itself in her clothing, and was laying sting after sting in her flesh, each tiny injection being intensely more painful than the last.  The wonderful blessing that is adrenaline gave her the final push to outrun these wicked insects.

As she nursed her stings a short while later while she bathed, she worried for her child, as every mother does, and prayed that her shock would escape the growing infant.  As she prayed, a magpie rested on her windowsill and watched her intently with its dark beady eyes.  Woman and bird locked gazes, and suddenly a dreadful feeling spread through her like a dark cloud covering the sun.  She knew that something had floated far from her reach which seemed to taunt her in ways she couldn’t quite understand.

That night, her dreams were filled with fearful images of magpies which seemed to be stealing her away part by part despite her pleading and terrified screams, and when she woke with a start in the depths of the night, she found that her growing bump had disappeared.

She pleaded with her husband to hear her story, she beseeched him to try to remember her pregnancy and the incident that had only occurred the day before, but to no avail.  He had forgotten, as though a spell had been cast on her house so that all of those wonderful memories and conversations had been swallowed up in a frustrating pool of nothingness.  She began to wonder if indeed she had imagined her pregnancy, and would have given in to this apparent reality if it weren’t for the steadfast connection she still felt with her infant.  She knew it was still alive, but had no idea as to how to find it.  Her belly felt empty and her mind felt full.

Bring on the comments

  1. Robert says:


    I’m going to have to pass on part 2. Herself has about 28 days to go before our first is due. And we were walking in the woods the other day but we had two dogs not one.

    I’m gonna have nightmares, I just know it!

  2. Doc says:

    RE: The Insect Queen (part I)


    I presume, but…a lovely conceit, well penned.

    However, for future consideration?

    Adrenaline is, indeed, a useful thing. However, in a true “fight or flightâ€? scenario, the toll is onerous – most often the individual will retch uncontrollably after the danger has passed. I speak from experience here, as well as what I was taught and have seen.

    Thus, your heroine would have spent a period of time prone on the ground, ridding her system of the excess adrenaline and… – it would have played nicely, is my guess.

    Again, I presume.


    p.s. I look forward to reading Part 2

    p.p.s. I would have sent this Private Post but you don’t seem to have an e-mail addy – my bad.

  3. Brianf says:

    No part two please. This is going to give me fuckin’ nightmares…..and that’s not an easy thing to do.
    Well, FUCK!

    Who are you? Some fuckin’ Oirish Stephen fuckin’ King-Girl?

  4. Daz says:

    Grwo up, what are you two, boys or men?

  5. K8 says:

    Robert and Brian, hope youz two aren’t stinging too much from Daz’ slaps there, mateys!!! heh heh

    Doc, cheers for that head’s up! I’ve never heard of that happening before, seriously sounds gruesome!
    This wasp thing did actually happen to me when I was up the duff. I was in the woods with TAT and two friends going for a Sunday walk and picked up a rotted bark which must have been home to a bunch of wasps because the bastards stung me 7 times, pretty much as it happens in the story here.

    The only difference was that I was screaming for the lads to help me but they kept yelling ‘JUMP IN THE POND’ and trying hard not to giggle at me. It was pretty funny in hindsight, but if this was a Marvel comic, Puppychild would be a waspish superhero by now. Maybe she still may be to come, who knows…

    All I know is that I didn’t retch, I just bitched all the way home.

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