THE JEWEL WASP IS A CRUEL WASP
Reading about wasp behaviour in Scientific American I felt the urge to write this and did in half an hour. Nasty business.
THE JEWEL WASP IS A CRUEL WASP
Three in the morning, a mist of rain turning to wet snow on the pavement of Toronto’s finest Harvey’s, open all night. WaspWoman shivered and wrapped her iridescent robe more tightly around her body. She wore dark Polaroids but peering in she was admiring her reflected garment, patched in all the colours of the rainbow and more, some ultra violets only she could see.
The twinge again. She was achingly pregnant and something had to be done. Tonight. Her dazzling iridescent patterns shone under the streetlight. A pair of women on their phones exited and gave her a dirty look. Ten minutes later the plump man she’d had her eye on waddled out.
“Looking good, honeypot,” he said in passing. He reeked of onions.
“Thank you, sir,” said WaspWoman and, catching up, kissed him hard on the back of his neck. He kept walking but slowed down, stopped, and tried to turn his head. Then he sank to his knees. And toppled.
WaspWoman rolled him over, straddled him, pulled up his head and just above his left eye socket inserted her needle tongue. With a tap she broke through the thin layer of bone into the fat jelly of his brain, tasting her way to the region in the medial forebrain bundle where the pleasure centre is located. She secreted a drop of venom, her tongue snapped back and she climbed off.
She helped him to his feet and he stood calmly. One eye was bloodshot but he watched her and smiled contentedly.
“So what’s your name?”
“Johnny, Johnny Owens.”
“I’m Jewel. Say Jewel, Johnny.”
His mouth moved and sound came out but it was not Jewel. She took his hand and led him to Jarvis Street where they stood waiting for a taxi to pass. He was still trying to say her name.
“Truck!” said Johnny Owens, proudly.
They crossed to the Allan Gardens and walked hand-in-hand behind the dry fountain. Fat wet flakes of snow were falling now. She pulled back branches and indicated the wide, shallow grave. She shook off his Maple Leafs jacket, and gestured. He obediently lowered himself in and lay on his back. He watched her lovely face approach him. Her tongue flickered into his mouth to inject a quantity of venom, a different drug that would slow his heartbeat and respiration, enabling him to stay fresh for almost three weeks without food or water.
“Eighteen days should do it,” she murmured, “ She’ll be through and out by then.”
She drew back, spat, rolled her compound eyes and replaced her dark glasses.
Johnny Owens smiled warmly as her hands now reached for him. She slapped his cheeks for fun, then inserted the fingers of both hands and stretched his jaw open as far as it would go. It stayed wide open.
She winced with pain. The twinges were closer and she had to move fast. Squatting over his head she threw back her robe and gave birth, panting, to her tiny child into his mouth. She lay back, cursing softly. Her infant’s tiny legs protruded from his mouth, as in the Goya drawing. She tickled the tiny feet and smiled to see them wrinkle. Her daughter would do well.
She laid the jacket over Johnny Owens’ face, lightly shovelled earth on the birthing grave and added leafy branches. The snow fell steadily now. She shook her head, “Fucking onions. Sorry about that, kid.”
Then she turned away, pleased, knowing that instinct would kick in within a day or two. Her child would eat the tongue first.