Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Short Story: Buzz

Today's story may or may not have been inspired by me finding about fig wasps. Slight body horror to follow.


It was the buzzing that first attracted my attention. An angry vibration that should have served as a warning to stay away. Instead, like a fool, I sought out the source of the noise.
I crashed through the woods, pushing foliage aside as I went. The noise grew louder. I followed my ears, and then my nose as I picked up a sickly sweet stench.
When I found the source of the buzzing I wish I hadn’t.
It was a corpse, all bloated and green. The scent I’d picked up was that of decay as the poor soul’s insides rotted and turned to slime. I was almost sick.
Insects were crawling all over the body, strange wasp-like things I’d never seen before. They were everywhere, crawling in and out of the dead person’s nose, ears and eye sockets. Every orifice that I could see was filled with a mass of angry buzzing creatures, bright yellow and glistening in the dappled sunlight.
Whether they were coming or going I couldn’t tell, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.
My instincts screamed at me to get out of there, to call someone, anyone, so they could do something. But there was part of me, the part concerned with morbid curiosity, that told me to stay put. To drink my fill of the macabre sight, to memorise the sickening sounds and smells and the taste of decay on my tongue. I couldn’t move.
The pitch of the buzzing changed, and knew the insects were aware of me.
Bile rose in the back of my throat and a voice in my mind screamed at me to run.
The first insect lifted off from the corpse and flew towards me. My paralysis broke.
I ran.
The swarm came after me, a malevolent cloud of hatred and buzzing chasing me through the woods.
Suddenly I knew the sick truth; the wasps had been leaving the bloated corpse that had been their incubator. And now they were searching for a new victim, a home for their own eggs.
The first sting felt like I’d been hit in the back of the neck by a golf ball. My neck immediately went numb and I stumbled in surprise. The second sting felt exactly the same, and the third.
I couldn’t keep running.
I crashed to the forest floor, unable to keep up with the number of stings. The pain was immense, intense, followed by a seductive cool numbness that called to me. I fought it as long as I could but the will of the swarm was inevitable.
I could feel the wasps crawling over my skin but I couldn’t move my limbs to do anything about it. I wanted—needed—to scream but nothing would come out. I couldn’t open my mouth.
Panic blossomed in my chest like bile as a single wasp crawled over my chin. It was soon followed by another, and another, the delicate whisper of their legs like the rush of water.
Something nipped at my lips, sharp and bright and painful. I choked back vomit as a realised what was happening; they were chewing their way inside me.
Perhaps choking to death on my own sick wasn’t such a terrible fate after all.
I watched in growing horror as a single wasp crested my cheek and looked me in the eye. Unbidden the ruined eye sockets of the other corpse sprang to mind and I knew what was to come.
I slammed my eyes shut. My fate might be an inevitability but that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to fight it with every breath I had left.
The pressure of an unvoiced scream grew inside my chest until I thought I would explode. They were inside my nose now, my ears. Crawling around like my insides were home. My lips tasted of blood as they buzzed against my teeth. I couldn’t breathe.
The last thing I felt before I passed out was the first nip of insect jaws at my eyelids. After that the darkness was a mercy.

If you enjoyed this story feel free to purchase one of my books either here, or here. Or you can buy me a coffee here.

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