Hornet’s Nest

by Matthew Dexter

The black hornets were enormous, like her stomach, hovering just above the railing. One was more curious than the other. There only used to be one. Now a new one. Fluttering up and down, wings flapping, wondering whether to open the door and risk being stung. Whose house is this? Who lives here?

“You’re home.”

I knew there was a nest underneath the roof, but presumed it was old and besides the creatures preferred hiding in the hollow holes of the bamboo roofing. They would examine them all in a row, flapping wings, sometimes touching wood, then flying onto the next. This could continue for dozens of hollow minutes until the insect discovered the perfect place to enter, then silence and contentment and never any close encounters.

“We need to talk.”

“Go ahead.”

The curious one is in the center of the balcony watching me from where I stand inside the glass, safely behind the same window the other one often crashes into. Neither of them ever bothers me, so the decision is that I will never bother them either–unless I get stung. In that case I will unleash a toxic revenge the vile venomous extent of which will depend proportionally upon how much pain they inflicted.

The new one hovers directly above the sands of lover’s beach and land’s end at the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula. Drifting from mountaintop to the surface of the ocean, watching me and wondering why I am uncertain to get any closer.

This is its home, and I am nothing but an intrusion. An insignificant illegal immigrant living in a third world country.

“Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz,” he says.

“Bzzzzzzzz,” she answers.

I smile while they dance from parachutes of parasilers taunting me with aerial acrobatics like fairies, though much less cute and a little scary.

I wonder why I drove down this Baja California peninsula with nothing but the possessions in my car, without a care in the world, except falling in love and not getting arrested.

The one which scares me the least is busy examining the hollow cylinders. The mysterious one smashes into the other, who chases it away. This goes on for hours, as the time devours the Pacific and I can envision the reason why I am even here. There is magic where the wild winds blow and secrets in the hollow unknown prisms. We are a nation of insects and visions and vivid rhythms of sound expelled from black empty eyes as vast as the sea and time itself.

“Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.”

Why be afraid of the unknown? God lives in the ocean and nature respects you if you let it. This is a country of patience and vagrants come in all shapes and sizes.

She’s pregnant and you’re going to have a baby.

Open the door slowly and sit with your friends in the sun. They won’t bite. If they sting it’s only because you finally let them inside your hollow little world.

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Filed under Issue 2, Short Story

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