Based on my list item “The Wasps” for Inspiration Monday: Bradbury Edition.
We don’t know how long he sat there paralyzed.
We were happily occupied with our ham and cheese as we laughed at the ducks. By the time someone noticed him, he was already covered. His hand was raised, pointing at something; his mouth slightly open, about to speak. They crawled over his face, his shoulders, one on the pointing finger. An angry red color, their wings and legs and tapered abdomens made them look like sharp clumps of spikes dotted over his skin and clothes, crawling across his cheek, buzzing around his head.
His sandwich, in the hand that wasn’t pointing, was thick with them.
Someone screamed; someone else quieted her. Some people started making suggestions. Pour water on him; just wait for them to leave on their own; close your mouth for heaven’s sake.
But the real question no one was asking, was why had they chosen him—him and none of us?
They must have left eventually, flown away and let him be, but I don’t remember. I don’t remember how we got them off of him. Perhaps because we never did. Perhaps because they came for us. Perhaps because now we, too, are covered in needle legs and paperthin wings, paralyzed, afraid to move, no longer living but dreaming our lives. Maybe the whole world is covered in things that might sting, if we move the wrong way, say the wrong thing. And the barest flinch may either kill us or set us free.
SPONSORED BY EPI-PEN. LIVE LIFE EPICALLY.
So obviously this wasn’t actually sponsored by Epi-Pen; it just occurred to me as a funny, Welcome-to-Night-Vale-ian ending. The whole first half is based on a real memory I have of turning to see my cousin covered in red wasps at a picnic, afraid to move.