Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Opportunist

Tammy answers the phone.

"It's time to kill," I whisper.

"I'll be right there," she answers.

I run down the stairs and turn on the outside lights. I meet Tammy, my neighbor, in front of the hornets nest in between our fences. Every time I walk down the garden path, the insects threaten my very existence.

Tammy stands armed with her peppermint and rosemary, oil-filled spray pump. I hold the flashlight. She stands above the nest; I stand below. Both of us ready to run. I point the light into the crevice.

"Ready, aim, fire."

Tammy furiously pumps as if it is a five alarm fire. She stops. We wait. Not an insect to be seen.

"It must have worked."

Earlier we had bombarded the nest, but the hornets were furious and we had to run for our lives.

"Let's try the other nest, closest to the bees."

We cautiously approach. I flash the light into the space between the steps. Two, three and then four hornets poke their sci-fi heads up, sizing the enemy.

"Ready, aim, fire." Tammy lets loose again. The little band emerges, but they aren't flying. Each one waddles away like a drunk. They disappear.

"Where did they go?" Tammy asks.

I brave enough to walk forward and investigate with my flashlight. I see movement. So quick! I move in closer. Closer. An opportunist, a spider has already seized a hornet and is circling, circling, in a frenzy, tying down its prey.

"Come watch this." Tammy moves in close. "It's fascinating."

"Nature is a cruel world."

"Tis true, and fighting nature even more so."