Waspicide

Professor Dinkins stood in front of the senior class of 2024 lecturing on the recent history of the human species, his final discourse at Millikan High School. The classroom was dark and a slide projector lit up a screen behind him as he spoke.

“In the torrid summer of 2012, a combination of the ten year drought and record temperatures, averaging between 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit, caused the insect population to multiply exponentially.”

The professor clicked his remote and the screen displayed a swarm of bees stretched a mile wide over Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California.

“Death by bees and other insects such as spiders and ants became common enough that it was given its own term, insecthomicide, as the attacks were carried out in a premeditated manner, targeting the victim. These deaths were no longer considered accidents or acts of nature, but murder.”

The screen displayed a picture of a human body, unrecognizable as man or woman, covered by a swarm of bees. The image caused a stirring in the audience, whispers of “apoideamurder.” Another click revealed a woman covered in webbing, hundreds of spiders crawling over her, causing further commotion in the classroom and hushed sounds of “arachnodeath.”

“Murder by insect became more and more common in the second decade of the twenty second century. Teams of police to remove and annihilate the insect dissenters were developed, and swarmed infested areas with insect dissolver at the ready, taking out huge colonies of bees, ants, spiders and the like.”

A series of pictures flashed on the screen, black-uniformed men with “RAID” in white letters on their backs pointing spray canisters at anthills, spider webs and beehives. The audience buzzed with the sound of approval at the images of insect death.

“RAID was assisted in the eventual eradication of most insects by the ever-expanding population of wasps, a tentative joining of forces which became known as CALI, the Coalition Against Lesser Insects.”

The projector clicked and whirred as a picture of RAID officers and a swarm of wasps together stormed a giant anthill which had covered the seaside town of Venice, California overnight.

“Once the majority of lesser insects were eliminated through mass beenicide and other forms of insecticide, a tentative truce between human beings and wasps remained in place for many years, but soon unraveled, with incidents of wasphomicide increasing annually.”

Several pictures of dead human bodies covered in wasps flashed across the screen as the professor clicked his remote. The students began to murmur amongst themselves. More pictures followed of humans spraying huge papery wasp nests in the still of the evening and early morning hours.

“While the wasp leaders maintain 90% of wasphomicides are in self-defense, their human counterparts allege the same of waspicides. It has been an uneasy alliance at best, which brings us to today.”

The professor set the remote down and turned to the class while the images continued to flash across the screen behind him.

“The time has come, in this conflict, to choose a side. While I have tried, in my capacity as a professor, to maintain neutrality, those days of innocent belief in peace between the species are gone.”

As the lights came on, Professor Dinkins grabbed a canister of the illegal substance Waspannihilator and began to spray the classroom and his audience, which consisted of three thousand senior wasp students.

Ω

Autumn B. Humphrey has flash fiction pieces published or scheduled to be published at Blink/Ink, Flash Shot, All Things Girl, Still Crazy, Golden Visions and The Stray Branch. In her spare time she reads, writes and plays the horses.