Attack of the Killer Yellow Jacket
It’s October – time for my yearly scary story. In years past, I’ve written stories that were purely fictional. I’ve written about getting lost in a cave of temptations, as well as a Frankensteined Abraham Lincoln. I’ve written stories based on dreams about children’s TV shows, or about daydreams I’ve had about work. But all of these stories thus far have been fiction, even if they’ve been inspired by real-life events. This year, however, this year is different. This nightmarish account actually happened to me. So, without further adieu, I boring you Attack of the Killer Yellow Jacket.
It was my senior year of high school. The group I hung out with liked to eat outside in Wilson High’s courtyard. Directly adjacent to the cafeteria, the courtyard sported several grassy spots to sit, surrounded by rose bushes. A perfect spot to catch some fresh air, and a perfect spot for bees of all shapes and sizes to congregate. We had honeybees, and bumblebees plenty in the courtyard. We also had the dreaded yellowjacket.
I had no fear of yellowjackets – no fear at all. They may buzz me as I bite my sandwich, but I didn’t seem to care. In fact, I would egg the striped murder bugs on! I would bat at them, throw rocks at them. Sometimes I would even throw a heavy math textbook onto a flying yellowjacket. Smash! As the book hit the pavement, so ended the yellowjacket’s life. I didn’t care – I was the yellow jacket assassin of Wilson’s mod 14!
To this day, I believe my cruelty to yellow jackets put me on some sort of watchlist. The yellow jackets knew I was an enemy. If I had been kind, or even neutral to the yellow jackets of Wilson, I probably would not be writing this story today.
It had been four years since the great slaughter of the yellow jacket species by my hands and math books. My antics had probably been forgotten by my peers, but I know the yellow jacket community remembered. They had me on their list, in case my terror struck again. If I ever struck again, there would be hell to pay.
My grandma suffered from dementia and we had to move her into a care facility. Thus her house sat empty. Well, empty of any people that is. For her house was far from empty. Her garage was full of stuff, full of possessions she and my grandfather had acquired over the decades.
One day, my dad and I were dealing with a mound of newspapers that had found their way onto the lawn. Pile by pile, stack by stack, we slowly widdled the newspaper mountain down to a modest hill. As I grabbed a stack and headed to a borrowed truck, I hear my dad yell “Run!” With the stack still in my arms, I ran down the road, not even sure why not even sure where.
I heard my dad yell once again: “Drop the papers, and run!”
As I dropped the load in my arms, the distinctive sound of buzzing tickled my ears. I felt two painful stings – one on my arm, one on my neck. I had ripped off the top of a yellow jacket hive, and they were pissed.
Again, it had been four years since I had done wrong against the yellow jacket community – but disturbing their nest, that’s the worst thing I’ve ever done to any yellow jacket.
The yellow jackets needed to retaliate.
The Killer Yellow Jacket attacks!
It was a sunny August morning, and I woke up with an itch on my lip. Instinctively, I scratched and rubbed my itch, and felt what I thought was a scab – and then a burning sensation. “I must have a cold sore,” I thought in my head. Oh, but this was no cold sore.
As I pulled the supposed scab from my face and looked into my hand, I saw the corpse of a killer yellow jacket. All of a sudden, the burning made sense. That was the sensation of a yellow jacket stinging me repeatedly on my upper lip. My face immediately felt about a thousand times its normal size. I looked in the mirror, and I saw a stranger’s face. No, this was not my face – my face actually resembled the Elephant Man’s! I wish I could find the picture my mom took because the resemblance was uncanny! My cheeks, my lips – they were so swollen and so huge!
I decided to hang with my mom that day, just to make sure I was ok. She went to a friend’s house who happened to be a nurse. The friend told me to take Benadryl, ice my face, and most importantly, keep an eye on my breathing. At this point, I thought I would be ok. I was weak, oh, I felt so weak. The ice was torturous mind you, but I was tough. I could stick it out. I would be ok. That’s what I kept telling myself.
I don’t remember much more from that day, but I do remember lying on my mom’s couch. I started closing my eyes, and that’s when I realized I was not ok. My breathing! It was so hard to breathe!
On the way to the ER, I remember being so tired. I just wanted to sleep. My mom kept yelling at me to wake up. This annoyed me so much, but it’s what saved my life. I was going into anaphylactic shock.
When I got to the ER, I expected paperwork and a long wait. Instead, they rushed me behind the curtains. No waiting, and screw the paperwork. I was terrified – I’ve been to an ER a handful of times, but this was the first and only time I’ve not had to wait an obscene amount of time, see a triage nurse, and fill out insurance forms. No, they wanted to see me NOW!
When they examined me, they gave me the good news: I had an 80 percent chance of living – still, I would have been dead if I had come in an hour later.
A twenty percent chance of dying is still a little too high, and damned scary as well. Thankfully, the odds were in my favor. After they discharged me, the ER gave me drugs, lots of drugs. Nothing fun of course – the steroids were my least favorite. They made my heart race so much, I switched to decaf for the duration of my healing.
The killer yellow jacket failed the mission of course. It did not kill me, though, without medical intervention, it would have. It gave its life in vain. Or did it? Since that day, I’ve had a healthy respect for yellow jackets. I never mess with their species or any species of wasp. I leave yellowjackets alone.
To this day, I have no idea where the killer yellowjacket came from – it just appeared on my face. This is why I assume it was sent to attack me. Yellow jackets in my grandma’s yard had marked me as a target. Besides, I had already been deemed an enemy of all yellow jackets from my stupid teenage antics.
Stinging insects still test me
Last night, while sitting in a parking lot, my partner suddenly jumps out of the car. She brushes her clothes, and I see something huge drop to the ground. It was a bumblebee.
We chose to leave that bee alone in the parking lot. We even warned another person in the parking lot not to step on the bee. Part of it was kindness. I love bumblebees; they’re the gentlest of the stinging insects, but they still sting. The venom from their abdomen can still put me into anaphylactic shock.
It’s been 25 years since the attack of the killer yellow jacket. Maybe the bumblebee was a coincidence, however, I don’t think so. This was a warning. This bee was specifically sent to tell me that they are still watching. Not just yellow jackets, but wasps and bees. And if I step out of line, they’re coming for me once again!