(27 votes, average: 1.67 out of 5)
Thanks for your vote!
Voting on this contest has closed. Thanks to all who voted!
by B Arbuckle
But Humpbuckle-On-Sea is a strange place, and August the strangest month in a very strange year.
The man, who currently stood in her doorway, rubbing his posterior, wore strange like a fine suit: tailor-made for him.
“Your wasps have gone and stung me.”
“I beg your pardon?” Emily, hand on door, was quite unsure of what the poor man was talking about.
“Your wasps have gone and stung me,” the man repeated. “What are you going to do about it?”
“I’m not convinced I follow you, Mr…?” Emily was not entirely certain she liked the look of the fellow, and was utterly positive she didn’t approve of his tone.
“Look,” the man said, his small eyes narrowing, so much that Emily thought they may disappear into his forehead. “Are you simple? Your… wasps… stung… me.” The finger, of the hand previously used for backside excoriation, now prodded Emily’s shoulder – quite rudely, she thought – emphasising each word. “You have a wasps nest in your garage, and one of the little blighters has gone and stung me. Now, what are you going to do about it?”
Emily took a deep breath and counted to three, in her head.
No, that didn’t help: not at all. If anything she was more furious, and the obnoxious little man was not only still there, but he continued to poke her.
“I’ll tell you what I will do about it,” she said, firmly taking hold of his finger and removing it from her shoulder. “I shall find out which wasp slipped its leash during this morning’s obedience class, and give it a right telling off. I have warned them not to go near anything lower on the evolutionary ladder than themselves, but you know how wasps are: wilful little ‘blighters’.”
The man pulled his finger, from her grip and took a step backward. It was his turn to look confused, anxious even.
“Then,” said Emily, starting to warm to her subject. “I will pin a little medal on its chest – do wasps have chests, I wonder – and give it the rest of the day off. I shall petition the Government to make this day a new National Bank Holiday in the name of said wasp – let’s call him Jasper – and will organise the first Wasp Parade, culminating in Jasper being crowned “King Wasp 2009.” The man stumbled on the uneven steps as he took a further step back. Emily followed, her finger now pointing at him.
“In the meantime,” she said. “I advise you to stay away from my garage and stop bothering my wasps. They find it difficult enough to concentrate on their work, as it is. Furthermore, please avoid my front door; I am currently training an army of ants in the ancient art of Jujitsu. Each is issued with a photograph of you, and instructions to bite on sight.”
Emily strode up to her front door, turning back towards the man, a sweet smile on her lips.
“Do have a lovely day,” she said. The man stood blinking in the afternoon sun, as the door swung closed.
Five minutes later, the doorbell rang again. Taking a deep breath, to help mask her anxiety, she strode to the door and flung it wide open.
“Now look here…” the words died: she was staring into the frowning face of a policeman.
“Do you mind if I come in,” he said, removing his helmet. “I’m afraid there has been a complaint.
Over a cup of tea, and a plate of homemade biscuits, Emily told the policeman (“Simon, call me Simon”) everything. When he stopped laughing, Simon told her he didn’t think any actual crime had been committed as it was not illegal to threaten someone with an imagined army of ninja ants.
“I shouldn’t really say this,” Simon said, dipping his third ginger nut into his tea. “But anyone making Darren Creaply back off deserves a bloody medal. He’s the head of the local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, so we know him very well.”
Later, at the door, Simon paused. His blue eyes avoided contact with hers. “Look, I don’t know if you are seeing anyone,” he said. “And I am not allowed to ask people out when working. But if you were in the Kings Shilling, on Saturday night, it would be nice to buy you a drink.”
Another strange day, Emily thought.
But in a good way.