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March 13, 2023

The Wasp on the Window

A black wasp crawled up the inside pane of my hospital window. Its eyelash legs tickled languidly across the transparent forcefield, a wasp’s version of witchcraft, mystically keeping it from its home. 

The wasp crept to the pane above. No urgency, no frustration, no panic. 

Glaring, I strained against my mattress and propped my back on the pile of pillows. Why wasn’t it making an effort? Shouldn’t it be ramming its body into the glass? Stinging doctors and nurses and patients until somebody opened a door and shooed it out? 

And yet, it stayed, satisfied with the view of the first floor’s pebble-covered roof.

“You’re trapped.” I lifted my IV-laden arms, “if anyone knows, it’s me.”


The wasp ignored my mumbling, aimlessly touring yet another pane. 


A waste of potential. 


If anyone knows, it’s me.


My eyes hardened like cooled wax, my mind flashing through a haze of memories. A scrapbook of a life trapped in the day to day; content with my cubicle, my house, my easy comforts. Happy to simply be at the window.


The wasp fluttered its wings, rose briefly, and landed back on the glass. 


A futile attempt at freedom. 


If anyone knows, it’s me.

As if a TV changed channels, my mind flipped back, playing the moments when I snapped, deciding, finally, to buck the monotony. I strained against the veil of low self-esteem that held me in. But the veil stretched and kept me like a womb I could never penetrate. 

Time sped on, delivering me on the bed that is many a man’s last, society no better for having known me. I fought to remember something, anything, exciting, or even traumatic, but the blurry remnants of an eggshell-colored existence were all that floated to the surface.

Straining my vocal cords, I pleaded. “Get out. Get out and live.” 

The wasp remained, crawling, slow as a snail.


Tears fell. My vision warped. A buzzing filled my ears. The rhythmic beeping of my heart machine quickened. 


The buzzing grew thunderous. 

A light and airy sensation settled into my body, like my blood had become carbonated. Tingling and vibrating, I floated. 

I looked back at the window. The wasp was gone.


© the author

by C.K. North

C.K. North was born and raised in a 200-year old farmhouse in Virginia. He enjoys creating fiction that almost always includes some kind of moonshine. He worked in corporate sales for eight years, and is an avid fisherman, woodworker, husband and father. He has forthcoming flash fiction with Shotgun Honey. Visit him on Twitter @Author_CKNorth.

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