Steve ran across the open field. The hot summer sun warmed the ground and the clover brushed against his shins leaving pale green stains. Bees floated from blossom to blossom and loaded their legs with pollen. A thistle rose above the other grasses and offered its purple bloom to the sky. Butterflies hovered around milkweed stalks, some landed to gather the sticky white sap.
Steve ran on. He passed the muddy creek that drained from the pond into the lower swamp. He chugged up the hill after that and passed the manure pile. Flies swarmed the stinking mound in a thick cloud. He ran between two boulders and turned left for the lane to the back pasture.
The raspy buzzing of a wasp’s wings passing his ear caused him to duck and lurch awkwardly. The wasp turned and arced back into his left arm. Steve instinctively slapped where it hit and instantly regretted his action. The stinger burned where the poison went in. He sucked in his breath and gritted his teeth at the pain.
As the initial shock passed and he gained control of the pain, Steve heard something strange. He thought he heard a voice. It was faint and raspy. It said, “I am a magic wasp. Keep my wings after I’m gone. They will give you the ability to fly.”
Steve stood dumbfounded. Did he really hear that? Was he dehydrated or something? He looked at the ground where the wasp’s body writhed in death spasms. He thought he heard one final phrase “…I chose you…” come from the wasp before it became still. Steve knelt and watched it for a moment. When he was sure it was not moving anymore, he picked it up and held it cupped in one hand. He turned back and began walking home.
That night he slept with the wasp in a plastic sandwich bag under his pillow. The sting on his arm had settled into a red welt. His mother had put ice on it for 20 minutes when he got home and let him have a brownie before dinner to cheer him up. She did not know about the wasp carcass or what it had said to him. He barely believed it himself.
Steve drifted to sleep quickly. The screened windows were open to let the warm summer breezes through the upstairs bedroom.
He dreamed of the day. It was a hot summer day as he moved over the pasture. Bees buzzed the clover, butterflies flitted around milkweed, and flies swarmed the manure. Steve floated past it all. It was all familiar but somehow different. Then he realized his viewing angle was from above it all. He was at least twenty feet in the air.
His surprise quickly passed as he heard the raspy voice of the wasp, “I chose you.”
What is the best dream you’ve ever had? Recount it for us in all its ethereal glory. If no dream stands out in your memory, recount your worst nightmare. Leave no frightening detail out.