Photo prompt © J Hardy Carroll


They left for the summer and came back to find new neighbors had moved in.

The intrusion wasn’t noticeable at first. They’d come home at night and were busy settling back in after a long absence. It wasn’t till the next morning that Abby screamed and they ran upstairs to see the child frozen in terror, hands still on the windowsill.

A swarm of buzz swirled around her.

“Call 911!” Simon pushed his wife out of the room before slamming the door behind her and grabbing the blanket from the bed. “Tell them a nine-year-old has disturbed a hornet’s nest!”



For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers


48 thoughts on “Unwelcome

  1. Wonderfully compelling story with great atmosphere–– a terrifying situation! It feels like the beginning of a longer story, and yet is complete as is. Wonderful!
    The only thing I struggled with is the names. Abby and Gabby are very close, and I wasn’t sure who was who. Is Abby screaming, the child? They hear the child Abby screaming? Gabby is Simon’s wife? That threw me off. Otherwise, a fabulous story!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t see it as critique (i.e. certainly not of me, only of the piece), and like you, I appreciate the feedback, both what worked and what was confusing. A couple of weeks ago I had an excellent exchange with Dale about some confusion with a bit I wrote, and it was a lot of fun to try and re-write (in the comments) it in the way she initially understood it. Sort of mental-flexing, I think. And after all, this is all for creative fun, so the cross-fertilization is a gift IMO.
        So, thank you again!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Rochelle! I hope she’s not allergic and I hope those hornets didn’t all sting her or she’d be in serious trouble even without being allergic … but, yeah, scary stuff, those!
      I’m all for your keeping your record unstung!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed! I hope she survives and that she gets help to deal with the terror of it. I know a little boy – age 6 or so at the time – who was attacked by a swarm of bees while playing in a nature reserve some miles outside the town where his family lived. The boy’s panic only made the bees more defensive. His quick thinking uncle, who was with the child at the time, took his own shirt off, wrapped the boy’s head and neck with it and ran with the child into the wind (thankfully it was a breezy day, which helped slow down the bees). He got the kid into the car, called 911, and used the time till the ambulance arrived to strip the child’s clothes off to knock whatever bees were still on the child’s clothing/body and scrape off any any stingers he could find. Fortunately the child wasn’t allergic to bees, because both of them got stung multiple times. The uncle apparently didn’t even realize he’d been stung in the face and eyelid till the paramedics insisted he be assessed as well.
      Not surprisingly, the boy (and the uncle, I bet!) gets quite anxious around any flying buzzing insect. Not that I can blame him!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it is a different story if it is one bee (which I’ve been stung by and stood quite calmly) or a whole angry swarm (which I’ve never been stung or chased by and all bets are off whether I’d be able to, let alone if there was a child there being stung!). The other issue there, as I understood it, was that there had been cases of African Bees in that area, and those are VERY aggressive and you SHOULD run from them (sometimes they can chase people for quite some distance!) and preferably into the wind. So in that regard that man did exactly the right thing for his nephew (who I don’t think would’ve stood still as it was). But … yeah, scary!

        Liked by 1 person

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