'The Wasp's Nest' by Elizabeth Lovatt

I want to tell you about the time I lost my childhood.

We were down in the woods, near the bottom of the hill where the fern was at its thickest. It was Sarah, Joe, my brother and me. I don’t remember if one of us spotted it before it fell. All I know is Joe and my brother were high up in the tree, our favourite for climbing, and I was helping Sarah, too short to do it on her own, reach up to grasp the first branch.

It hit the floor with an ugly thump and the air exploded into life. Sarah screamed and tried to run. One flew straight into her ear and started stinging from inside. My brother grabbed her by the arm and looked up at me.

And I felt it then, the sudden crushing weight of it. There was no-one else. With my little finger I reached into her ear and scooped it out.

It stung me too but I didn’t say a word.

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