Autumn 1996 – Regarding the Life Cycle of the Marionette Wasp

The man reached the edge of roof. I was a few paces behind him. I thought I had him cornered. In front of him was only the street – ten stories below. Unless he could fly or climb on walls, he had nowhere to go. Before I reached him, however, he turned and leaped. 

I was impressed. He made it just past the median before gravity and three speeding cars put an end to his run. His body bounced off the first vehicle and shattered upon the second. By the third impact limbs were no longer attached. A leg spun off in one direction, an arm in another, the head in a third. Traffic came to a screeching halt. 

With all eyes on the mess in the street I quickly spidered down the wall. I pushed through the crowd. I needed confirmation that my senses had been correct and that my quarry was not human. I had seen no blood, no viscera. I shouldered into the knot around the fallen arm. I got my confirmation.

Under the harsh streetlight the flesh was pale and waxy and clearly not, well, flesh. It looked more like paper mache. It was cracked but otherwise intact from fingers to elbow. It was hollow. Whatever had animated it was no longer inside.