Friday Fictioneers-Best Beware the Sting


copyright-Janet Webb

“Why does it burn?”

“You’re allergic to their poison, child.”

Mommy coated my arm with baking soda and water to temper the fierce itch of the wasp’s sting. My heart raced as we saw the skin expand before our eyes. Mommy did what she could, but nothing prepared her for the closing of my throat and bluing of my already pale skin.

“Breathe Rachel, breathe!”

I did not respond. My breathing ceased and rapid heartbeat slowed. There was no fear for me, merely resignation to my fate. Death from a simple sting upon my young flesh.

Head bent, mommy wept.

100 words (genre: general fiction)

For anyone unfamiliar with Friday Fictioneers, we write 100-word stories. Stories based on a photo prompt, posted weekly on Wednesdays, on our master site: The stories run the gamut and the authors come from all over. Stop by Rochelle’s page to find out more. I promise, you won’t be sorry.

As I state every week, please criticize the hell out of my work. Either a red pen, or riding crop will suffice.

73 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers-Best Beware the Sting

  1. It’s hard to click “like” on a tragedy…loss of a child. I do remember, as a very young child, a family member being stung by a bee and had that near fatal reaction. It was back in the late 50s. The doctors at the hospital transfused his blood out and back in thinking it would be giving himself antibodies. It worked. I know allergic reactions can be deadly and quick. Such a sad story.

    • I’m glad you liked it and thank you for your comment. I’m mildly allergic to them. Meaning that the location where I was stung would balloon up but my throat never closed. The baking soda and water application is a memory of what my mother would do for me when I was little. It was the only thing that gave me any relief.

  2. Wow, your story goes perfectly with the rainy, gloomy day here! And I mean that in the best way possible. πŸ™‚ How terrible it would have been in the days before there was a way to stop this from happening!

    Here: β€œYou’re allergic to their poison child”, you need a comma between poison and child so you aren’t saying the child is poison. Poor thing has enough to deal with in being killed off! πŸ™‚

    who can smell the lilacs while reading and they smell wonderful!

    • Lilacs are my favorite too. Their aroma is intoxicating.

      I made the grammatical change you suggested. Thanks.

      I’m glad you liked the story. Your comments and criticism are most welcome too.

    • I’m glad you liked it. It’s not how I usually write. The story kind of sprung from a memory of my mom putting a concoction of baking soda and water on my inflamed skin when I was a child.

    • I’m glad you liked it. It’s not how I usually write. The story kind of sprung from a memory of my mom putting a concoction of baking soda and water on my inflamed skin when I was a child.

  3. I don’t have any major critique. You went from the innocence of the simple bee sting to tragic death in a flash! The fact Mommy even comments she is allergic to the poison makes it that much worse.

  4. EPI-PEN, WOMAN!!!! GET AN EPI-PEN!!!! Okay, rant over. As the mother of a child allergic to fire ants, I HATE this story. As a writer, I admire the skill with which you wove your tale. So… great story, but I’m going to do all I can never to think about it again! πŸ˜‰

    • I know I was thinking the same thing as I wrote it. It’s tough to discern the time frame of the story in 100 words. I’m glad you liked the story. But I’m sorry for your daughter’s allergy. Keep that EPI-PEN handy. πŸ˜‰

  5. Breathe my child.
    In my minds eye this came next…
    Lips pursing silent kisses, eyes bulging, like a child’s goldfish flopping upon a counter. I was really seeing the asphyxiation struggle, but my mind is way twisted.
    Do you think making that last sentence as it’s own paragraph would have greater impact?
    I did enjoy this one.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • I “like” your twisted mind. Giggle. I think I will do as you suggested and make the last sentence its own paragraph. Hard to believe a story like that came to me in a matter of minutes. While other times, I struggle to get it right.

      Thanks for your comment.

  6. A sad story, made such not only by a child dying — but the detail you used to describe the allergic reaction. Certainly makes me relieved I don’t have a severe allergy like this.

    • I’m glad you liked it though. The imagery is made more real by memories of when I was young. The immense swelling of skin would happen, but not the throat closing. Thank God!

  7. Great story, Renee. Very haunting. I could see it as a longer story written from the view of the ghost of the child that is telling the story. I have to say I just got an epipen for my son and am glad I did!

  8. Dear Renee,
    You left me wanting to loan you another 100 words to tell me more. I liked the way you showed the child’s peaceful resignation. Sweet and tragic. I felt the poor mother’s helplessness. Well done. No riding crop here.

  9. Great story, and very sad. It must be awful when you know your child has this form of allergic response. I wondered whether in a moment of panic a mother would say ‘breathe my child, breathe’. I’d probably use a name. Or maybe it just struck me because the word ‘child’ had been used a few lines earlier. Whatever. It was still a chilling tale, and well crafted.

  10. The poor bees know nothing of the horrors they can inflict on a family. Very well told, Renee.
    I’m glad your reaction is mild. My throat closed over once (at least if felt like it did) during a bad hayfever attack, and it was terrifying. Luckily breathing, time, and relaxation were the cure.

    • I’m so glad you were okay. The worst thing we can do sometimes is panic. I do the same thing with long haired dogs. Fresh air and relaxed breathing usually do the trick. Thank God, because I love dogs and couldn’t imagine not having them in my life.

  11. First of all, let me say how much I love the background of your blog. The bright colors are so happy and inviting. Now, on to the story.

    I had a childhood friend who was allergic to wasps. His eyes would swell shut, but fortunately, that’s as far as it would go. This was a sad story, but well written. Good job.

    • Thank you and thank you. Lilacs are my favorite. Springtime is my favorite too. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh mud and flowers in bloom.

      I’m glad you liked my story. Thanks for your kind comments.

  12. Great imagery as they watch the skin expand before their eyes. My heart breaks for the mother’s helplessness.

    I remember my mother putting Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer on my first and only wasp sting–no allergic reaction, but it still hurt like anything!

  13. Pingback: Tabs | Things I See and Know

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