For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #100, where we write about this photo from artbyrandy at Morguefile.
It was a the middle of summer’s, and Andy was glad to have escaped the city for the day.
For his mom’s seventieth birthday, then had decided to spend the day together, and she had chosen the Rubio Gardens, about forty miles out of the city. Andy remembered going there a few times, as a child, but… it must have been two decades…
As they strolled along the pathway, Andy could hear the sound of music, and as they rounded the bend, he saw a well-manicured pond. Beside the pond was the source of the music, a bearded man strumming a guitar. Then he smelled the incense. As he watched, the man picked up a bunch of flowers. And drew a figure-of-eight in the air. He put the flowers down again and resumed playing. As he and his mom admired the pond, a few minutes later, he saw the man repeat the action.
The man’s actions were clearly deliberate, and Andy was perplexed.
The next time the man stopped, Andy pounced. “Excuse me”, he called. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what are you doing?”. A thick country accent answered him – he was certainly not from around these parts,
“I’m the Wasp Whisperer”, the man said.
Andy was taken aback. “The w-w-w-what?”
“I charms the wasps away, I strum on this guitar, that charms them. Then I wafts these fresh-cut flowers about the place… They catch the incense as well, and… well, I’m not sure why, but they goes all quiet, like. This place pays me, keep some of the wasps away from the people eating their lunch.” He gestured toward a wall, and Andy could hear cutlery on the other side.
“These country folk”, thought Andy, “I’ll never figure them out.”