Part 14

I once (accidentally) got pepper spray meant for bears on my genitals (yes, accidentally). Mostly due to messing around with the spray mechanism while on a nature stroll and forgetting to clean my hands before taking a leak. The dawning realization of what I had done while zipping up and looking at my capsicum covered hands matched the growing… sensation below.

After experiencing what they call ‘lost time’ and recovering from the feeling, I swore that was probably the worst thing you could do to yourself.

I was mistaken.

The Mad Bug-Woman didn’t exactly drive us away with her revelation, but Graham got up and excused himself. No whispers or looks for me, just gone.

She went on for a bit about the pain and the pros outweighing the cons, but the dull rush in my ears drowned her out, brought the ant bites into focus. So many.

Then, Três of course saved (and i us e that word very loosley) the moment. Oh, I’m sure we can find some on the way when you take us to the good doctor. I love the plants and trees, I won’t light them on fire. She practically beamed.

It was enough. Lena looked at us and carefully started re-wrapping. Yes, I suppose. I haven’t seen mon ch-, ah, the old dear in too long. Almost time to see if he remembers y face.

And with that, we found a way to say good night.

Outside, Graham had assembled our simple kit, across and as far from the ant tent as possible.

I know, I know, I said. We’ve got a guide at least. Shouldn’t be more than a day. There’s only a rough trail, so a long day.

I’d ask for advance hazard pay but where the hell would I spend it, he said. And then, in a swift, stern change of face. Weapons come out tomorrow. I’m checking and loading them tonight, then keeping them out of the moisture.

I could only nod. I almost (foolishly) asked to help in hopes of receiving one.

Dawn came way too early.