Two-Page Exercise #1

Title: The Size of Wasps

**Author’s note: The title of this occurred to me first, and then I remembered some stuff I had read about Kinsey. I kind of like the effort here, but it does indeed fall short of a fully-fleshed-out short story, which is the idea of these exercises.**

First you bury the evidence. This is the crux and the crucible. You burn, you fall on your knees at the crossroads.

And you bury the goddamned evidence.


“Parts the waters.”


“I like those words together.”

Thomas is driving for once, but I can’t sleep. I blink and seethe.

“What words?”

“Parts the waters,” Thomas smiles. “Jesus parts the waters. The wind parts the waters. Parts the waters. Right?”

Angela snorts from the backseat. But no – it is a snore. No one knows what the fuck Thomas means, ever. 

“Just keep your eyes on the road.”


I am Thomas, and I would like to respond to your Craigslist ad. I think I know what you mean. I am for hire.

The message had stood out to me because of “I would like to respond to.” Who the fuck talks like that? You ARE responding. Clearly you would like to.

Had he done it on purpose? Did he know that I would be annoyed by needlessly complex grammar and corporate-speak? If so, then he was brilliant or had somehow come upon inside information about me. If not, then he truly got lucky. Because I hired him, in spite of the weird phrasing. He had followed the instructions in the ad.


That sex guy Alfred Kinsey studied wasps. Gall wasps, whatever the fuck those are. Anyone can make a joke about stingers and penetration, so do your worst. But this is what Thomas talked about almost constantly.

“He took the sting out of talking about sex openly.”

“Stop it, for Christ’s sake. And there you go with that plodding, terrible phrasing. It’s on purpose, isn’t it?”

Thomas laughed. The wind blew through the car window and lifted his hair. He was beautiful. Perhaps this is why he got away with saying such stupid things. Had I fallen for it too?

“He used to shove a toothbrush up his cock.”

“For Christ’s sake.”


He was actually saying something to me about motherfucking Alfred Kinsey when the thug I hired blew his face off.

“Kinsey thought the size of wasps determined—“ I did not hear the shot until after the bullet had exited through his left eye. If I had been standing directly in front of him instead of two steps back and to the left, the bullet would have killed me too. Incompetent and stupid.

“I told him to wait until we were up the block,” I said as the hitman disappeared around the corner. “Lazy fuck.”

Thomas and his goddamned rotten phrasing ruined everything as usual, even his own execution. I will never know about the size of wasps and what we can learn from it about human sexuality.We just buried the goddamned evidence and kept moving.

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