Taste Me and You Die

Image of someone wearing a gas mask and caution tape.In the natural world, yellow and black together mean danger. I’m striped like a bumblebee for the Halloween party when this Freddy Krueger won’t take my brushoffs. He thinks I’m being coy. He thinks he’s the predator and I’m the prey. But I’m not a bumblebee. I’m a cinnabar caterpillar. The larvae absorb alkaloids and become toxic. But some are foolish enough to ignore the signs for their own pleasure, only to die with a belly full of caterpillar. Despite no encouraging signals, he moves closer to kiss me. I wonder if he can smell the poison on my breath.

Chelsea Stickle is the author of Everythings Changing (Thirty West Publishing) and Breaking Points (Black Lawrence Press). Read more at chelseastickle.com.

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

3 Responses to “Taste Me and You Die”

  1. Kich says:


  2. Carey says:

    I really enjoyed this story. Packs a punch, despite its size.

  3. Marcia Lynch says:

    Ooh! I like this! Dressed as a lobster for a costume party decades ago a red ant hit on me, until I said I was a lobster. He said he was into insects.

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