The body lay face-down on a small patch of dirt, clear of vegetation.
"I dare you to touch it," Ellen said.
Chris shook his head. "Nuh-uh."
"Poke it with a stick."
"Wait," said Mark. "Look." He pointed.
A fly buzzed in gentle circles around the outstretched hand. It landed, and abruptly froze.
"Flies do that all the time..." Ellen started to say.
The fly toppled over, legs curled, wings stilled forever. All around the body, they realized, was a ring of chitinous forms. The body itself was perfectly preserved, untouched.
Chris paled. He turned on Ellen accusingly. "You touch it."
11 hours ago