The Lesson of the Bee

Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz. Waving both hands over her head, Trudy chased away the bee. She wrinkled her nose and said, “Bees are so annoying!”

“Leave it alone, Trudy! Bees are good in a garden. They pollinate flowers and give us honey. They don’t intentionally hurt you, unlike people.” Trudy flinched at the angry snap of her mother’s voice. She fiddled with her large sunglasses.

Without looking at Trudy, her mother sighed. Her voice sounded sad as she asked, “What happened to your eye this time, child?”

She should’ve known her mother would figure out why she was wearing the big sunglasses again. “It’s nothing, Mom; just an accident. Tommy slipped. His hand hit my eye.”

Snip. Snip. Snip. Three more dead flowers went into the basket.

Her mother’s blue eyes turned and stared at Trudy’s long-sleeved shirt. “I assume the bruise you’re hiding under those sleeves was also an accident?”

“He didn’t mean to do it. He’s scared because he’s out of work.”

“I thought he just got a job.” Her mother moved on through the garden. Trudy rushed to keep up with her.

“It didn’t work out. Tommy needs something more challenging.”

“Like beating his wife?” Trudy’s mom stopped clipping the roses and looked at Trudy with raised eyebrows.

This annoyed Trudy. Her mom had no idea what Tommy was going through. “It only happened once before. That was months ago and he apologized over and over again. It’s my fault anyway. I’ve been irritating him a lot lately.”

Trudy’s mother shook her head. “Child, once is too much!”

“It’s my marriage, not yours!” Another bee buzzed around Trudy. She couldn’t help it. She slapped it to the ground and stomped on it. Her mother leaned down and picked up the bee with her gloved hand. She opened her hand to Trudy. The bee was squashed.

Trudy reached out and touched her mother’s hand. “I’m sorry, Mom. I shouldn’t have done that.”

“But you did and the bee is dead. You’re bigger and stronger than it is. You got scared, knocked it down and stepped on it. What’s the difference between what you just did to this bee and what Tommy’s doing to you, child?”

Trudy couldn’t take her eyes off the squashed bee. She killed it. It happened so fast, like Tommy’s beating last night. When she got home from work, he was slouched in his chair watching a football game.

He told her to get him a beer. She told him to get his own beer. Without warning, he grabbed her arm, threw her down. He was about to kick her, but she managed to turn her head just in time. His boot glanced off her eye.

Her mother was correct. Tommy was doing to her what she did to the bee.  It wasn’t right. The tears came first, silently flowing down her cheeks, but they were quickly followed by gut wrenching sobs. Trudy’s mother grabbed her daughter and held her, letting her cry.

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This time I used two prompt challenges:

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Writing Prompt: 2014, Week 22 (I used the word “honey” used in the quote.)

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Light and Shade Challenge Monday 26th May 2014 (I used the picture of the boot as inspiration.)

A Leap of Faith

Susan was dying. Lila stayed too long trying to save her, but Susan’s heart stopped anyway. Now, the monitor beside the bed beeped incessantly and a nurse yelled, “Get the crash cart stat!”

Sadness filled Lila as she whispered “I’m sorry, Susan.” With only seconds left, Lila opened herself. The blue light filled her and she leaped. Everything went black.

She found herself squished against the ceiling. Relief flooded through her. She had leaped in time, but was now vulnerable to any Gorigmy around. While Lila couldn’t see them, they could hear and smell her.

Gorigmies were dark spirits who ate Radiants. However, they couldn’t sense a Radiant inside a human. So, humans were good hosts for young Radiants, like Lila.

Usually, it was a friendly relationship. Humans believed Radiants were their intuitive voices. If lucky, a Radiant stayed in the same human until reaching maturity. Once mature, Radiants were more powerful than Gorigmies.

Unfortunately, Lila’s host, Susan, was in a horrible car accident. Her body was severely damaged. Lila’s powers weren’t developed enough to save her. When a host dies, the Radiant leaves or dies with the host. Lila had no choice, but to leap.

Hovering at the ceiling, she scanned the humans below. Typical of caring people, they were all occupied with Radiants. She needed to move on. Pushing away from the ceiling, she floated towards the door. The humans were unaware of Lila. Radiants and Gorigmies were invisible to them.

Luckily, the air conditioner clicked on and blew Lila into the hallway. She turned topsy-turvy, like a dust bunny, until she managed to steady herself. More humans rushed into Susan’s room, passing right through Lila. The sensation made her sneeze loud enough for any Gorigmy to hear. She needed a human and fast, but her scans didn’t show anyone free.

Seeing an open door, she floated towards it. It was worth a try. Just as she reached it, the door shut. Lila groaned. Closed doors were dangerous, but she had no choice. She shifted through the door molecules, avoiding the sharp edges threatening to snag her. After the last molecule, she pushed out and hit the floor.

Bouncing up, she landed on the hairy chest of a sleeping human male. She floated up to scan him but wished she hadn’t. While unoccupied, his face was bruised. One eye was swollen, like he’d been in a fight. Human males were risky for Radiants. They often didn’t believe in intuition and therefore, were less likely to listen to Lila.

She heard the screech of the Gorigmies. She was out of time. The human male would have to do. She opened herself and the blue light filled her. But as the leap was about to overtake her, she saw the human was handcuffed to the bed frame.

Too late to stop, Lila merged into him. She flowed through his blood, into his heart and finally into his brain. She was safe from the Gorigmy, but was she safe from this human?

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WoENewButton-e1363040457539This fiction story is for Writing Prompt: 2014, Week 21

Write on Edge: The Undertow

Riding his new yellow skimboard through the shallow water, Jacob called, “Hey Dad, watch this!” He bent over and dragged his hand in the sand and made the board do a perfect 360 degree turn.

His dad didn’t say anything. Jacob looked up to where his dad sat in the shade under a huge umbrella. It was clear he hadn’t bothered to watch Jacob’s trick. He was busy with his iPad tablet. In a flash of anger, Jacob wished a wave would wash the stupid thing away.

Spring Break was supposed to be fun, but his dad was always working. Jacob’s mom planned to bring him until his granny got sick. She had to stay home to take care of her. Since the beach house was already booked, Jacob got stuck with his dad.

He dragged his board up to dry and sat in the wet sand. The surf roared, but the waves were perfect, making Jacob miss his mom all the more. She loved the water as much as he did. When she came to the beach, they always jumped in the waves. His dad, however, was a scaredy-cat and wouldn’t let him.

The joyful screams of kids in the water irritated Jacob. It was unfair they got to play, while he had to stay in the shallow water. After all, he was ten-years-old and not a baby anymore. He glanced up, but his dad was still using the iPad.

The sun was hot on Jacob’s skin, but the water felt cool. He stood and moved slowly into it. He told himself he wouldn’t go far, just up to his knees. But the water felt so good, he walked out until it was up to his waist. The waves shoved at him. He stood his ground, laughing as they splashed in his face. His eyes stung from the salt.

Blinking away the water, Jacob didn’t see the larger wave, rushing behind the smaller one. It crashed into him, knocking him off his feet. He got caught in the undertow as another wave crashed over him. Tumbling in the wash, he couldn’t get his head above the water to breathe. Jacob panicked. In his mind, he screamed “Daddy, help me!”

Like a giant hand, the water held Jacob down. It scraped him across the sand, making his cheeks sting. He held his breath until his lungs burned. Just when he couldn’t hold it any longer, he was tugged free of the water. Gulping in air, Jacob opened his eyes. His dad was holding him tight as he said, “Thank God, I heard you call me, son.”

Years later, they’d tell the story to Jacob’s kids. Jacob would tell how he called for his dad’s help even though he couldn’t speak. His dad would tell how he clearly heard Jacob call for him, even though it was impossible. The children’s eyes always grew big as saucers listening to how Grandpa pulled their daddy away from the waves just in time.

WoENewButton-e1363040457539 This fiction story is written for WOE, Writing Prompt: 2014, Week 19

Just for clarification, an undertow is not a rip current. Instead, an undertow is a current of water that pulls you down to the ocean bottom. Source: How Stuff Works

Write on Edge Prompt: An Accidental Meeting

This week Write on Edge gave us a 500 word limit, based on the following quote and/or picture prompt:

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“Time is the longest distance between two places.” ~Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

Bradley glanced at the clock. If he didn’t hurry, he was going to be late picking up Kaylee for the company picnic. He smiled thinking about her long dark hair, flashing coffee-colored eyes and warm bronzed skin.

While she hardly noticed him, he had a crush on her. He couldn’t believe she agreed to go with him. It probably helped he told her he’d pick her up in a BMW Roadster. He just neglected to say it was his mom’s car.

Everything was fine until the turtle decided to cross the road. He swerved avoiding it. The BMW landed in a huge puddle. When he tried to restart the car, all he got was a grinding noise. Even worse, he’d forgotten his cell phone.

A buzzing sound approached on the road. It was the pink scooter Eloise Murphy always rode. While they were neighbors, he seldom saw her. She was always on her computer. The landlord said she was a blogger, whatever that was.

Bradley groaned as she stopped by his car. “You okay, Bradley?”

“Yes, my car stalled.”

Eloise parked, pulled off her helmet, and walked over. “Pop the hood. I’ll take a look.”

He found the lever and got out of the car. “You know about cars?”

“Sort of, a friend of mine has a car repair blog. He puts up YouTube videos. You’re in luck. His most recent was about starting cars stalled in water. Usually, the distributor cap needs drying.”

Eloise leaned over, looking under the hood. Bradley noticed how nice her butt looked in her tight jeans.

Minutes passed before she pulled something black out and announced, “This cap is wet.”

Seeing a grease spot on her face, Bradley wiped if off. Their eyes met. That’s when he noticed Eloise had pretty hazel eyes with sparks of green and yellow. After that, Bradley had a hard time concentrating with Eloise so close.

The cap was dried and returned, but the car still wouldn’t start. They stood looking at it until Eloise asked, “Where were you going?”

Bradley had totally forgotten the party and Kaylee. “I need to call someone, immediately. Do you have a phone?”

“Sure.” She pulled out her pink cell phone.

Punching in the number, Bradley barely spoke before Kaylee yelled, “Where are you? It’s two o’ clock. You’ve made me late, you jerk!”

“Kaylee I had an accident….”

She interrupted. “Well, that’s your problem isn’t it? I’m calling a cab.” With a click, she disconnected.

Sighing, Bradley handed Eloise her phone. “There goes my date!”

She gave him a sympathetic look. “I’m sorry, Bradley. You want a ride? I’ll treat you to a veggie burger at Bert’s place on the way home.”

With that sexy grin she loved, he said, “Looks like I’m a free man. Let’s go. You can tell me all about blogging.”

Feeling Bradley’s warm arm around her waist, Eloise smiled. It was good Bradley was preoccupied and didn’t notice they dried the cap for the washer fluid.

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This post is dedicated to Linda who was afraid I would never write another happy ending story again :~)