“Run!” someone shrieked, and I did—across greedy sand and down into the lake. Underwater, I watched my brother gesticulate upward as if he thought I was lost. We surfaced to a frenetic orb of winged stingers hovering inches above our noses.

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44 Replies to “Hive”

      1. I hadn’t read the prompt so I didn’t realize it was a true story. I thought it was one of your great pieces of fiction!

        I enjoyed reading it again before I wrote my response to your comment. Such powerful imagery.

  1. “Greedy sand” is brilliant. It’s sort of gritty but also grabby. Love that. Wonderful phrasing, Nate. Now I have to ask how “mothballs” is a tag? Just curious. 😉

    1. And how it sucks your feet into it when you run? So greedy. “Mothballs” is left over from my original idea, which I scrapped after my husband read it and called it “Monsters, Inc. fan fiction”. It was a monsters-in-the-closet idea with the twist that the monsters were humans and the narrator was a monster.

    1. I don’t think any of us got stung that day. I might be wrong. There were a lot of kids; some of whom I didn’t know because they were part of family at the campground we were at.

    1. Thank you, Suzanne! I tried to add a flow to this like a camera tracking actors in a scene (that sounds pretentious, but I did try): running across, diving down, coming up, and rising above the water to the bees. Not sure how well it came across.

  2. That’s all they are in this moment: winged stingers. Great action, great scene-painting. My husband tells a similar story–absolutely a good reason to run!

    1. It is a childhood memory. Despite how scary it sounds, it was actually a happy one. I felt safe in the water and my brother and I swam to the pier and didn’t think of the yellow jackets again.

    1. Thanks, Danielle! That’s the part I struggled with most. It was this long description of how hard it is to run across sand and how it was slowing me down as I ran. I was surprised to find ‘greedy’ summed all the others up!

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