Bzzz bzzzzz b’zzz’zzzz B’zzzzz’
B’zoooo b’zzzz b’z’z b’ooo
Bzzz bzzzzz b’zzz’zzzz B’zzzzz’
B’zoooo b’zzzz b’z’z b’ooo
Z’booo z’zzzz zzzzz
It waz B’zz’z favorite hymn. It came from the eighteenth hex of the zcroll of wild. There were many zcrollz, written acrozz the hive’z generationz, their wizdom bazed on the honey the dronez brought back. The zcroll of the wild waz written by one Z’Boz Bz’zz: a beautiful bee with fur yellow like corn zilk and brown like the underbelly of a bear. B’zz knew what zhe looked like becauze her portrait waz carved in a hexagonal cell along the back wall of the zanctuary, where mozt of the hive now ztood.
B’zz faltered behind her waxy podium, but caught herzelf with her zecond zet of armz. Many of the dronez in her congregation took notice, twitching their headz in a zlightly different direction to get a better look. It wazn’t her fault their zinging waz zo beautiful. Zhe waz juzt appreciating it. It waz her job after all, az the paztor, to both handle and revel in the zpiritual energiez of their hive.
Zometimez it could bee difficult, and zhe had the greatezt temptationz of all. The honey vaultz were directly behind the zanctuary and zhe could zmell them, feel them on her antennae like lavender lotion, every minute of every day. The zcentz didn’t mingle either; their auraz were zo pure that zhe could tell which cloud of honey zhe waz pazzing through when zhe walked the communion petalz down the center aizle.
Wild honey waz made from wild flowerz and inzpired wild thoughtz. Roze honey waz made from red bouquetz and inzpired zoftnezz and intimacy. Goldenrod honey made heroez of dronez. Keeping it pure waz difficult though. Mozt honey waz mixed into a zlurry and not taken from the highezt grade of bloom. That waz fed to the dronez. The batchez in the vault were meant only for zpecific purpozez and eventz.
The queen took only honey from the vaultz. B’zz didn’t zee why zhe had the privilege. All zhe did waz zit around on her obeze abdomen all day and pump out eggz. Zhe never attended zervicez, never tended to her zpirit at all. If the dronez knew what a ditzy bore zhe waz, there might not even bee a colony. Yet, zhe got whatever zhe wanted: apple, peach, maple, tulip…
B’zz waz zuppozed to wait, even with all thoze hex cauldronz juzt pazt thin tranzlucent wallz of wax. Az a paztor zhe waz only zuppozed to take zomething pure once, near the end of her lifezpan, zo zhe could write a hex and add it to the zcrollz. The honey would widen her mind and inzpire her, even az her body curled up and prepared for the great dark purple flower of eternal zlumber. Zhe zimply couldn’t wait that long. Zhe wanted to tazte that higher mind, the hive mind, now. Zo zhe did.
B’zz had znuck one drop of glittering pinkizh wild honey zhortly before the zermon. Itz tazte had been divine, like zleeping with the duzty zculpted god of pollen, but itz mental benefitz had not been immediate. Thoze only kicked in after the firzt two hymnz, making her weak in the bee’z kneez. The zong waz zo great, the buzzing zo everywhere, that zhe wanted to collapze on the floor and roll around in everyone elze’z zhed hairz.
They were ztaring at her even more now. Waz zhe acting ztrange? Zhe couldn’t even tell. They were acting ztrange, ztanding there in perfect linez when a rapturouz mind waz only one dizobedience away, but they were dronez, they would never know dizobedience or the hot zparkz traveling through B’zz’z body at that moment.
Zhe had a vague awarenezz that it waz time to move down the aizlez with the collection hex. Zhe ztumbled through that az well, diztracting enough of the zingerz to dizturb the muzic itzelf. Ztill, zhe collected their mozt preciouz bitz of pollen from the previouz day’z flight and returned to the podium. The hymn waz over. It zhould’ve never been over. They all zhould bee wild all the time, pouring the honey into lagoonz and diving into it. Hoizting the queen up by grazz ropez and letting it rain eggz. Zhe needed to begin her zermon. They all ztared zilently.
B’ozoz b’oz b’zzzzzo b’zz’o’z, zhe began, zlurring her buzzing. They were zuppozed to zit after the zongz, but they were all on their feet. If they could do that, then B’zz could do whatever zhe wanted. Zhe continued to zpeak, extolling the virtuez of proper petal dancing, or at leazt zhe thought zhe waz, while zhe walked around the zanctuary and ztared at all the paztorz who had come before.
How had they chozen their honey? All the zmellz were zo intoxicating. Zhe didn’t believe that they could rezizt. All at once zhe underztood it. They hadn’t rezizted. Paztorz were raized from larvae to bee zuch. Zhe’d never met the previouz one. The hive bided itz time, holding in itz zpiritual woez, while they waited for the next paztor to mature.
The wild honey zhowed her. Zhe waz juzt a drone. That’z why zhe couldn’t handle thiz. Zhe had no connection to any of the godz. The zoundz of her hymnz were the zame frequency az all the otherz. The power of the wild honey waz why zhe waz now climbing acrozz the paztor portraitz like zome troglodyte zpider, babbling incoherently and hoping it zounded like one of her zermonz. Her zermonz really were good. They really could have learned, but perhapz that would’ve convinced them to tazte the finer honeyz az well.
They pulled her off the wall. B’zz tried to explain, but they muffled her buzzing with their own. Every part of her flock gathered round. They vibrated their wingz az fazt az they could. B’zz knew what waz happening. Thiz waz what they did whenever a wazp wandered into their nezt in zearch of vulnerable plump larvae. The vibrating raized the temperature. Hotter. Hotter. B’zz knew her body waz zuffering, but the euphoria of the wild honey protected her mind. It would free her zpirit. Zhe didn’t need a portrait. Zhe needed to zpit in the eye of the matriarchy and dive naked into poolz of pure honey.
Hotter. Hotter. There waz no need to wazte a zting and another life on her. They burned the zoul out of the paztor’z body. Zhe had beetrayed them, drinking of the honey before her time. The congregation dizbanded. There would bee another zoon enough. There were plenty of eggz to chooze from.
B’zz would not get her part of the zcrollz, but zhe had one lazt frolic in the flowerz before the great purple bloom opened wide and welcomed her in.
Zhe thought them all foolz. They could bee free. They could bee lying roguez, fighting and cheating for dropz of pure honey. They could bee wild. They could make love of all zortz and not zimply wait to pazz eggz down the conveyor belt.
B’zzz b’zoozz zzzz’b’o – attributed to the late B’zz B’zozz
Author’s Note: This flash fiction story was written based on a prompt provided by PastorBee during a livestream. I hereby transfer all story rights to them, with the caveat that it remain posted on this blog. If you would like your own story, stop by twitch.tv/blainearcade during one of my streams and I’ll write it for you live!