#NaNoWriMo2022: Day 9 with a Troublesome Fence and Even More Troublesome Neighbors. #Magic #ShortStories

Day 9 of National Novel Writing Month! Bee Trainer Barab Oowi is about to see how Ex-Banker Nacle Themormo handles people who get in his way.

Resolving this conflict may take a few days, just so you know. I’m also attending a big conference this week, which means several hours of each day must be dedicated to presentations. Blech. Still, for this NanoWriMo Writer, the goal is to get into writing every day, whether it’s just a few hundred words or a few thousand. Thank you for your support as I work towards this goal!

Day 9, Story 3: The Bee Trainer’s Revenge

Another bright and glorious morning.

A late morning!

Bee Trainer Barab Oowi stumbled out of bed, mind in a panic. Had something happened to her bees? They were so quiet!

Sunbeams cut through her shutters and blinded her as she fumbled for her bathrobe. Never minded slippers, never minded tea, she flew open the door to her backyard to see what’s what.

At last, she heard a buzzing. Only it was eerily subdued, as if she had smoked her entire yard to put the bees to sleep. Barab fell to her knees and crawled among the hives, searching for invading wasps, invading slugs, invading anything. No signs of struggles or predators, but every sleeve of every hive revealed sluggish bees, quiet bees, unhappy bees. “Little lovelies, are you are all right?”

One worker bee managed to fly from her place in the honeycomb to land in Barab’s hand. The little thing looked so tired! Her hind legs were colored with a pollen Barab had never seen before—a blackish kind of pollen, with a few tiny flecks of red. Surely no such pollen came from Barab Oowi’s small herb garden. The Peach Growers next door had no such pollen, either. Perhaps down the street?

Or…

Barab stood, mouth agape, at the monstrosity. In place of the rundown wooden fence between her home and Ex-Banker, there now stood the tallest, fattest lavender bushes she had ever seen. Their stems reached several feet, their flowers up to her nose. But their scent wasn’t kind and sweet at all; rather, they reminded Barab of the cleaning potions used to tidy up sick on one’s floor. And the coloring! Wrong, all wrong. Coal-black petals? Even in Pips Row, black flowers are not natural, let alone with streaks of read running through the stem and petals.

A large, sweaty hand peeked above the bushes and waved.

“Why hullo, Bee Trainer! Such a pleasant morning, wouldn’t you say?” Ex-Banker chimed through the greenery. He moved as he spoke, forcing Barab Oowi to pass every unnatural flower. The worker bee in her hand attempted to flutter out of her hand, but barely reached a bush before falling. Barab fell to the ground and caught the bee just in time while Ex-Banker droned on and on. “I simply must thank you and our neighbors for all your lovely hospitality. Such dedication to Nature, such beautiful bounties! You all really did inspire me to do my part. What do you think of this new little border I concocted? So much nicer than those rotting logs. You know what they say about good fences, ha ha!”

Now he was in view by the front walk, donned in a city-person’s absurd idea of country flannel and khakis with leather boots. Barab Oowi scrambled upward (not easy in a bathrobe) and over to meet him. “Indeed,” she said, trying to hide her gasps for breath, “I believe I’ve heard the saying.”

Ex-Banker pulled a pipe out of one of those dozen different pockets upon his vest and tapped it with a thoughtful eye on the bushes. “Yes, yes, a fine first attempt, if I say so myself.”

“F-first attempt?” Barab held the poor bee to her chest. It must have looked like she was praying, for that look of victory on Ex-Banker’s face cut her deeply.

“Why of course,” he said placidly. “I am a resident of Pips Row now, am I not?” He stepped right up to the border, just enough to block any sunlight from touching Barab Oowi’s face. “You know, I must confess I didn’t see it at first—the wealth of potential in all you people grow here. But I do now.” The spark of his match transformed his eyes into black pits as he lit his pipe. “Good day, Bee Trainer!” And he waddled into his home and out of sight.  

Ack, not the bees! Well this is one fence that needs more than a mending. What will Barab do? Let’s find out!

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!