Our Home, the Hive

by Peter K.

That night, the bees came in walls. They had come before, but never with such unrepentant fervor and noise. Their thousands of bodies radiated an irritable frequency. Our mother could not sleep. Our roof had been saturated by them in the night. A neighbor called the police. She pointed to our home—it's crenellated tin roof—and all of us were outside then. It was not like flames. It was like millions of necklaces. Beads, really. And choking.

Our father was a palmist by craft, but even he said he didn't see it coming. He spent his evenings spinning cards in our attic, reading the palms of those pulled to his work, rubbing out the creases in his own hands as if something were always buried in them. When the bees came, he refused to leave. It took their full rage to drive him from his table, his place in our attic. One night we found him rolling himself into the lawn, unwrapping the bees folded around him in tight, needled blankets. He had tried to harvest their sap. They later filled his space with their honey. Some holes, we assumed, were meant to be filled.

After the initial infestation came the silence. And even that chattered between floorboards, under the basement stairs, into our tea. Our father could not hold hands after that. He said he couldn't even look at them.

Southern Florida had in its possession twenty thousand normal homes and our home, devoured as if built to be swallowed, taken apart in a nervous decomposition and reassembled as one enormous honeycomb, a testament to the monstrous sweetness in us all.

BIO: Peter K. is a student currently living in New Hampshire. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Catalonian Review, Mud Luscious Press, LITnIMAGE, Fractured West, Word Riot, and others. He is the Editorial Assistant with The Medulla Review.