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This Afternoon

April 1, 2019

Elemental Challenge April 1

This is a new requested challenge. For this challenge, we will explore one of the four elements: air, earth, water, fire.

This week’s focus is AIR.

Simply use the word and/or image provided and be inspired by the natural element. As usual, anything goes! Just have fun.

Today’s word and image:

sweet

japanese-cherry-trees-324175_1920
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

The Afternoon

I never thought anything like that could happen and I especially didn’t think about it ever happening to me. But it did, it happened this afternoon and it was all my fault.

The old lady who lives at the end of the block, we call her the Old Lady. We don’t know anything about her and our parents don’t talk to any of us about her. She’s just a weird old lady and all the kids know that, but apparently, I was the only one who wasn’t afraid of her because when she told us to stop walking across her lawn, “or else”, everyone else stopped and I didn’t. I thought the Old Lady was harmless, a kook, and cutting across her lawn was fun because I liked hearing the other kids standing across the street go ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ when they watched me cross her lawn so I kept doing it. And because I thought she was harmless I didn’t hesitate to go to her door when she called to me this afternoon.

“You still walk across my lawn after I told you to stop?”

“I’m sorry,” I said.

“No, you’re not. Anyone can see that. Do you like to tease old ladies, young man?”

“No, ma’am.”

“So, you can be polite when you want. Do you disobey your parents like you disobey others?”

“No, ma’am. “I don’t disobey my—”

“Don’t lie to me.”

“I… I guess maybe I do.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know, just because, I guess.”

“Just because?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Just because, he says. You hear that,” she said to no one. “Bow your head, Thomas.”

“How’d you know my name?”

“Bow your head, child.”

I lowered my head and looked down and she placed her palm on the top of my head. I could feel the other kids staring at me and I didn’t like how that made me feel. “Ma’am—”

“Hush, boy,” she said. “And listen.”

She raised her voice and said, “Rouach, see this boy Thomas? He disobeys. Yes, that’s right, disobeys. And he’s impolite. Unrestrained. Hear me now, Rouach. Krokah odika noh, vot ve sape. See him with his head bowed before you. Broahk van delouga. Broahk van delouga. BROAHK VAN DELOUGA!

I heard a tremendous buzzing in my head that drowned out the Old Lady’s strange words and an eerie sense of weightlessness and that’s the last thing I remember until I woke up.

I don’t know how much time had passed until I opened my eyes. First one and then the other. I don’t know how long I was asleep or if you could even call what I was doing sleeping. Then I opened the third eye, Then the fourth. And the fifth. The sun was bright and warm and I felt weightless on my perch which was a splendid flowering bush. My head was lowered and my tongue was deep inside the anther of a beautiful pink flower and I was enjoying nectar that was the sweetest thing I had ever tasted. I looked around and caught the movement of others flying around me and I glanced at my own body and saw the yellow and brown color bands and the legs covered in pollen and the set of wings and I realized that the Old Lady had changed me into a bee. A honey bee.

My parents are going to be really mad at me, I thought.

I felt scared. I tested my wings and found they worked, and I left the sweet plant and flew up into the air. I was flying around in circles, panicked with thoughts of what my parents and my friends and my teachers were going to think when they found out I had been turned into a honey bee by the Old Lady. And then I started to cry when I realized that none of them will ever know because who will tell them? The Old Lady won’t and I can’t. They’ll just think I ran away and disappeared. Or they’ll think that I was kidnapped by some crazy person and I felt sad thinking how sad that thought would make my mom and dad feel. Maybe sadder than they’ve ever felt before. And then they’ll forget about me – first my teachers and then my friends and eventually, not for many sad and distressing years, my parents. I flew in tighter circles and rose higher and higher until I couldn’t see the other bees or the flowers and I yelled out to the Old Lady that I was sorry, that I was so sorry, and that I wouldn’t cut across her lawn anymore and that I would use her real name, Mrs. Bunsen, when I talked about her and not call her the Old Lady anymore and I would tell the other kids, too. I would make sure they didn’t do any of that bad stuff toward her either. I begged her to bring me back to just being a boy. I told her and I told her and I told her and I…

“Raise your head, Thomas. Open your eyes.”

“Mrs. Bunsen?” I looked at myself: I wasn’t a honey bee, I was a boy, I was me. I was me with only two eyes and no wings and not covered in pollen and I was standing in front of Mrs. Bunsen.

“Yes, Thomas. You have something to say to me.”

“No, Mrs… I mean yes. I’m sorry – really sorry – I was wrong for not listening to you and for cutting across your lawn after you asked me to stop. I did it because I wanted to show off in front of everyone and that wasn’t right. I apologize and I hope you accept my apology, ma’am.”

She nodded and smiled. “I do, Thomas. I accept your apology.”

“And I won’t do it no… anymore.”

“I believe you, child. And thank you. Now, Thomas,” she said as she opened the door and stepped to the side. “Would you like to come inside and sit in the kitchen with this old lady and share a glass of lemonade? It’s very sweet, just the way you like it.”

####

 

4 Comments leave one →
  1. The Haunted Wordsmith permalink
    April 1, 2019 6:33 pm

    Fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. April 1, 2019 8:11 pm

    That was excellent, Michael. I loved the way you described his life as a bee. So well done….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. April 1, 2019 8:30 pm

    Bee-yootiful!
    You got the “voice” of the kid just right.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. April 1, 2019 10:52 pm

    Ooh, I liked this. 🌸

    Liked by 1 person

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