He was a huge Newfoundlander; dark and muscular. Colette was a yellow lab, large by most standards, but diminished by her companion. They looped across heathery fields and bounded over streams full of koi. The sun never rose; it never set; it burned golden in the powder blue of the dream-world sky. In a lucid dream, everything was brighter, smelled richer, felt fuller, tasted like heaven. In lucid dreaming, everything had meaning. The
and Newfoundlander nipped affectionately at each other, as dogs do.
They topped a rise and she heard murmuring. A bee circled her, buzzing. She snapped at it and continued chasing her friend. More droning; three more bees joined the first. They flew in front of her, diving at her tender nose. She yelped. More singing, more bees. She stumbled as a dozen sank into her thick mane, stabbing her with their stingers. She howled and tumbled down the hill.
The Newfoundlander rushed to her side, devouring as many bees as he could. The whirring deafened her as hundreds of bees attacked her, stinging and dying as she tried to outrun them.
The phone was ringing. Colette fell out of bed, gasping and sobbing. Her skin was on fire, remembering the dream-stings. She grabbed the phone blindly, “What?”
“You’ve got a nosy neighbor.” The usually gruff voice sounded dulled.
“You need me to come and clean his clock?” Slurred. Camp loved Bushmills.
“Camp, what time is it?”
“It’s – aw fuck – it’s only midnight.”
It’s midnight in Wyoming .” Wyoming
“Ah hell, Spooky, did I wake you?”
“I was being stung to death by bees.”
“Don’t call me Spooky.”
Good natured silence balanced them.
“Deputy Fife doesn’t believe I’m a credible witness.”
“His loss.” The tinkle of ice against glass. “You doing OK?”
“Sure.” Colette crawled off the floor and sat on the bed.
“You tried to protect me from them.”
“I was in your dreams?”
Always, but she didn’t say it.
“So, what do the bees mean?”
She took a deep breath. She realized he was giving her time to pull herself together, to slip into her safe teacher-mode. “Bees represent betrayal, usually sexual in nature. Mindless mob ruled by instinct and preservation of a singular concept, fanatically so. Bees are ancient and the first insects to be domesticated.”
“I know something about bees, too. They can’t really fly.” The ice and glass tolled again.
“What do you know about Ralph Waldo Emerson?”
“They were those mutant turtle things, right?”
If she closed her eyes, she could still smell his skin. “He wrote a poem. Lots of poems, but there’s one in particular. It’s creepy to me. I keep hearing phrases from it. ‘Alway, alway something sings’.”
“Do you – need some company?”
“Camp, this is the first vacation you’ve taken since Noah launched his ark.”
“That wasn’t a no.”
“Are you fishing?”
Metaphysically, she threw herself at him for a brief moment. “Be careful where you put your hooks.”
“I keep them in my tackle box.”
“Nope. There’s one scattered on your boat, hidden. Be careful not to get stuck by it.”
She heard him take a sip. “Good night, Spooky.”
“Good night, Camp.”
Follow the Bees
© Evelyn Rainey
Available for publication.