Lately, I’ve played around with some prompt-based writing, including some productive flash fiction and themed short story pieces for LitReactor. But for a while now, I’ve watched from the side of the pool while several of my writer friends have enjoyed a dip into picture-prompt flash fiction. Now, I finally have the opportunity to put on a suit and join them.
And now (drum roll, puhleeese), my entry:
“The Language of Bees” by C. Patrick Neagle
My father said that of all the reasons I might wish to put a bumblebee in my mouth, impressing someone else wasn’t a good one.
But what did he know of the trials one must face to win the heart of the girl with the flying ponytail, the easy laugh, the eyes that saw worlds wherever she looked? What did he know, who had proposed to my mother by winding an engagement ring into cotton candy for her to discover at the top of the Ferris Wheel, and then had to make the carnies shut down the ride and search for it among the litter when it fell? What did he know, who had carried my mother the last quarter mile to the hospital door when the car ran out of gas and she was big and ready with me?
When we found the hive in the wall of the tumbledown barn, I put a bumblebee in my mouth. And then, my tongue swollen with fire, it was my turn to be carried to the hospital by my father.
What did he know of being the fool?
She had laughed that easy laugh, and there were worlds in her eyes.
Well, it was 200 words instead of 100. Figured I’d cash in some of the words I didn’t use in those previous Fictioneer outings I missed–okay, okay, I didn’t dare make it shorter. The bees might not like it.
[I stole the father’s advice in paragraph 1 of this flash from Phil Jourdan of LitReactor. Hopefully he won’t mind too much.]