In the still of the black night sky, two brilliant beams of light, so white, soared into the atmosphere. Stopping with a flash. A soft red glow died out.
It is five-thirty am. Cleveland, [the bee-keeper], was up and out loading up his GMC Sierra, getting ready to spend the day out in the country with his bees. He yells to the house to Iola, telling her to hurry up. And why does she have to come anyway. That she never does anything to help, just gets in the way slowing him down. Then he chuckled to himself, calling out how the bees are more afraid of her, and that she might as well stay in the city and do something useful for a change. Iola is smirking and shaking her head and gave a roll of her eyes as she finished packing refreshments for the long day. She reminds herself that deep down Cleveland is as sweet as pie, by grabbing, his favorite coffee mug, the one which pictures a huge bee with the caption, [ BEE-KIND], printed in bold red letters.
Little four-year old Sarophia stirs in her sleep, she sat up in her bed. She is crying as she rubs her eyes calling for her mother, who is quickly making her way to the child. The mother consoles her daughter asking if everything is okay, telling her that it was all a bad dream as she removes the long locks of hair out of Sarophia’s tiny face. “Do you want to come outside and help mommy hang the cloths?” She stopped crying and smiled. “Yes.” She is happy to join her mother. She reached up wrapping her little arms, around her mother’s neck and rests her head on her mothers strong shoulders, as she is safely carried away. Outside the birds were chirping, dogs were barking, and people were leaving for work to the big city or just doing their thing out side, like everyone else. It was a beautiful day and the breeze was warm, just right for hanging out cloths, and other chores.
Up the road Steve is trying to wake Sam, telling him they have to go fishing, that the worms in the fridge are starting to stink. Sam is telling Steve to run right along and get things started. Steve reminds Sam that he would if he wasn’t so unconventional. Sam swings his legs up and across the bed getting up., telling Steve, he has a nice spot picked out. Steve raises his eyebrows, leaving his bedroom telling Sam, he bets it is the spot is next to one of the ten thousand other spots on the lake. Sam replies asking him why they were friends again. Steve calls from the kitchen reminding Sam, over thirty years in the army, together. Then he barks, that the hives have to be checked before dark to get a move on things. Steve and Sam are bee keepers as well.
The sun is coming up over the trees as Cleveland turns down a dirt driveway. The hut, with its twenty-two hive boxes, sit sixty feet off the road way. He parks the truck and they get out. Iola scouts the landscape with her hand over her eyes. She is wanting to pick, fresh wild field flowers for quite a while and is happy to be out in the country. Cleveland smiles telling her to run along and play, frolic or go stand on her head, like a little girl that she is. That he will do the unloading so she won’t be in the way. Then he snickers at her. “Go on then little girl, go play.” Iola laughed at him reminding him it is he who wants the flowers and thinks she should have them freshly picked and on the table everyday. “Wait, i need my hat, it is in the bag with the mugs and i want to take the basket.” “Yes yes yes . . .Give me a minute . . .i only have two hands. You know what i mean jelly bean.” He smiled. he shook his head. ”I don’t know why you needed to come . . .Your holding me up already. Little girls little girls.” She knew not to say anything, that it was just small talk, and he ment no harm by any of it. She knew what he was like and she like him just fine.
Sarophia and her mother, finished hanging the wash. “How would you like to help mommy do some gardening.” She shook her tiny head yes, did a little dance as she and her mother made their way over to the root cellar. Sarophia watched as her mother unlatched the big doors and used both hands to open the heavy thick door, leaving the one shut. “Okay now, listen to me, go down slowly not to fall and get the basket of garden tools.” Sarophia looked down the big steps, then up at the big door. “But mommy what if the door falls down.” “The door can’t fall down, go on.” “But mommy what if it does?” “Then you will have to wait for me to come back and open it.” “But mommy is there bears down there?” Her mother giggled telling Sarophia to listen and stop making up excuses and finish helping.”
The cellar had ten steps that lead down deep into the darkness and disappeared turning a corner with a larger area dug out. It was built during the war, and now used for cold storage . Sarophia did not have to go that far, the basket sat maybe another ten feet from the steps. She looked up at her mother. “Go on now . . .Look.” She watched in the direction of her mother’s finger. “Look. Look over there. See where the apples are?” “Yes.” “Well see look there.” She points just across from the basket of apples. ” Do you think you can get that for mommy? . . .And i will go get you a nice cup of juice and a coffee for me.” Sarophia gave a nod of her head, and went down ten deep steps and her mother went for refreshments. This would take Sarophia a good five minutes as her mother need time to make the coffee. And she knew, once the child was down the steps, she would stop and forget all about the basket of garden tools because there was a box of toys there too. Time is what she needed and time is what she would have. She would not need to worry about the safety of her daughter leaving the yard in chase of a cat, she could happily make her coffee and get the child a drink without worry. The only time she needed was maybe five minutes, even then would be to long, she would go check on little Sarophia anyway. She love her daughter more that life at times and this time was one of the times she felt the love.
Iola was standing in a tall grassy field about four fields down from the hut with nothing but fields all around her. A patch of birds, raced to the sky and she could hear dogs barking in the distance. Cleveland was down under ground. Three years ago he spent the summer digging out the floor of his hut and built a whole new area where it was quiet and cool. He couldn’t hear anything down there and that is the way he liked it. quite!
Steve and Sam were just putting the boat on the water after loading in all their gear and snacks for the day. They were hoping for a nice catch that would last them a few days, or a few nice meals of fresh fish. Steve brought along his diving gear just in case he felt like diving. And this time he did. He put on his gear and would go down under water and explore where he might find lots of fish and that is where they would sit the boat. Splashhhhh, in he went.
Sarophia is still down playing in the root cellar in the box of toys like her mother thought, while her mother is nearing the root cellar with the coffee and cold juice. Then a wrathful flash of red filled the air, sky, everything! . . . She dropped the drinks and raced to the cellar, screaming for Sarophia then a deafening screech knocked her to the ground just as she slams the big heavy door shut! Sarophia screams in the blackness.