Make Belief Studios ~

December 22, 2007

chapter 08

Filed under: 01 Into the Hive, Gilded Providence, Story, WIP — Tags: , , , — Saturday @ 1:14 pm

With a wide swoop and an echoing “crack”, Tremarch threw his axe from shoulder to shoulder! From Tremarch’s striking point a thin black line speedily crept halfway through the tree and exploded out a cloud of dust.

“You might want to step out of the way, Love. These things got quite some force.” My heart quickened nervously as I pushed myself off the trailer and hustled to the edge of the bushes. Tremarch lined himself up with the trailer and anchored a foot against the tree, just above the mark from his first swing. Another mighty swoop and he sunk his axe into the trunk. A screech shot out and the crack spread all the way around the giant oak. With a kick of Tremarch’s armored boot the tree teetered momentarily, twirled, and came thrashing down.

“Yipe!” Escaped my mouth as the tree thundered against the trailer. The ground shook and a shower of leaves, dust, and branches followed. I covered my head and squinted towards the cloud which enveloped the fallen tree. The trailer’s front wheels had bounced up high while the rear ones sank to the axle in the soft dirt. It remained standing on end like a spooked horse with the long top of the tree bent against the ground. With just two chops Tremarch had brought down the mighty Royal Oak.

Hopping over the fresh oak stump, Tremarch waddled to the end of the trailer, “Would you pick the smaller branches off the body for me, dear?” With my eyes wide I nodded silently and scoured the tree trunk for branches thin enough for me to break off.

While I reached out for a nearby twig, the tree shook violently. Three loud cracks and the trailer’s front two wheels crashed to the ground. Tremarch wiped his axe head off on the pant leg sticking out over his boots and put it aside. Squatting down, he placed the flat of his palms against the underside of the trailer. Without a grunt, Tremarch lifted the trailer’s wheels out of their indents and set them on level ground.

I don’t know how to treat this…
I had no idea Tremarch had such monstrous strength. He was running up and down the tree with his axe in front of him slicing through any large or small branch in his way. I was still staring, mouth opened, when he finished and came back to my end.
“Get that last one for me, would you please?”
There was a twig sticking out in front of me, no longer than the length of my hand. I snapped it off. Tremarch smiled widely and strolled away to the end of the tree.

I guess he likes his work. What the heck did he need me for?
With a flick of his axe, the tree top was sliced off and Tremarch pulled the tip of the armless trunk above his head. Hand over hand, Tremarch stepped towards the trailer, pushing the trunk up as he went. As if he was setting up an extremely tall ladder, Tremarch stood the tree back up on its end. It flipped over crashed into the deck of the trailer just the like before. Again with a cloud of dust the wheels had sunk into the dirt and another yip escaped my mouth.

Holding the thick trunk between his arms as best he could, Tremarch pushed and shuffled the tree into position beside the other log. Together they were slightly wider than the trailer, but somehow he managed to keep both pieces on deck.
I don’t care what Tremarch says! With this kind of power he has to be a dwarf of some kind. This certainly isn’t human…
Once more, with three swings of his axe, Tremarch had cut off the remaining overhang of tree trunk and proceeded to flip it over onto the trailer. I squatted down with my hands over my ears and braced myself. The tree hit the deck and the ground thundered as expected. Then it shook. Then it screeched and vibrated. A sound I had forgotten filled the air and my head, jolting awake the same piercing fear as the first time I heard it. I fell to my bottom in the trench of the path and fought to keep my hands over my ears. A real shriek burst from me then the sound and shaking suddenly quieted. It was much quicker this time, but no doubt, the very same experience as I had in front of Tremarch’s food pantry.

“Is that what makes the earthquakes?! You throwing trees around?” I calmed my breathing long enough to snap at Tremarch.
“No… That was the bees.” Tremarch held onto the end of the trailer and scanned the tree tops. “They know we’re here now.” Suddenly a dark coldness began, drainingly pulling at my insides from my spine.

With a very real grunt of effort this time, Tremarch once more lifted the trailer out of the sunken ground. He proceeded to restrain the logs against the deck by tossing the excess rope I had untangled over, under, and around the trailer. He knotted them until he was satisfied the logs would remain fixated for the journey home. Returning to the guiding rail in front, Tremarch began to weave the trailer through the shallow valleys of the tree stumps until it was facing back towards home. I remained silent and frozen in my spot on the ground.

Tremarch approached me. “Buck up, young girl! Their bark is worse than their bite! They’re just bees after all!” My eyes crawled up the sides of their sockets to look at Tremarch’s gleaming, stocky figure.
“That was not a bark and they are no bees.” Expressionlessly I raised my legs up, but kept my face level with Tremarch’s. “What was that?! This isn’t something I just can’t worry about! The whole forest was shaking! How can bees do something like that?! I mean, certainly not bees I could ever survive against! Now what exactly did you bring me out here for?!” I shouted. Tremarch had taken a step back. I dropped my chin down and panted to regain my breath.

“Sally… I really do need your help.” Tremarch recomposed himself and looked me softly in the eyes. I sighed heavily and pulled myself upright.
“What exactly are we doing here?”
“Gettin’ double the order. That greedy king wants two pots of honey this time. Two! One pot is no problem for me. A dozen worker bees’ll carry one pots worth of honey, but two pots! We’ll have to raid the main nest.” I went pale. “Do not worry! I promise you, Sally! You will not be in harm’s way. Not even for a second! So long as you keep you’re legs strong. Squeal is the most they can do.” Tremarch had my hands in his, very concerned like. “I will handle all the bees myself. Not one will go near you. But I need you to collect the honey. There’s a pot already near the hive waiting for us. Once I draw the bees, I need you to fill the pot then we’ll escape back this way. I’ll make sure the bees won’t even chase us this far.”

I was left very unenthusiastic about my immediate future, but I couldn’t shake the look in Tremarch’s eyes, beckoning me. For anybody else I probably would have ran away, but something was different about Tremarch.
“What kind of bees were these again?”

“Black Widow Wasps.”

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