Make Belief Studios ~

December 29, 2007

chapter 09

Filed under: 01 Into the Hive, Gilded Providence, Story, WIP — Tags: , , , — Saturday @ 12:26 pm

“‘Black Widow Wasps?!'” I raged. “What kind of god forsaken name is ‘Black Widow’? And why is it wasp? That’s not a bee at all! They don’t make honey, Tremarch!”
“I know normal wasps don’t make honey, but these are not normal wasps! They’re bees! Which are also wasps and… I don’t know! They are what they are and they do make honey!” I turned away, kneaded my brow between my fingers and moaned in exasperation.

We continued to trudge along the thin, yet worn, path from the cutting grounds. My head was heavy. Tremarch’s… boots… were heavy. And loud.
Ugh. “They know we’re here.” Were you trying to be sneaky with all that heavy equipment?

We were still surrounded by Royal Oak, as well as many other smaller trees intermingling amongst the magnificent trunks: thin birch, pointy spruce, and many fuzzy ferns. The afternoon sun still shone bright and warm through the humid forest canopy, but the trees grew paler and woollier as we walked. A soft string wiped across my cheek, just brushing my eyelid, and stuck there firmly. I rapidly waved it off.
Yuck, cobwebs! This trip was looking up when I didn’t have to do anything but this is going to suck! Not to mention there’s something up with the name “Black Widow Wasp”. More so than the fact that a bee is being called a wasp… Geeze! Tremarch better get me to town tomorrow!

While passing under a particularly hairy branch on our path, a small dark clump fell and landed on my shoulder, scurrying down my arm. A spider! I frantically scratched the puny menace from my sleeve.
Eeeew! I hate those things!
I quickly became paranoid of any low looming branches we had to pass. Shivering, my hands were kept at ears height in anticipation of any more dark objects falling in my direction.
Now I get it— all these trees, all this white stringy stuff covering them. It’s all spider webs! Disgusting! Tremarch! What are you expecting from a young girl like me?

Tremarch kept his eyes straight down the path, using his axe as a walking stick. While I occasionally stumbled in pot holes and over unearthed roots, Tremarch’s stumpy legs had every inch of the path memorized. Gracefully gliding from one step to the next without so much as a stub of the toe. We passed under another low branch and I bent forward to avoid the ghastly, sticky threads which reached below it. Whomp. Something thick landed on my back and I felt a thin spiny finger curl over my shoulder.

“EEEEEK!!!” I shot my back up straight and the light from Tremarch’s blade slung down behind me. The finger disappeared with a sloshing sound and with a heavy shove, Tremarch pushed me into the bushes. I huffed through the dust and pulled open a hole in the wall of leaves so that I could see. Then quickly broke off as many of the tiny branches poking me as I could. Tremarch ran down the path a few steps and swung his axe down again. A second dark, spiky figure burst into two and wriggled on the ground. My breath shook and I stumbled my way through the bushes, following beside the path as best I could.

A light buzzing filled the air and Tremarch continued to jog up the path, through long curtains of cobwebs dangling from the branches above. Yuck. Even the bushes were getting thick and sticky with webs.

Another demonic figure leapt at Tremarch and he knocked it away with the back of his axe. It screeched and sailed to a thud against a tree directly beside me. I took a glance at it but quickly turned away. It was as large as Tremarch’s head, hair included, and it’s long spike like legs curled up over its striped body in dead insect fashion. A broken wing jutted out and golden goo oozed and saturated the short fur covering its two part body. I flinched and squirmed, crawling further down the path.

“Sally!” Tremarch shouted, beginning to use his axe on the thickening blankets of web which now coated the entire forest floor. “Once I distract the queen, run to the hive and get the honey!”
“Which one’s the queen? Where’s the hive?!” I tried to holler back but the growing roar which filled the trees drowned out my voice.

More insects dove at Tremarch. The shrieks of their wings pierced our ears. With his sun filled axe, he sliced them in mid air. Tremarch and I pushed through a final layer of cobweb and seemed to have found ourselves in the middle of the nest.

The white holey walls all seemed to curve around this area which was about the size of Tremarch’s back yard. As if we had entered into some kind of haunted planetarium. I was this overwhelmed when I came here willingly. I couldn’t imagine what it might have been like to unwittingly stumble into something like this. Like I could’ve done if I ever would have tried to make it to town by myself.

Black Widow Wasps. These were them. They were striped like bees. Their bodies were long and had fangs like wasps. Long antennae flipped about the air smelling Tremarch and their wings fanned with speed beyond sight. Each had upon its back the renown symbol of danger: the Black Widow’s red hourglass.
Why didn’t the name clue me in the first time I heard it? Black Widows have nothing to do with bees! They’re spiders!
These things were arachnids! They all had two body segments and eight legs! It was also no doubt that they were responsible for the silver nets which lined the forest.

My two least favorite creatures.
They covered the floor, the webbed walls, the webbed ceiling, and hovered in the air. Each spaced a body length apart from the other, all at once they began to advance on Tremarch. I fearfully curled up into a ball in my length of bushes and peered through the leaves onto the scene. Surprisingly the insects didn’t invade the bush or even seem to notice my presence.

Tremarch’s smell probably out powers my own.
Occasionally one would buzz by just above my head. The vibrations of their wings was maddening.

Tremarch unleashed the full force of his axe. With wide, lightning fast swings the bees were bursting all around him in gooey demise. Legs and wings flew from the scene. Tremarch’s eyes were wide as he puffed out grunts with each swing. The bees didn’t let back. Five after four, they attacked from the air, the ground, jumping in between, and Tremarch gallantly slew them all without loosing his footing.

Several of the bees stood upon branches out of reach and spat streams of glimmering webbing from the upturned ends of their abdomens. The collected sticky twine fell heavy and covered Tremarch but it didn’t phase him. The webbing broke open with every swing of his arms and the bees couldn’t touch him.

Tremarch cleared the air of all flying bees and with a boot of his armored foot, sent a crawling pile flying away! With a heavy grunt he pulled the strings from his eyes and readjusted his grip on the axe. Another pile of bees lunged at him and Tremarch cut them all from the side. The golden mist of unmade honey sparkled in the air and splattered against the netted trees.

I tucked my arms and legs in close to my body, keeping them as far away from the edges of my safety bush as I could. The beating of wings and the shrieks of dying bees echoed and scratched across the walls of the nest. The bees were clumped together tighter than ever around Tremarch, but there were noticeable spaces developing at the other side of the nest. In fact, I could begin to see the shape of a large Royal Oak just off the far wall. The peeling white tree had a large opening which glowed with a familiar golden reflection, like that of the sun bounding from the walls of Tremarch’s house, but it was suddenly blackened as it was crossed over by a massive shadow.

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