Make Belief Studios ~

January 12, 2008

chapter 11

Filed under: 01 Into the Hive, Gilded Providence, Story, WIP — Tags: , , , — Saturday @ 12:32 pm

As soon as I recognized the initial sensation, an explosion of claws and spines enveloped me! The thundering waterfall of marching insects with piercing cries invaded my ears and chilled my skin. I flipped myself over with a wide swing of my legs and swung my arms at the scurrying shapes which leaped from side to side of my body!

Do they have stingers?! Can they sting me?!
It didn’t matter, really. The fangs extending from their faces were more than enough to worry about! I slapped and shoved as many of the things off as I could but they were fast gathering! Then a shriek shot through the ground and the creatures trembled off me! I quickly jumped to my feet and twirled to look at the source. Between the edges of Tremarch’s helmet I saw the giant queen bee pin Tremarch against a tree and jackknife her body to rear its disgusting head in my direction.

Oh no.
There was nothing left to think about as instinct took over my body. Swiveling my feet around, once more I ran with all I had towards the glowing mouth of the Royal Oak. The ground shook rhythmically. The queen! She was chasing me! I lost my footing every time I took a step with the shaking ground, so I had to time my strides in between the queen’s and push against the ground for all it was worth!

The worker bees were scattering away from the hive, I could tell the queen was getting close. Her pace had doubled and I could barely move forward without falling down, but I was there! I had made it to the mouth of the tree. I could grab hold of the knotted roots above the ground and heave myself into the opening! There was the old metal bucket. I lifted it, it was light, I needed honey! I was in the hive, there was honey everywhere! My boots were thick with honey. I dragged the bucket along the golden pool I was in and filled it to the rim. Now we could get out of there! We had filled the king’s order of a full Royal Oak, and two pots of honey!

Wait. I think Tremarch may have overlooked something.

I shot my head towards the outside. There was nothing there. The forest was quiet. I couldn’t hear the queen, but she was after me, right? Cautiously I backed away from the opening. Grasping the handle of the bucket close to my chest, I hunched as I walked and stopped at what felt to be the center of the room. I slowly turned around and looked.

There were no bees. No movement of any kind. The walls had large honeycomb compartments built into them and the rear wall was covered in white, bottle sized bubbles, extending up high into the tree. Honey covered everything. The thick syrup caught the little beams of sunlight and spread it through the whole hive. Golden stalactites dripped from the higher walls and with careful listening, I could hear the subtle splashes of a chorus of droplets within the impressions of the honeycombs.

A slight wheezing sound like some kind of spray, came from the opening of the hive. The queen! I hurried and jammed my back up against the side of the hive, trying to get out of view of the entrance. I breathed deeply. I couldn’t see the queen. I didn’t want to see the queen! That hairy disgusting mass! I squeezed my eyes shut and pressed into the wall.

Nothing intruded. The spraying sound continued and when I opened my eyes I could see little tufts of floating white thread glimmering from the entrance. I gasped.

I know what she’s doing!
I dropped the bucket of honey, ran to the center of the hive and looked towards the doorway! A white, stringy blanket had formed where the opening once was and it grew thicker and thicker.
“TREMARCH!” I screamed, “What happened to you?! Why aren’t you helping me out? Get me out of here, NOW!”

There was a creaking noise and my eyes lit up, but the noise hadn’t come from the doorway. I turned my head to look behind me. One of the bubbles on the back wall had ripped open. I turned around and stepped toward it, looking closer. Each bubble had a pale yellow glow to it and a dark, opaque center, except for the one which had apparently ripped. It was empty.

The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and my hands started to tremble. My heart quickened, but I had to get a closer look. I inched in towards the wall and leaned my face close to the circular objects. I traced the shape within with my eyes. Among the blob of a shape that filled the globule, I could make out a large circle which looked like an eye and some smaller circles which looked like a series of folded up legs.

There was another crunch. I looked up, to the left and there was a second ripped bubble that was empty. I exhaled a quivering breath and quickly stumbled back away from the wall and sat rigid in the puddle of honey. My eyes were wide and my body grew horribly tense. Something chirped.

A small, damp ball of fur sat in a honey comb next to the wall of orbs. It bobbed its small body up and down periodically, then it spread out a small pair of wings and buzzed droplets of moisture from them.
No more. No more, no more, no more, no more. Please God no more!
The tiny creature set back on its eight hunched legs, raised its fangs and hissed in my direction.

A hot tear streamed down my cheek. Unblinkingly, I watched the entire three plus story wall of Black Widow Wasp eggs begin to rip open and the fresh spawns chirp, buzz, and hiss in hungry harmony. My hands inched back behind me, as far away from the wall as I could. Was the queen still at the door? It didn’t matter. I needed to get out of there! The wall had come alive with miniature monsters creeping out of their shells, biting at each other and shaking the fluids off their wings, all the while, their coal like eyes watching me. I wanted to keep quiet. I wanted to be invisible, but I could no longer control my breath and I couldn’t help but whimper.

“TREMAAAAARCH!!!” I wailed until my voice cracked! The giant black shadow burst from the shining wall and streamed over itself towards me! I raised my arms in defense but it just knocked me down to my back! In frozen horror I stared straight up the hive. The queen. She was still coming for me! High up into the tree I could see her! The newly born bees scurried and pinched every crevice of my body, as their mother hauled her over sized body down the narrow top of the tree.

I was crying. The giant, dark, furry monster of tiny bodies wrapped my body tight then pulled me. It pulled away from me. A massive firework had erupted! A blinding beam of light shot through the doorway of the hive, through the embodiment of bees, and shattered the white shelled wall on the other side! The walls all ripped apart and I felt like I was flying. Slowly, creature by creature, the blanket of bees unraveled, pulled from my body, and sailed into the air. The whole tree sailed end over end, high into the forest tree tops, a white shredded cape of web trailing behind it. I floated in the air and watched through the narrow visor of Tremarch’s helmet.

With a jarring slop my back hit the thick puddle of honey which covered the remaining tree stump. The Royal Oak with the hive struck the ground some distance away and the entire forest quaked. I tried to grasp onto the waves of thick goo as the puddle I laid in rocked me back and forth. An impenetrable screaming and buzzing picked up as a thick black cloud poured out of the decapitated hive and rose into the air. The left over bees outside of the tree leaped and flew to join the crowd. With a maddening racket which I’m sure could’ve been heard all the way to the castle, the inky cloud of bees dissipated high above the trees and vanished into the sky. The earth continued to tremble long after the army had gone.

I failed to pull myself out of the pool of sticky honey, but with wicked effort I did eventually manage to roll over and push myself free. Not before nearly suffocating in the horrid stuff, though. I sat up and looked around.

I felt reasonably secure now that the normal forest insects had started singing again. The net of webs enclosing the area had broken and sunlight poured in thickly. I peeled Tremarch’s helmet off from the back of my head and attempted to clean the honey off my face and neck with the bandanna that was still wrapped around my hair.
Perhaps I’m feeling too safe? Now would be the perfect time for a follow up attack wouldn’t it?
Well, after all that, there’s no way my poor head would ever have been willing to admit that the worse might not be over.
What the heck is that growing whirling sound?

A gleaming beam of light shot in from above me and soared across the nest! It whizzed through the air and took the form of an axe as it struck into an out stretched gauntlet.

Covered in leaves, bits of bark and clods of webbing, Tremarch exhaled exhaustively as he lowered his arm and turned his mighty blade to the ground so he could rest his head upon the bottom of its handle.


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