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The Swarm She Never Saw Coming

Quinn Munc / 12

“Tschüss!” Mila wrote at the end of her diary entry. It was a bright, sunny Tuesday in 1926 and she didn’t have a care in the world. Mila heard the stove's timer go off behind her, and so she closed her journal and dropped her pen, then swung her head back to look at the kitchen. Her carmel hair fell elegantly, and her eyes were bright blue.

She rushed to the oven and pulled the banana bread out. She briefly took a whiff of the smell before setting it down on the countertop. The bread looked happy, like it was glad to have been baked and would be delighted to be eaten. She turned off the oven and her new timer she purchased from the store. They had only come out that year.

Raising her eye level she peered with a smile out the kitchen window at the neighbors kids frolicing in the fields of daffodils and marigolds. It was five thirty in the afternoon and she figured although they were hollering that they might as well enjoy the sun while they could. “Gluten Tag!” Mila cheered out to the children. “Gluten Tag!” They all replied. She watched them for a moment playing tag and duck- duck goose, sprinting through the grass and kicking soccer balls into the air. The fruit and horse - chestnut trees standing beside them. Mila only hoped while watching them that they were aware of the trench not far from them.

Mila shifted and put her oven gloves into a nearby drawer. Walking back into her dining room Mila brainstormed what dinner her parents would like that day and what ingredients they already had in their pantry and fridge. Mila gasped. She heard the children screaming, all of them shouting at a high pitch as loud as they could. “I knew I should’ve told them about the trench, I knew I should’ve warned them!” She told herself bursting through the door.

“They must’ve fallen and broken their legs, they’re gonna need to go to the hospital!” She worried. Running from her front door over to her back yard Mila expected to find the children in the trench crying, but instead they were still running around. Just like before. Then she noticed, they’re not running from each other, they're running from the bees.

Beehives filled the forest behind them, they must’ve hit a hive playing soccer. The children were being stung, all of them, on their faces, arms and legs, and they began to fall. One by one. Swollen from head to toe, Mila ran to them, being attacked herself. Every sting piercing her skin, and with every sting she felt less alive. And then she herself fell to the grass. And no one was running anymore.


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