Tom resorted to tuck-float position in the middle of a backyard pool, fully clothed. He was attempting to hide from an army of bees hovering above the pool. They were hoping to introduce themselves. He was hoping for them to leave.  A couple of seconds for the partying bees felt like an eternity to him. His stiff body kept trembling as the demanding water took its toll.

He thought of serious things, hoping they’d distract him from the looming asphyxia.  He promised himself that he’d change his ways if he miraculously manage to emerge unscathed from his dilemma. First thing he’d do is surrender the pieces of jewelry to the family he just ransacked, then apologize to his bookie, then forget the soul-torching concrete jungle and fly back to the countryside, the place where his life all began and the place where his life would all begin again.

As minutes passed by, he slowly but surely accepted the conclusion that the hedonistic commodities he was chasing throughout his life were as useful as a pair of water-filled lungs.  On the brink of death, he started not to think about the latest sedan, started not to think about the colorful sneakers in the display window that stole his attention. He instead started to think about the time his childhood friends hanged his mountain bike on a tree, the time he was cuddling his ex-wife in a hammock while soaking up the sunset.

He emerged from the pool, a changed man, a second birth. His dreadful situation had become a spiritual healing.  Penance is what he thought of the hundreds of bee stings he took proudly. The family he ransacked forgave him and didn’t take any legal action. His bookie lent him more cash for his newly-acquired convulsions. The people in his hometown would often ask about the origin of the sea of rashes tattooed around his body, to which he would always reply that it was a genetic issue. For these rashes were his secret pact with God. His secret with the bees.

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
4 months ago

How telling that nature was responsible for your protagonist’s rebirth. Well done, Jim.

Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
4 months ago

Mother Nature works in mysterious ways! How fortunate Tom was that she chose to be generous enough to let him live that day! She must have known it would be enough to turn him around!

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
4 months ago

Jim, I enjoyed the way you described your protagonist’s dilemma in the first paragraph. I was happy to read in the last paragraph that after all the trauma he had been through, he was given a second chance and he stuck to his ‘resolutions’ he made while he was in the water.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
4 months ago

I like how bees and water changed Tom’s life and rebirthed him. Indeed, it is a very mysterious way. Nice job. I love it.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Jim Well
4 months ago

You are most welcome, Jim.

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Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
3 months ago

Well written, Jim, I think I felt every sting! And, a great plot – if only swarms of partying bees could attack wrong-doers the world over  🙂 

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