Honey Pots

By
The blue dress her mother had laid out for the day blew around her legs in the wind. Every step she took was emphasized by the squeak of her rubber boots. Her dark brown hair, constructed into two messy braids by her mother, bobbed along behind her neck. Henry and Melanie looked out into the world of muck and mire from under her Dad’s dock, gawking at this treasure of their own.

Melanie had lived next door to Henry her whole life. Henry was a year older than she, with pale skin and white blonde hair. He had a goofy smile and glasses with lenses as thick as fingers. They lived on a cove. When the tide was pulled in by the strong arms of the moon, the cove filled with the ocean, a swimming pool of salt water. But low tide was a different story; as the waters were pushed away a graying mud appeared. This mud had a certain smell; like the death of sealife, rotting seaweed, and salt water bathing in the sun all day. Most people hated the smell, but Henry and Mel always found comfort in it. The rocks and shells buried deep in the sludge, waited for someone's foot to sink in too deep and give them a reminder of what lies below. There is a pathway of water at low tide, filled with tiny shells and the occasional school of minnows, confused and frightened by the low water and children's spalshing. The mud in this pathway was firmer than the rest of the cove, the only safe route to move about. But one cannot resist the unsafe route. Soft, sun-warmed mud that seemed to go on for miles, with only tiny islands of seaweed to break the muck.The squish and splatter of every step, like walking in a giant bowl of pudding. A childhood dream.

Just as sure as the butterflies would return every summer and the bees would continue to buzz on their daily adventures, there was a flaw to this wonderland. Honey pots, someone deviously named them, trying to decieve people into believing there were jars of golden goodness lodged in the mud. Honey pots were mud’s equivalent of quicksand. Spots you would step into, and, in a five-year-old child's mind, be swallowed into oblivion.

The anticipation of what was to come from this messy adventure burned inside of them. The excitement of the sloppy games of tag and make believe to come churned their stomachs and quickened their pulses. Who could they be today? Pirates? Astronauts? Kings and Queens hailing from the realm of gunk? Henry and Mel stepped out of the cover of the dock, and walked along the watery safety net. When they got far enough out, they stopped and gazed out on the unsafe terrain, and were tempted no longer.

They galloped and played, splattering mud with every footfall. They danced a ballet of childhood happiness. The sun and spring breeze their audience, applauding their every move. Their clothes dotted with the mud, which their mothers would scold them for, but they could care less. The world was theirs, even if it was only for an hour. They were fearless knights as they ran, and laughed aloud at the thought of honey pots being their maker, though they both feared them secretly. Honey pots were their dragon; they would slay and defeat them most of the time, but who knows when they would find one that might defeat them.

This world they were in came to a crashing halt as Mel's foot was swallowed by the cruel mouth of this muck. She frantically pulled at it, but she was slowly swallowed into this muddy prison. The mud bubbled and burped, adjusting to the leg sinking into it. Her bright yellow boots made much less brilliant with the gray-brown mud staining them. She searched for Henry. When she spotted him she was almost angry he hadn't noticed her yet.

"Henry!" she shouted.

He turned and looked at her, frightened by the sudden shattering of his own personal utopia.

"Mel!" he screamed, as he started running towards her. When he reached her, she grabbed at him like a drowning victim. Her screams resembled those of a murderer's prey, trying desperatly to escape the awful last moments of this life. She was afraid that these were her last moments. The more she struggled and yelled the more anxious Henry became. He tried to soothe her.

"Hold on, stop struggling. It'll make it harder to get you out." he advised wisely.

The calmness in his voice did nothing but frighten her more. How could he be so at peace, while his best friend was trapped by the malicious jaws of the honey pots. She couldn't think straight, everything hit her at once.Would the honey pot decide it wanted more young blood, and come back for Henry? Her parents, sisters, what would become of them? Would they miss her? Would they replace her with the dog the kids always begged for? Would Val steal all her Barbies, forgetting their old owner? All the outrageous questions that crammed themselves into her mind screamed for answers, as the smelly goop swallowed her more and more, inch by inch.

Her heart rate increased as the tugging and pulling seemed to be doing nothing. Her breath came in short panicked spurts. And just as she was losing hope, feeling like these moments of desperation would be her last, she pulled her foot free from the jaws of childhood fear. The effort from the tug that freed her made them both topple over into a pile of mud, sweat, and relief.

She rolled off him, and they kind of looked at each other, realizing what had just happened. As if they hadn't just experienced it first hand, but through someone else's eyes. They looked at the hole where her foot had been trapped. It filled back up with mud, waiting for its next sad victim. They got up and walked to the safe path of water, went under the dock, and walked up the grassy hill back into their yards.

As he walked to his house and she walked to hers, she thought about how many times Henry had been there for her. One of the many times that Henry would save her from a doomed fate. She thought about how he was her best friend, and how they would be there for each other always. He would grab her hand as she slipped from the tree branch, protect her from the evil dog down the street, even save her from a cruel honey pot. She turned to look at him. He was covered in mud, and was walking at a slow pace. He turned around as she watched him, seeming to feel her eyes on him. They both smiled when they saw the other looking, and felt a sense of security. He waved to her with a newly found confidence. As if being hero for a day had started a revolution in the way he lived.She waved back shyly, but everything from her smile to the way she waved back was grateful. They both turned their backs on each other and walked back towards their houses, but they both knew they would never do such a thing in any other situation.





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SoulSearch13 said...
Sept. 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm
Wow! I loved it, keep writing so I may keep reading! :)
 
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