All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Beware of the Bees
Whenever something important needs doing, or there’s an important task at hand, procrastinators tend to do their best work. So as Heidi started her English assignment the day before it was due, she began to regret her horrible scheduling. Cursing herself for not starting earlier she attempted to start the story but “Once upon a time” didn’t feel right and neither did “It was a dark and stormy night”. She ground her teeth in frustration, got up from the desk, and walked downstairs to her mother.
“Mumma, help meeee” she whined,
“What do you want now, demon?”
“I have to write this dumb short story for English but I can’t think about what to write.”
“Well, have you tried looking around your room for inspiration?”
“Yesss and before you ask, I also tried getting ideas from books.”
“Then go outside, maybe getting fresh air for the first time in years would help.”
“Hardy har har” Heidi grumbled as she pulled on her sneakers and jacket. Starting right off, she glanced around the yard.
“Ah yes, sticks and stones. Definitely story material,” she mumbled to herself. Bounding down the front steps, she surveyed the street in all of its less-than-spectacular glory. Chipped cement, drab houses, and unkempt lawns thrived in her neighborhood and it wasn’t exactly the perfect place to inspire a life-changing idea. She strode down the sidewalk and contemplated life. If one had the stamina to walk to the neighboring town, they were rewarded with picture-perfect houses with their beautiful lawns. Not to mention the legendary apples that grew almost year-round and were the pride of the town.
The walk down the street had provided just about as much story potential as the yard. But when she watched a turkey strut around in the forest next to her, a root had seized the chance to jump in front of her foot and trip her.
“Hey, are you okay?” She whirled around to face a girl about her age, she had glasses, black hair, and a sunflower in her other hand. The girl looked normal other than her eyes. She had one light brown and one deep blue eye.
¨I saw you fall, that looked painful. Are you new here? I’ve never seen you before. I live on that street, my name is Una.” She jabbered and pointed at a sign behind her that said Vineyard Ave in chipped white paint. ¨Anyway, my Dad says I talk too much so if you want I can shut up.¨
¨Oh no, you’re fine, don’t worry. I’m Heidi.¨
¨Hi Heidi! Whatcha doing out here?¨
¨I’m trying to find inspiration for this story I’m supposed to write, but I-¨
¨-Don’t know what to write about? I got you, come with me!¨ Una then grabbed Heidi’s hand and raced off towards the forest.
¨Wait! We shouldn’t go in there! There are coyotes!¨ Heidi squeaked,
¨Oh we’ll be fineeeee, I do this all the time!¨
As they entered the forest, Heidi gasped. The leaves were beautiful fall shades of red, orange, and yellow, the trees looked untouched by humans and the air already seemed so much clearer than outside.
¨I know right! It’s so pretty this year. Are you telling me that you’ve never been here before?¨
¨Well my mom always told me it was dangerous. I’ve only been in a small section of woods behind my house.¨
¨This calls for a special occasion!¨ Una then cheered, sprinting through the brush. “Alright, follow me!” As she stumbled to catch up, Heidi watched in awe as Una scampered up a huge tree and into the leaves.
“Tadaaaaa! This is my hideout!” She pulled back a branch and revealed a small wooden platform propped up by branches.
“Come on up, it’s not that hard.”
“But...I don’t....whatever, fine.” But when she slowly started up the trunk of the tree she was drained of any energy she had before. It was fascinating, however, the bark was ancient and rough, and running her hands over it felt like feeling pinecones and rocks. All of a sudden she felt someone knock on her head.
“Hello? Heidi? You in there?”
“Uh-huh, one sec-ohmygod...” Heidi said as she looked up, trying to restart her brain. Una had somehow scuttled back down the tree-like Spiderman and was hanging upside down from a branch, her face 7 inches from Heidi’s.
“What do you mean what?! Look at you!”
“Oh, this is just practice. Practice and a lot of first-aid. Come on then, no time to waste, chop-chop! Get up here.” With that, Una then grabbed Heidi's underarms and lifted her to the first branch.
“Nope, nope, nope, nope, NOPE. I dislike heights, very much. No thank you.” Una went deathly quiet.
“Una? Please put me down.” When she looked up at her friend, Una was staring at the ground with the most unnerving expression. Following her gaze, Heidi tried to spot what was wrong. Then she saw it. The biggest wasp nest she had ever seen, was resting next to a rock ten feet away. She could see the bees swarming around.
“Um, Una? Do you see that?” Once again she hadn’t responded, and after a minute of staring at the hive Una ever so slowly started to pull Heidi up on the branch.
“Climb!” She hissed when she pulled herself up on the next branch. After swallowing her pounding heart, Heidi inched up the tree and finally, after what seemed like an eternity, hoisted herself onto the treehouse.
“Wow…” The platform was covered in blankets and books, there were lanterns on one corner and a pair of expensive-looking binoculars in the middle of the floor, which was very steady and even.
“Yeah, wow, now what are we going to do about those bees?” Una seemed nervous and jumpy, and her voice was a lot more serious. She caught Heidi’s eye and explained: “I’m...afraid of bees. They’re just so...unnatural to me, with their stingers and freaky buzzing, I’m also allergic to them.”
“That's ok, thanks for telling me. Dang, then how are we going to get down? My mom will have a panic attack if I’m not home by five and the last time I checked it was 4:30. We could of course just go dow-,” Una shook her head frantically, “Ok, we’re not doing that, but what else is there?” Looking around, there were only a couple of branches close enough on other trees, and even those were thin.
“I- unless you have any ideas, I think we have to go down. Or at least I can and I can go get help.”
“If you want,” Una mumbled, not meeting her eyes anymore. “I’m sorry, I dragged you out here, and then this happened.” She shook her head and said,
“It’s fine, you couldn’t have seen it coming anyway. No one got hurt.” She took a deep breath and then started down the tree. The bark, which before seemed as sturdy as rocks, seemed to have transformed into soap, and the branches into noodles. All of a sudden as Heidi was reaching for the next branch down, almost at the bottom of the tree, she slipped. She closed her eyes, braced for impact, and was stopped in midair. Looking down on her just like Spiderman, was Una, with one hand firmly clamped around Heidi’s and the other on the tree.
“Hey! Are you alright? You nearly fell onto the nest.”
“Yeah, yeah I’m fine...Thank you.” Grinning, Una continued to crawl down the tree until they were both safely on the ground. As Heidi was about to sink to the ground in relief, Una poked her in the shoulder and pointed at the nest. Heidi nodded, got up and they both ran, full speed, back toward the road.
Once back safely on the road, Una checked the time on her watch.
“It’s 4:50, you should probably go home. Thank you for the adventure today, can I see you soon?”
“Of course you can, see you tomorrow!” Una smiled, waved, turned, and walked away. When Heidi walked back to her house, she ran the events of the day in her head, full of adrenaline and relief. Smiling contently, she broke into a run. With the wind in her hair and an idea in her head, the English assignment didn’t stand a chance.