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The Bees' First Sting

By Tea Barrett


Coats over costumes like clouds covering the sun,

Sneaking sweets out of your sack.

The evening always ends too early,

Until the sugar crash hits.

The autumn air nips at your skin like a collie herding sheep and roses your cheeks,

While a jack-o-lantern’s blazing eyes cast daring shadows on your courage.

The journey to the Door, a dangerous one it is,

Through treacherous and unknown,

Could the monster under your bed be within?

But the reward gives your feet a mind of their own as they push onward.

Past the gangly ghouls and the menacing macabre darkness,

The abyss of horrors steals your sense of self, strips you of your façade.

“Bzz! Bzz! Bzz!” go the bees in your brain as they pollinate your fears,

And they’ll cultivate the cycle endlessly,

The Door.

You need to get to the Door.

But a challenger faces you on the porch, a looming boulder in your path.

Is it real? Am I safe?

You stare into the hollow eyes of the scarecrow that invite you to fall in,

To lose yourself in the corn maze of your consternation.

And you swallow hard when you feel shards of glass stick in your throat like honey.

Your feet are your betrayal,

like the paws of a cat testing the waters.

Eyes the size of endless pits, cautious and wary,

The air in your lungs race against the rising of your ribs the closer you get.




You made it to safety…

For now.

But the bees keep buzzing, they’ll ring in your ears like a vicious tinnitus,

Honeycombing the essence of your identity and stinging your heart like a hornet.

Until the Door stands and greets you like an old friend.

Until you can turn the handle.


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