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Sept 14, 2022

buzzing for nectar

Beck Erixson

      Humming while zigzagging through a field of gold yarrow amongst the rest of my hive is bliss. The bountiful selection of sweet nectar draws me to hover over each succulent option. My indecision and fear of committing too soon sends me to inspect nearly every flower.

      I can’t fail my first mission. This is what I was born for, trained for, my entire worldly purpose. The queen didn’t warn us how when we emerged from the dark safety of the hive, the warmth of the sun beats down to ignite our core. The lure of the nectar whispering seductively with each inhalation further electrifies the innate desire to make her proud.

      The vibrant petals below offer an invitation to take in the untouched delicious pollen from her origin and savor her sweet juices.

      Pick one. A zig followed by a zag and I’m hovering over a popular cluster. 

      Too busy.

      The glow of fluffy orange pillows calls me to a vacant flower. I circle the golden petals to inspect her, and then plow ahead to her center. Before I can reach her core, I’m cut off. 

      By Steve.

      Steve has the fluffiest butt, glorious long legs, and never understands his size. Ever. He’s anatomically magnificent.

      “That’s my flower,” I say.

      He crawls in a circle and knocks an orange puff into the air. “Got here first.”

      I dive at him, knocking down fluff, more angry than electrified at this point as he’s coating himself in what should be mine. He has the audacity to lock his giant, beautiful eyes with me. He extends his mouth to suck in the nectar, and coats his body until it matches the puffs.

      “Plenty to share,” Steve says between slurps. His butt shifts left, stripping the last of the orange crumb from this spot for himself.

      I buzz at him and take off, swiping a little of the dust from his back on my way up.

      The scent of the nectar is overpowering, and I can’t concentrate well as I search for a worthy new flower. Perfection is required. A sulfur butterfly lands delicately on a vacant yarrow, and I keep moving ahead. No need to interrupt her when there are other options.

      I opt for the flower next to her and watch as Steve buzzes in the poor butterfly’s face. She takes off, and he claims what’s hers. He extends his mouth and stares at me with those enormous eyes. 

      I hate Steve.

      A freshly bloomed flower begs to be drunk and pulls me to land in her essence. Bathing deep in the pollen sets my nerves buzzing loudly in triumph. Before Steve gets any ideas about sharing, I dip my tongue deep in her to drink in the juices. Avoiding eye contact with him is hard. Uncomfortable even. As soon as the rich thickness coats my mouth, my body is ablaze. The electricity merges with the luscious nectar, and nothing else matters.

      When my body can take on no more, I crawl around the flower again, ensuring the nectar’s sucked dry. I catch Steve’s eyes and we buzz awkwardly back to the hive together.

      I still don’t like him.

Beck Erixson is a writer and academic who completed writing and history courses as part of her Doctor of Letters at Drew University. When she’s not with her family, failing badly at learning to sail, or working, she is often found daydreaming down by the river in New Jersey. In college, she tried her hand at stand-up comedy in New York City, which was an on-brand, awkward disaster.  Twitter: @BErixson Instagram: @BeckErixsonAuthor Website: www.beckerixson.com