By Dan Leicht
He sat under a tree reading his favorite book. It was a warm Spring day, but a gentle breeze kept him cool. The world around him was silent, save for a buzzing beehive six feet above his head.
The beehive hung from a branch which jostled every time the wind blew. Bees would fly in and out of the hive, all of them focused on their tasks, none of them paying any mind to the resting reader below.
He laughed and turned the page. Even though he’d read the book a dozen times he was still swept up in the story and looking forward to seeing how it would all play out. Would the protagonist triumph? Of course, but it wouldn’t be an easy task. His eyes grew wide as an avalanche was cascading toward the hero at the end of chapter six.
His breathing grew faster.
The hero was pushing the limits of his snowmobile.
The crumbling white tomb tightening in on his escape.
The chapter ended.
He turned the page and sighed of relief. The hero found refuge on the other side of a cabin. The avalanche flowed passed him on either side. He’d have trouble finding his way down the mountain, but for now he was safe. The hero knocked on the back door of the cabin. He was let in by a man with a beard down to his knees.
The reader bobbed his head back and forth to the buzzing of the bees as he turned the pages. As the story continued the reader didn’t notice a raccoon taking interest in him. The masked fur bandit moved in closer, the reader lost in a scene where the hero fought back against the cannibal mountain man.
The raccoon grew closer.
Froth leaked from the sides of it’s mouth.
The reader turned the page, hoping his hero would make it.
The raccoon opened it’s mouth out of excitement.
Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.
The bees noticed the approaching raccoon and shot down from their hive to rid their territory of the intruder, thus protecting the reader in the process. He closed his book and stayed up close against the tree, not wanting to do anything to provoke the attacking sting squadron.
After the raccoon ran off the bees returned to their busy work. The reader took a heavy sigh of relief and read until his hero was safe once again. He stood up, tucked the book into his arm, and looked up.
“Thank you,” he said, smiling.