‘Those wobbies are getting bigger,’ I say.
‘They’re bees, not wasps,’ she goes, handing me a wet plate, pointing to a bit I missed.
Of course, I know that. But I enjoy saying “wobbies”.
Bigger, and more of them too. A few days ago, it was two or three. There must be nearly a dozen now. They beat the sparrows to the vent pipe above the kitchen window. I guess they came from the hives installed last year on the theatre roof across the road. Unless they were just in town one day – for the shops probably – and decided to stay.
‘You’re starting to like them, aren’t you?’ she says. ‘You could do with a hobby. Or some new friends.’
The late evening sunlight drops in from the top-right windowpane, hitting the wall by the sink, forming a bright square. Tiny insect shadows jump about, producing a futuristic framed art installation. Non-stop, solar-powered, high-energy.
From the back bedroom you can see them drop down, raid the flowers, then zigzag back to base. I could point out their favourites - they love the cherry-coloured bush and anything purple. And I could draw in the air their jerky route up to their second-floor home.
I should Google them. But I don’t want to know all the bad stuff – I am sure there is plenty. I just don’t. Especially, these days.
‘I’ll finish off, if you like,’ I say. ‘You go and watch your programme.’
‘I could see you as a bee,’ she says, smirking, and leaves me to it.
She is right. If I had to come back as something, a bee would be fine. Flying amongst the flowers all summer, helping out my queen. If she is happy, I will be too, buzzing around her for as long as I get.
First published in Snow Crow (Adhoc Fiction, 2021).