Incredibly saddening. Yes, bees scare me, but I do, in fact, respect and adore them. I've had a love affair with honey for a good fifteen years, if not more. And we all eat things that bees had a hand in producing. My favorite little pollinators.
It's heartening to see that the folks at Hayes Valley Farm and the SFBC are turning the focus on education, not punishment, and if you don't know exactly what bees do or what a positive element they are in our world, please, read the article and learn more.
On a far less depressing note, I've had this story sitting around for a while and I haven't been able to find a place for it. It just doesn't seem to fit anybody's wants or needs except mine, LOL! It was originally inspired by this gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous art:
Originally, I wrote this using a technique suggested by Joseph Quintela, chief instigator at Short, Fast and Deadly and editor at Deadly Chaps. He said to write the story, keeping it to 400-600 words, and then cut, cut, cut. But when I cut, I still had too many for my upcoming chapbook, and so I've been polishing it and wondering who in the world would publish it. So, up it goes here.
BTW, I would definitely suggest this technique. Self-editing is difficult -- we love each and every word we write. But if you give yourself permission to write the story however you please as step one and then, in step two, think about cutting, say, half the words, you'll suddenly see how much is unneccessary, how much is fat and where the muscle lies. It gives energy and pacing to your story that didn't exist before, and it certainly is a great lesson in self-editing.
The boy lurched forward, grabbing the golden pole. Jangling music covered his shrieks as small sneakers banged against the tiger's smooth sides. Up and down, up and down, around the circle. The boy tossed his head back and roared. When the ride finally slowed, he cried, reaching for the black and orange stripes as he was lifted off.
"They're closing, honey. Sorry. Don't cry! We'll get an ice cream on the way out."
Minutes later, the lights shut off all down the boardwalk. The carousel goes dark, a birthday cake, candles blown out in an instant.
The tiger dreams.
Leaping and running, leaping again. Up and down, muscles like oil.
When he catches his prey, the boy shrieks and shrieks.