December 09, 2012

No. 264

Bees are typically assumed to be industrious and hardworking. Not Apis. Apis was a lazy bee. He accomplished this mostly by blending in. Looking exactly like everybody else made it fairly simple, and all Apis had to do was wander from one part of the hive to another, looking like he’d just arrived from someplace important.
None of the other bees ever noticed. Most were too busy going about their own business. Apis lived well. Better than the Queen, maybe. It was the perfect strategy.
Except that Apis was lonely. Living like a phantom meant that having friends was impossible. Too many questions would have to be answered, and Apis’ entire system would crumble the minute somebody talked. And if anybody found out how he’d been living, Apis would face the wrath of the entire colony.
So he kept up the deceit. Every day, he watched the other bees, beginning to wonder just what it might be like to join in. Every day, falling just a little bit farther away, until one morning another bee stopped him.
“Hey, you! You aren’t from around here, are you?”
Apis froze, and then turned slowly to face the inquisitor. He had a choice. He could answer falsely, and remain safe, or truthfully, and take his chances. He thought about it quickly, and then took a deep breath before he replied.

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