His skin: papery. He was immobile, paralyzed with venom, half curled so he could look nowhere but his own belly. He thanked whatever demon was responsible for deadening the wound from which the bees were crawling. They flew to unknown places and returned, their tiny feet scratching as they landed, then nothing but vague sensations of motion as they found the entrance to their hive.
The motion. The endless movement, the endless workings inside of him. He knew not what they built, but they seemed to be making ready.
The day stretched on endlessly, and he slept, awakening to stars above. He squinted and made out the silhouette of his car where he had gotten out to pee by the side of the road, not twenty feet away. The door was still open, but the battery had run out, leaving only darkness. His eyes closed. Morning arrived, bringing the sun and a distinct hum.
He felt his pinky curl, but it seemed beyond his control. The humming grew nearer and sharper. A fist made itself from his hand, then opened again. He coughed. Was he regaining his body?
A shadow fell across him. The hum became a drowning buzz. His legs shook and stiffened. He coughed and the phlegm ran down his cheek. It was sweet in taste. The shadow surrounded him in a blur of black and yellow. Their wings trumpeted. He could feel the sound in his sinuses. Suddenly, he rolled over onto his stomach. His lips pressed against gravel and his arms jerked wildly. His legs curled under him, then all at once he stood — no, he was made to stand — stood up, dragged up, hauled into motion from inside like a waxy marionette.
Bees swarmed him, crawling over his skin, into his nose, his mouth. He couldn’t scream, couldn’t move, couldn’t close his eyes. The swirl parted in front of him, and a gleaming insect the size of his fist appeared, flying slowly, inexorably towards him. It — she — was flanked by several thumb sized attendants, and they in turn were orbited by bees that in any other company would be considered horrifyingly enormous.
He knew at once that this was his queen.
He reached down and put fingers into the hole in his stomach. Pulling. Honey ran down his abdomen and stained his pants.
He was ready for his queen.
Okay, sleep tight!