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Story of the Last Bee
|by Seshu Chamarty|
My female Home Partner gave just 30 minutes for my ‘morning walk’. The scene was somewhere in the future, just on the lines of Avatar movie. I got up very early.
Soon I got into my futuristic, impact proof vehicle. It had no airbags. I had hardly any need for that protective gear. I twiddled some keys here and there on the console for the smoother navigation on my flying machine. I was irritated a bit by those spoiled brats in air traffic. They jostled for some kicks for the sake of comeuppance.
I already completed five-minute warm-up on the dummy leg pedals in that ‘One-Seater’ to pump up atomic fuel. I also minded the meter to check my calorie loss, since it was also read on our home monitor (watched by my Home Partner). The vehicle was predestined for mandatory 1000 calories loss after which it flies back homeward automatically. Next, I pressed a few buttons for Jasmine fumes. Jasmine shrubs were shown on the windowpane to remind the scene in my flower garden. I set the buttons to ‘Roses’ next, followed by lilies. Though the flowers were still prehistoric, my genes loved them and my taste for exotic things made me pick them among several choices in the sensory digital library.
I heard this humming. First, I thought it was the electronic consoles. I got tired of the noise. How I wished to hum some nice tunes myself! Sadly, singing was banned by the ruling coterie since one of my predecessors was dethroned for being absentminded playing multitude numbers in diverse languages. On the other hand, they were badly translated. Suddenly I felt some pain in my face as something bit my cheek. I caught hold of that rogue very carefully.
How on my planet a tiny humming creature existed? Antique hard disks showed pictures of lice, bed bugs and mosquitoes. They were real bloodsuckers. Had they been around they might not relish the synthetic fluids now flowing through my veins to my mechanical heart.
I carefully placed the tiny creature in a vial. I thought I would gift it to my genetic son, an adolescent now. He practiced some useless power point presentations online for case studies taught to fifth graders in prehistoric biology class. This thing hummed again. To listen to its retro music, I dropped a chip in the vial (and prayed to my personal god that the bug might not swallow the chip up).
Thanks to the chip, I was able to comprehend its bug-to- man talk, “Hey man, stop your electromagnetic gadgets for five minutes as I got to thank your family before I exit your planet.” I was softened by the appeal and pressed SOS key to connect with my medical tech on the ground. I asked the lady there, if it was ok to stop my heart, liver and kidney chips and other central diagnostic connections for five minutes. After some arguments a green signal flashed on my screen, for 5-minute countdown.
I hung-parked my vehicle safely in the polluted air, under two bright full moons, in a dead mode, even as I kept my organs safely in the standby mode. Under ‘moonlights’ (there are two of them overhead), the honeybee came out of the vial.
I asked the creature how it could survive all through the ages. Its tone was getting feeble filled with self pity, “Some kid put me in a book written by Wordsworth. I got my oxygen, honey, and hope from the poems. Later, I owed it to a gentleman, apparently your great grandfather, who generously bought the book from a crumbling multi-chain museum-cum- store. Your home partner, luckily for me ran out of the family synthetic tissue paper, and so she had to use a part of the book. After she had finished, you too were unaware I was between the last two pages. You picked them up for use on this trip. Like a bug, in the meanwhile, I was forced to listen to you bargaining on the sale price for those last two pages of Wordsworth, on the portal for antique sale. Sadly, those last two pages were also gone as you ‘MIS-handled’ them in the bathroom a little while ago. Here I am, without oxygen and as well as honey from Wordsworth.”
It continued, “Your jasmine theme hardly helped me to survive. Your clan swatted our kind with your electronic interference that affected our homing and humming senses and brought our doom.
Filled with remorse, I let go 'the last honeybee' toward those man-made street light moons hung in polluted air-- human's last mistake to the bees.
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