Written with my Thursday night group with the prompts:  34 states, a black silk frog, blue silk dress, bruised knees, the strange sensation of of wearing someone else’s clothes, close to midnight, awareness, love your work, friendly strangers, bee-friendly plant, yearning

Melinda dreamed she was in an airport wearing a blue silk dress that fastened with a row of black silk frogs at the base of her throat.  She was carrying a big blue ceramic bowl-shaped container trailing green leaves and tiny blue blossoms, lantana perhaps, a bee-friendly plant.  She became aware of a low hum, and noticed she was surrounded by the winged creatures.  Her ears, throat, and hands, the skin on her forearms and cheeks seemed to vibrate, filling her with a sense of safety and serenity, a gift from her entourage of bees.

She strode out of the airport to a waiting car.  It was a talking car.  It called to her as soon as her foot touched the pavement.  Her swarm had grown.  She was engulfed in bees and friendly strangers who thought they were bees.  They were all humming and harmonizing.  Melinda recognized it:  Ode to Joy, Beethoven, 9th Symphony, so appropriate.

The talking car offered her food and drink:  sliced peaches, strawberries, champagne, coconut cookies, lemon sorbet.  She declined politely.  “What are you yearning for?” the car asked.

Melinda glanced out the window.  They were gliding slowly toward the ocean.  She had a sudden awareness the she now lived in a country with only 34 states, because the other 16 of them were under water.

“What are you yearning for?” the car asked again, and she wondered if she could visit a tiny beach called China Cove inside Point Lobos National Refuge.  Suddenly she was there, her feet bare, her knees bruised.  She knew, the way you do in dreams, that she had been been crawling along the granite cliffs, looking for someplace safe to establish her hive.  

The sun was setting, it was close to midnight.  The car was there, talking and talking.  No, it was the clock radio.  A maternity hospital had been bombed in Ukraine, a man with an automatic weapon had shot up a school in Florida and a church in Georgia, and a woman bled to death in Texas because no one would help her while she miscarried.  Melinda knew it was time to get out of bed.  It was time to go to work.  She loved her work, but not her work place.  When she was there, she had the strange sensation she was wearing someone else’s clothes. 

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

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