There used to be a village that was under the protection of bees. Beyond the forest, past the river, over the hills, this little town nestled there in the middle of the wildflower meadows that stretch out ungoverned between the kingdoms of the north and the south
The bees nested in the tops of the trees that ringed the village green in swarms so large no birds could land there, and their honey was so abundant in the summer it flowed down the trunks and puddled at their bases. The people of the village grew fat upon the honey, and when the sun shone, the whole place gleamed like gold.
One autumn, an army marched from the south and made camp there on the way to war. They grazed their horses in the wildflower meadows, until everything had been stripped bare down to the barren mud. They made camp upon the village green and chopped down the trees that grew there for firewood.
They robbed the houses of their riches, imprisoned the families in their homes. And then they turned the honey into mead and drank the village dry.
The next morning, as the soldiers emerged from their tents, a black cloud descended from the heavens and settled upon the village, and what sounded at first like screams became soon like silence. When the cloud blew away on the evening wind, the ground was as barren as the meadows, and the mud as dark as spilt blood.
The army never arrived to fight their battle. The war was lost, the country fell.
And the people of the village, so it was said, flew away, borne aloft upon their angels’ wings.
1. Written on July 1st, 2019__________patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.