I flew as fast as I could over the New Field. The field that had replaced the woods was unnatural, lacking its predecessor’s beautiful irregularity, pristine. With the memories of trees and banks ingrained in me, I darted around the ghosts of old oaks, mossy stones and branches that would wave their encouragement as I sped by. Or as I gathered, collected, with the utmost care. Harvested, with their sake in mind, not my own.
The New Field was approached by the Yellow Beast. The colour, retained in my mind, akin to my hair and that of my kin. I’d first been told through the dance of the laden foragers returning to the hive; a huge creature with skin mimicking us had sprayed its mist and now we can’t go back. They had seen what became of those that stayed. Our Queen hummed a dirge to help us grieve.
So as others fled, I soared towards the Beast. It had marks of black – not unlike my own – upon its skin, but its flesh was glossy, hard and clean. Too clean, like the New Field that it loved so much. At its core, was one of them. The folk that sometimes run and scream, despite my size, but rarely notice me. The folk who change their colours with ease.
I aimed for them. They reclined inside the Beast, or were the Beast, or were the same by now. I knew what I must do. The consequences known to me, thinking of the ghostly trees, I saw the skin on their exposed cheek. Piercing, stabbing with all my might, I plunged my sting into the Beast and heard them howl. As my body ruptured, torn apart and partly left inside them, I hoped that they remember me, and realise what their actions mean.
And lying here, on the earth, my last thought is of the kind one with long grey hair, who helped me when I was weak, feeding me sweet water on their palm, and placing me back upon a leaf.
Robbie Taylor Hunt is a Kiwi-Brit writer and director. He’s recently directed at the Bunker, Theatre 503, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and co-written queer comedy webseries ‘Brood’.