Semi-recent scientific studies have found that the area of our brain which processes the senses is also partly responsible for storing vivid emotional memories. It is for this reason, probably, that each time my sister hears the low buzzing of an insect approaching, she misplaces inhibitions, and sets off running and swatting erratically. Recently this resulted in an incident where she all but cascaded into oncoming traffic. Usually when these situations arise I run after her, shouting comforting things until she is able to hear me and stops. And usually this appears quite strange to the passers-by.
My sister and I each have a distinct capacity for empathy, and for anticipating one another’s thought patterns. That is why I often pretend that I can read her mind, and why I felt quite certain that I could recap this incident without actually having actually witnessed it.
To further understand the context of her lurching reactions, we must navigate the most well-trodden of tropes and cast our glance back to childhood. It can only have been 2007. That year we, or rather our cat Sunny, had four kittens. My mother, in all of her misguided grace, let us keep them. Certainly they were a well-loved nuisance, but that’s four other stories for four other times. This particular afternoon Smudge (gatito número dos) had been spotted sniffing around a bees’ nest. The location of which had been known to the children but not to their mother. As was the way of a great many other treasures in that fast shrinking garden, which in childhood had seemed quite infinite. After witnessing this transgression, a meeting was called between the children present: my sister, little brother and my little brother’s best friend. A decision was reached quickly by the nimble young minds, and plastic swords were drawn in arms to protect the kitten. A plan hatched. A mother unknowing.
My short story Deadly Buzz can be read in it’s entirety in ‘Bee Safe Bee Zine’, a recent publication by Fionn O’Shea. Contact Izwis to order a copy.