“To Murder A Beekeeper” by Chad Johnson
The Beekeeper is fucking my wife. Twelve nights I return home from work to find my Vanessa draped across wrinkled sheets; her lips fondling a Virginia Slim. Those cigarettes were once exclusive to the aftermath of our weekly lovemaking, but now I find her indulging in my absence. She averts her eyes and rejects my every attempt to cuddle. Her nightgown reeks of honey.
On night thirteen it is no less true: the Beekeeper is fucking my wife. I hear the words reverberating in my skull as if chanted by a chorus of strung-out homeless men. The hostility in their voices is subtle at first, but soon rises to cacophony. I grip the fabric of my khakis. Only one thing will hush the hate-filled chorus. The Beekeeper has to die.
I stalk my prey to a downtown high-rise marked, “Veggicorp: The Nation’s Leading Vegetable Peeler Provider.” Curious. I shadow the Beekeeper through a back entrance and note his elevator rise to the top floor. An open display case catches my eye. There’s a particularly sharp vegetable peeler inside. In a gentle tone it calls out to me, “Let’s be partners.”
The roof reveals the Beekeeper’s dirty secret: a makeshift apiary with two dozen well-serviced hives. It couldn’t possibly be a licensed operation. He’s pawning honey tax-free like a drug lord. I relish the implication. Not only will I kill an adulterer, but a criminal too.
As he straps into the hooded prophylactic Beekeeper suit I wonder if he fucks Vanessa while wearing it. Enraged, I imagine the kill; driving the vegetable peeler again and again into his lower back. Only, I’m not imagining. The sight of blood restores my sanity. I drop the peeler and the Beekeeper drops to his knees. Horror and satisfaction come in equal waves. I attempt to manage their mingling, but a firm click distracts. The one-way door locks. We’re trapped.
The Beekeeper maintains the strength for a final revenge. He collapses onto a hive and the entire row drops like dominoes. Soon the roof fills with a violent swarm of bees. The stench of honey infests my nostrils. I feel the first loyal sting on my neck and prepare for a thousand more.
Chad Johnson is a student at Metropolitan State College of Denver studying creative writing.