The moon died in the sun’s crescendo, bees beckoning the dawn with a dull drone. Small wings transported their fat bodies, laden with pollens and nectars, lazily through the air. Feet, tinier still, shuffled across the combs of their hives, bounties brought for their monarch.
It was time.
“Phaedra,” a kind voice rasped.
My attention turned to the woman, bedecked as a smiling babushka. Gray cloth draped her bulging form, and a matching kerchief with purple stitched flowers tied about the bun of her hair.
“Kitty, my dear,” she smiled. “Always Kitty.”
I nodded solemnly, and then turned my face back to the bees, back to their business and their hives. It was entrancing, their monotony.
“Phaedra,” she sighed behind me. “I need some herbs for my broth, but I have none stocked in my shelves, not growing in my garden. Might you go to town and buy some for me?”
She sounded hopeful; intent on releasing me from spells of boredom.
“Kitty,” I found it difficult still to use that name before her, “you know I am leaving this house only one way. You yourself told me.”
My gaze never wavered from the bees. I heard her shuffle away, defeated, unable to offer polite proddings or even grandmotherly wisdom.
But although my eyes remained steady, fixed, my quarry didn’t. It moved, it slid and slithered about me, inescapable but at the same moment unattainable.
How could I hope to conquer Time if it ran away and retreated all in the same instant?
The bees hummed still, oblivious to the ebb and flow around them; to the thing that was Time, seeping and creeping like the honey they so laboriously loved.
And then it would be stolen: honey from the bees, Time from me.
I shed a single sparkling tear, golden in the sunrise.