Wednesday, February 17, 2016


      The massive paw swung at us, its long, hooked claws carving furrows in the air. When we came to, all five of us were scattered about the parking lot, bruised but alive. Nearby, in the spot reserved for the foreman, lay the carcass of the bear. The hide was empty, its innards nowhere to be found. One by one we crawled inside. Not only could we all fit, but we could stand up inside. Each one took a leg and I commandeered the head, peering out through the eye holes. After some practice we could coordinate our movements pretty well, and we shambled up the steps of the loading dock and in through the open gate at the back of the warehouse. We roamed up and down the aisles, occasionally bumping into a stacked pallet or abandoned forklift, until we reached the center of the building, which had been cleared of boxes and equipment. Lying there on the concrete floor were five bodies, five heaps of skin and clothes from which the skeletons and organs had somehow been removed. We looked at one another but couldn’t make out our facial expressions in the darkness inside the hide. I threw back the head and opened the jaws and roared at the fluorescent lights. The mournful sound  reverberated off the ceiling.  Just then we heard a loud buzzing. I turned the head around and saw an enormous swarm of bees approaching from down one of the aisles. The bees flew into the five empty bodies and one by one they stood up, balancing on wobbly legs. Insects darted in and out of the mouths and eyes and other orifices. Taking shaky steps they approached us. We slowly started to back up, which was difficult inside the skin. We backed into a stack of boxes which toppled to the ground with a great smash of broken glass and sticky amber fluid. The five men leaped at us and we turned around within our heavy fur and, as best as we could, began to run.

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