I followed the sound of buzzing. The deeper into the woods I went, the louder the sound became. It was dark this far in; there were remnants of structures from industrial-era factories long neglected and choking with trees, vines, and countless other plants. Judging from the level of growth, no one had been here in a very, very long time.
The buzzing persisted. It became hard to walk through the underbrush. I spotted, or rather felt, a swarm of insects. They flew by my ear, paying me no attention, save for one. He flew into the back of my neck and instinctively stung me. I pulled his writhing body off my neck and studied him. It was a bumblebee, fat and covered with pollen. More streaked by. They were going in the direction of the sound.
I walked on, feeling a strange sensation of diminished weight as I progressed. The steps became easier. I could leap through the brush with increasing ease – so long as it was in the direction of the buzzing. My attempts to walk backward were met with more resistance than I would have considered normal. I realized the plants were pointing toward the source of the the buzzing, as if they’d grown that way.
When I reached a clearing, there was an old, dilapidated warehouse at the center. Despite the trees no longer blocking the sun, the light was dim. I stared up into the buzzing sky and realized clouds of bees were pouring toward the warehouse. Countless thousands. Countless millions. All flying toward the hole in metal roof.
Snowflakes of clumped pollen, likely shed from the bees’ bodies, blew across the clearing and accumulated around the edges of the warehouse. There was a distinct pull on me now; an undeniable force tugging me toward the structure. I didn’t fight it.
I reached the warehouse and looked around for an entrance. There were a few, but they were still locked from the inside. Near the back, I found a hole. It was small, but large enough for me to fit through. I was covered in pollen from head to toe; the cloying particulate matter forcing sneeze after sneeze out of me. Tears ran down my cheeks.
The buzzing was bordering on overwhelming. I’d entered into a closet or maintenance area, so I still couldn’t see what was happening. I opened the door and the force pulled the knob from my hand and the door slammed backward into the wall. But I didn’t notice the slam. Nor would I have cared if I did.
At the center of the warehouse, there was a tiny, black dot. I felt disoriented looking at it and had to hold on to the door frame to keep my footing. The light around it shimmered. And bees poured into it. It was a ceaseless torrent of bees, all disappearing inside.
It made no sense. None of it. I would have stayed longer, but I noticed something happening in the area around the dot. More light shimmered. Part of me thought it was a black hole, but I quickly dismissed such a ridiculous idea. But I couldn’t figure it out.
Until I did.
The light shimmered again, and a colossal, veiny eye opened above the dot. Then another one. Its face came into view, showing the dot’s nature: a mouth. The eyes glared at me as it inhaled more and more bees and pollen. I turned and ran, fighting against the terrible suction until I was out of the clearing and far away.
The bees never stopped flying toward the warehouse.