Baby in a Beehive

I received the following letter via paper mail. I don’t know the sender, who identifies herself merely as “An Old Woman”. I’m giving the message special attention for reasons I can’t discuss in detail. Suffice it to say the envelope was marked with certain runes that very few people outside of the society would know and understand.

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Dear Mr. Mahoney,

I’m an old woman now. At least 94. My exact age is unknown because my birth parents abandoned me in infancy, and because I have no trustworthy memories of my childhood. I believe much of what I remember about pre-adolescence is imaginary. I have no memory of willfully imagining it all—only a deep-seated instinct that most of it is lies.

This morning my granddaughter, who is seven, asked me where I was born. This is what I told her.

I was found inside a hive hanging from a tree branch: a newborn baby covered in live bees.

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