The day he pulled a bee, dead and bloody, from his naval David knew something was wrong.
For an hour he sat out of the way and out of the sun at the back of the garden next to the hen house and a heavy, rusted axe. Despite the pain David continued to free more bees from his fleshy hive, his fingers sticky with plump insect.
By this time his Mama, more than a little curious as to why her youngest surviving son hadn’t returned from collecting eggs, had risen from her armchair lair and stalked to the bottom of the garden with the delicacy of a cockroach long since fattened to the point of eruption. There she found David surrounded by a whole treasure chest of gold, black and red and wearing a look of greedy pleasure.
Mama, however, was not quite so pleased.
‘You dirty little shitter.’ she said, not without a touch of malice in her voice. ‘What have you done? I sent you for arse-eggs an hour ago. Feckless fuckwit, they’ll be off by now and your old Mama has nothing for her bread.’
David, blunted by her moans, looked up in surprise and held out a hand. ‘Mama, this one’s alive.’ And there it was, struggling between a bloodied finger and thumb humming so loud it made his whole body vibrate.
Mama stopped her own buzzing and looked hungrily at her son. ‘Alive, you say. Alive and busy, I say. And more inside, I say.’
David busied himself with his belly and didn’t look up again. Not even when his Mama seized the rusted axe at the bottom of her garden. Not even when she raised it above her head and drooled into the mess of bees staining the cracked flags. And certainly not even when Mama brought that axe down and split his belly wide open.
‘I’ll be having your honey, fat little boy. I’ll not have my bread going dry.’