FOUND: Confounded By Sharon Collins

Week 4 Word: FOUND
Word Count 317
Confounded
By Sharon Collins

The beekeeper’s boy bolted for the riverbank spurred on by the buzz of the emptying hive of angry honeybees. Scrambling through brambles, he drew in an enormous gulp of air and dove deep, as more than a dozen bees made good their stinging threat. Fighting the urge to resurface, Widrick the Beekeeper’s Boy, assessed his dilemma. Come up too soon and he’d add a few more searing spots of agony; stay down too long and he’d drown. Being not much of a choice, he surfaced just far enough to catch a breath and ducked under again. He was whiplash quick but not quick enough. Searing hot pain lanced from his eyebrow to his cheek.
“Zounds!” he cussed but luckily only the minnows and pollywogs could hear him. Beekeeper Toby could not abide a young’un cussing and would not allow it, no matter the level of pain a boy was in. An errant cuss could earn Widrick a supper-less night. And being not so recently orphaned, he remembered too many hungry midnights. Forcing himself to count to 10 ten times as that was the extent of his numbers, he swam underwater to the opposite bank and cautiously climbed out.
Shaking streaming copper strands from his eyes, he listened – no threatening buzz, just the safe, sweet sounds of summer. Droning cicadas and an harrumphing bullfrog serenaded him. He slumped back and began dabbing cool river mud onto the burning welts covering his face and arms. “Toby’ll think I’ve caught the pox, when he sees me,” he mused aloud, “Might make him forget that I busted up that comb and wasted the honey.”
“Not bloody likely!” Came the explosive reply, as an arm knotted with muscle reached over the rim of the bank and yanked the Beekeeper’s Boy up and to his dripping feet. Widrick momentarily considered pointing out that “bloody” was a cuss word, but bit his tongue instead.

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