“We’ve…had…ENOUGH! We’ve…had…ENOUGH!” The room full of battle-ready soldiers chanted at the top of their lungs. The energy in the room permeated enough to choke.
The hall was jam-packed, as it was expected to be…after all, it was supposed to be the final pep rally after a week full of ‘em…after this, it was war!
She was sweating, profusely. Every part of her body seemed to vibrate and pulsate with her every syllable and gesticulation, as if her spirit, soul and body were in complete agreement: the power of a female in charge!
She settled them down with the wave of her hands. Her small, black frame pranced the stage in frenzy; obviously she was the source of energy in the room.
“We will not stand for it anymore! Why do we do all the work while they reap all the rewards!?”
“NO MORE! NO MORE!!”
“The cycle has always been the same: we work, we toil, they come with their technology, and they overrun us! Cowardly lot we are, we let them.” She paused; the last bit seemed to anger the soldiers even more, and she knew it, wanted it actually. Soldiers work better when angry. “I’ve been around here for a while, given birth to my fair share of kids too…sadly, my story is different from other women who get to enjoy the fruits of their labour, all because of them. I’ve seen kids, even my kids, forcefully separated from their families, youths who leave home never to come back, parents forced to work and produce regardless of environmental factors, and sometimes hazards, all because of them.”
“‘Why?’ I’ve asked myself this over and over…why? Why us? Why take from us? Is it because we’re smaller? Less developed? Black? Why?!” It seemed she got a bit misty here, and probably almost shed a tear. She continued: “After a long while, I have reached a logical, and very grave, conclusion:” More pause. “SCREW THE ‘WHY’!”
“YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!”
“WAR! WAR! WAR!”
“We no longer want a rationale, since they never offered one in the first place! We will fight! We will win! We will not be ignored! We will not be used anymore!!”
“WAR! WAR! WAR! WAR! WAR! WAR!!”
Her eldest son stood at the back entrance, half listening and half in his thoughts. It was taking all the self-control he could muster to stop himself from climbing the podium and kidnapping this source of life of his who’d finally lost it. He’d been observing her over the last year, and knew with her despair increasing daily this day was inevitable; though he’d seriously hoped and wished she’d just let it go as she usually had in the past. If wishes were horses…
…not that he didn’t agree with her, though. He did also have numerous examples of their cruelty, one of the most painful being the case of a best friend of his who was taken by them on the day of their first child’s delivery, right from the delivery room! Damning the protests and screams of “I swear I’ll come after this! PLEASE!”, they took him to their slave farm. Again, he restrained his anger.
But he knew that this, what his mother was suggesting, was definitely not the way to go, even though she was queen. A war? Against them?! He could only do so much to stop his mind from running wild conjuring fantasies of the once peaceful kingdom becoming a slaughter house: women weeping over the bodies of their sons and friends, parents who would never enjoy closure because they’d never know what happened to their wards, children learning from an early age to ‘kill or be killed’…and that was if they were lucky, for they had technology that could wipe them out in an instant, leaving no bodies or mourning even!
He bit his lip. Were they exaggerating? Were things really that bad? A war may not be so bad. Who would I never see again either way? His mind was in a mess, and this pep was not helping matters. He turned to leave.
As he did so, he cast one last glance towards the queen. His mum caught it. For a brief moment, she stopped. And then she continued. She knew her son didn’t agree with her, but she was ready to make any sacrifice to win this war, even the sacrifice of a healthy relationship with her eldest.
The voices in the hall faded slowly behind him. He could still hear the deluded youths chanting “WAR! WAR!”, excited over something they’d never even experienced! He bit his lip once more.
War? Against the humans?! He thought. C’mon mum! We’re only bees!
© Adeleye Adeolu, 2011. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the author’s permission.