Forty years ago, twenty-six African queen bees were smuggled from Central Africa by a 36 year old man by the name of Warwick Kerr. Mr. Kerr wanted to improve the honey production of Brazilian bees. A year after the bees were smuggled, they were accidentally released from Kerr's lab in Brazil supposedly due to malfunctioning equipment. Years later the bees would assume a new role in the lives of a family from Chicago.
A small family from America moved to Brazil. The couple were zoologists with three children, who moved to Brazil to find a new species of honey producing bees. Compared to Chicago where they had lived, it was a pretty huge change. There were many trees, rivers and nooks to explore. As a treat for their son, Joseph, the family consented to bring along his best friend John as they worked on their research for the honey producing bees.
One night John asked Joseph, "Hey, wouldn't it be neat to go camping? I could tell you some stories I heard!"
"Sure, but first let's go ask my mom."
Joseph asked his mom, and she was little reluctant.
"It's okay with me if it's okay with your father, and you are both careful," said Carry.
John walked out to his parents' lab where his father was working and asked his father, who gave them permission to camp on the outskirts of the settlement. He reminded them to take all the necessities and stay clear of animals. Joseph's father chuckled about the thought of the two boys going out into the nearby jungle. He thought that there was nothing for him and his wife to be alarmed about.
"Thanks Mom and Dad," said Joseph.
Mary, Joseph's little sister said pleadingly, "I want to go! Please!"
"No. Mary you're too small," said Joseph trying to sound as comforting as possible.
"But, I want to be with you!" whimpered Mary.
"No. Maybe next time when you get a little bigger, okay?"
Joseph packed a few things and went to find John. On their way, while looking for a good place to stay overnight, John noticed a lot more bees than usual, and asked Joseph if he heard about the killer bees that escaped more than 20 years ago.
"No.... Why?" asked Joseph curiously.
"My friend told me that killer bees came from Mars and they came to kill human beings. They hide from us until we fall into their trap. Then, we're a meal for the bees," said John.
"Look, there's a good place to put the tent," said Joseph who ignored the talk about killer bees. They put the tent up and lit a fire which for the time, cleared the area of the bees. A strange, eerie mood hung about in the midst of these two long time friends. A combination of the jungle and the buzzing of bees made the expedition more enticing than ever.
After a long pause John decided to speak.
"Well, do you think what my friend told me was true?" asked John. It was getting dark and they decided to get inside the tent.
"I don't know. If it is true maybe we'll be the ones to find them. I've heard of some really weird stuff but, killer bees from Mars that eat humans? Yeah, right." said Joseph.
"Naw, I don't think so either. Maybe I'm just confusing one of those scary stories that parents tell their kids to scare them into submission." said John. The two of them laughed and began to reminisce on life back in Chicago and how good it would feel to be back in the city in a little while. A few minutes later, the quiet of their surroundings had been replaced with a rhythmic buzzing.
"What was that?" asked Joseph.
"Ah, nothing. That's probably just an animal or something." said John.
"It sounds like bees to me," said Joseph. "My friend told me that once killer bees from Mars attack you, you die and nobody ever knows what happened because your body disappears and you are never to be seen again in this dimension."
"And you believed that? That's stupid!" laughed Joseph. He thought John was so gullible. But Joseph continued to talk.
"You know, one day I was looking through my Dad's things and I saw a group of old newspaper articles they were about killer bees from all over the world. The articles said something about killer bees that attacked over 5,000 people, and that they attack in swarms as big as 80,000 and will chase their target for half a mile, and I read another article about a teenager that graduated from high school and went out to the jungle here in Brazil like us. His name was Richard. His leg got caught in a bee hive in the bushes outside of a cave, and his presence disturbed a colony of killer bees. He couldn't free his foot, and a swarm of killer bees attacked him. He died after being stung almost a thousand times." Joseph said.
"Naw, don't worry that happened years ago," assured Joseph, "I don't think they exist anymore. Let's just forget about it.
The two boys eventually fell asleep. Several hours later, a sharp light came through the tent, and an eerie buzzing sounded in the background.
"Stop playing around." John said to Joseph. He got up and went over to Joseph's sleeping bag to wake him up. The two stepped outside the tent to see exactly what all the commotion was about, but were blinded by a strong light. They held their hands against their ears to shield them from the deafening sound, and then they saw them coming towards them.
"It's..." said John. But that was all he could get out. It was too late for both of the boys.
The next morning, Mary and her brother Michael took a hike to the campsite to greet the boys on their way back. When they got there, they saw the tent along with all of the boys' belongings, but no boys.
A search party came up with nothing, not a clue. After a week, the search was called off, and the authorities concluded that they were runaways. But we know different. We know it was the killer bees.
About the Authors
Angelica Gonzales is a Junior at Manual Arts High School. This story was her idea, and she began working on it during the first semester. She left the class second semester without continuing the project.
Dorothy Pirtle is a Junior at Manual Arts High School. She entered the class during the second semester and chose to revise and rewrite the story. Her favorite subject is U. S. History, and her hobbies are learning new things and going to new places. She plans to major in Sociology when she attends college