Bwahahaha. Still can’t resist the puns. This is Part 2 of my Bee Saga, so if you haven’t read the first part GO BACK AND READ IT NOW! It’s been a long journey getting this down, but I couldn’t have done it without the help of these guys:
Yep, got me some footie pajamas.
So you left me, Lauri, and Molly in the woods, in a lot of pain, with no where to go but forward into a two hour hike. We obviously can’t go back through those bees so we decide to hike a bit and see if we can find a way back to the car. Like I mentioned before, every step for me at this point is sheer pain and I am, for lack of better terms, extremely grumpy about being out in the middle of the stupid woods with the stupid bees and stupid weather being all hot and humid. We all have a touch of PTSD at this point and whenever any type of insect buzzes or flies within a five foot radius we FREAK the HELL OUT.
Lauri is in better shape than Molly and me, just with her Popeye arm remember, so when she sees a path leading away to the right she suggests that she look ahead and see where it goes. She appears a few seconds later to say that it looks like some sort of campsite with a gravel road leading out of it. Molly and I shrug and say “Why not?” before we follow her back the way she came.
It is a sign of getting out of this hell hole, but the idea of walking down a road and not knowing if it will just lead us to getting lost or further away from our goal sounds like a really bad and painful idea. Lauri (a.k.a. Xena: Warrior Princess at this point) enthusiastically volunteers to run (yes, my freaking amazing sister is willing to purposely run for our cause) down the road a ways and see where it leads her. I am mostly like “Yeah, whatever, I just want to go home” at this point so she takes off.
Don’t worry, I’ll get us out of this mess.
Molly and I stand around comparing our stings, drinking water and, well, to tell you the truth, I don’t really remember much of what happens during those moments. I look back and it seems like we stood there for about five hours (later I figured it was more like 15-20 minutes), but it eventually gets to the point where Molly and I keep sharing nervous glances and shuffling our feet more than we want to. Lauri has been gone a long time, TOO long.
MY MIND CAN’T HELP BUT GO HERE.
Molly and I start to walk down the ominous gravel road through the ominous woods towards Lauri’s ominous disappearance. We are convinced that she should have been back by now and that something definitely is wrong. We walk and walk and walk, occasionally screaming “Laaaauuuurrrrriiiiiii!” There isn’t an echo and that creeps us the hell out.
And then my mind went here…
That was the longest six hours (okay probably another ten minutes) of my life. We keep yelling Lauri’s name and hearing no answer, twitching at the slightest buzzing sound and slapping at imaginary bugs that are out for our blood. All sorts of scenarios were running through my head, all involving Lauri being macheted and buried alive, or Bigfoot dragging her to his cave for a late lunch. What if there were creeper moonshiners in the area and Lauri accidentally found their stash? If someone showed up with a banjo I was going to pass out. Finally, Lauri magically appears walking toward us! Good grief, are we relieved! She said she found the car. HALLELUJAH.
Everything is going our way. We actually found a way back to the car when we were at most hoping for some major road where we could hitch a ride. Things are looking up. We are going HOME away from the bugs and toward the popsicles. There is a huge sigh of relief all around. But then IT came.
To this day I’m not sure exactly what it was, but it sounds the “buzz” of a hundred bees as it swoops down and flies right past us. Of course I am the only one that panics, which draws it back to try and land on my arm.
Pretty sure it was this giant bastard.
(Note: don’t Google “Big flying insect” or your ears will ring from the screaming of your mind.)
At this point I have had enough of all this flying/stinging bug crap. I scream and swat at that mofo before I push past Lauri (she is walking in front) and start hauling ass to the car. (If you ask Lauri about this moment she will recreate my scream and the horrific look on my face for you before she laughs her ass off.)
So I am running down this gravel road hoping to get away from this thing. I run about ten yards and stop. Then, “Oh my god, this thing is actually following me.” I keep running while I am hearing this giant bug buzzing and laying into me like I am Cary Grant from North By Northwest. You get the idea.
My mental breakdown is all queued up as I flail like those nature-hating women in movies of which I always made sport. I actually remind myself of the evil fiance Vicky from The Parent Trap (The Hayley Mills version). I am a hot mess, swinging my backpack at the bug each time it comes around, yelling obscenities and whimpering like a butt-hurt chihuahua. At one point I stop to gasp for breath when the buzzing abruptly stops, thinking the thing decided to finally leave me be. I stand there, a petrified piece of prey, as I wait to hear if the Jeff Goldblum-sized insect was still around. I glance behind me to see Molly and Lauri still casually walking with nothing buzzing around their persons trying to murder them. Why was this thing only after ME?
Then I hear it again! I flail, backpack swinging left, right, left as my sunglasses fly into the bushes. I remember screaming “What the HELL is THIS THING?!” At this point I think Lauri takes pity on me and hears the extra crazy in my voice because she grabs the car keys from Molly and books it toward the car. She disappears from sight and I soon hear (through the incessant buzzing around my person) her start the car with gravel flying everywhere as she speeds towards me. The bug disappears yet again for a few seconds so I think this is my moment of escape as I hazardously run toward Lauri in the car.
It returns as I make a last mad dash to the car; a final whimper escapes from me as I fling open the car door and hurl myself inside the still-moving vehicle. I am safe. I am safe as I watch Molly non-chalantly walk to the car without worry, without an elephant-sized bug stalking her. Anyone watching the scene from the sidelines would think I was bat-shit crazy.
I take a look at the clock in the car and determine that this whole ordeal, the hours of getting stung by bees, hiking toward “non-hope,” and getting chased by predatory, Jumanji-esque beasts took 45 minutes. FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. The time it takes to get a pizza delivered.
When we got home I took a picture of my sting from an unflattering angle and here it is in all its glory so you can feel sorry for me. If I had a raised-relief option it would look like Mt. Everest.
Talk about an extra saddle-bag.
And so ends the tale of how I was defeated by all nature could offer me that day: some homicidal insects and a paranoid fear of being murdered in the woods by demon trees and rapist hillbillies. I actually woke up in the middle of sleeping that night terrified that there was a bee in the room trying to swoop and sting me. I am actually still jumpy around buzzing things outside, haunted by my memories of that day. After spending a lifetime of camping, backpacking, and actually sleeping in the middle of the woods without fear, I had a single experience that sums up everything horror movies warn you about: you will end up wounded and running for your life from something that wants to kill you. You will also lose your sunglasses.