Psychopomp Magazine Spring 2016 - Page 45

Salomea elbows Heinrich, and he trots after the others, a smile spreading across his face. He rides in the backseat and rolls down his window to feel the air whip across his face.

Heinrich watches Salomea as she fills in her history quiz. On each blank line, she writes in intricately looped cursive, “Go screw,” again and again.

“Why do we resist it all?” Heinrich asks her.

“Are you asking for me, or for you?”

“For all of us.”

“There is no all of us,” Salomea replies. “There is you. There is me. There is each of them.”

“For you, then. Why won’t you do what they want?”

“Because they want me to.”

Heinrich says nothing more. He is afraid that Salomea is able to see into the silence of him and that she judges him for it.

At lunch, Salomea lays a stack of papers on top of Heinrich’s tray.

“From the box that knows everything,” she says.

Heinrich holds a printed copy of a paper published by a museum, long ago, or not yet—he isn’t quite sure.

BEES, CHIEFLY AUSTRALIAN SPECIES, DESCRIBED OR DETERMINED BY DR. H. FRIESE

He spends all of the lunch period immersed in the pages, reading vast and vivid descriptions. Bees with abdomens of olive green, apricot tegulae, black mandibles, quadrangle heads with tufts of reddish hair. So immense are the variations that to fit them all in his mind, Heinrich pictures bees that are larger than life, flying like dragons over fields of wildflowers. When he has read all twenty pages, he looks up and finds Salomea watching him silently.

Jessica Rutland | 45