“The bees died because they know,” she said finally.
Today we have our final feature! We’re sharing a bit about our final two stories, both featuring insects and the body: Maggie Maxwell’s “Like I Need a Hole in the Head” from Broad Knowledge and Jasmyne J. Harris’s “What the Bees Know About Discarded Girlish Organs” (from which today’s title comes).
Maggie Maxwell writes:
- Like I Need a Hole in the Head has an interesting but simple backstory: it was written based off a prompt. Every year, a writing forum I’m on runs a event where participants post a prompt and will in turn be randomly given one of those prompts to write a story on. It’s an enjoyable challenge that results in many strange but high-quality works that scatter themselves across the world of publishing over the course of the year. Participants range from complete newbies to Hugo-nominated writers. In 2016’s event, I was given the simple prompt of “a story with cats, dogs, or fish, black holes, and at some point, a llama should spit on somebody.” And thus, Like I Need a Hole in the Head was born.
Over on Twitter, editor Octavia Cade talked about Harris’s story:
- Seriously, guys, this story is OUTSTANDING. Nearly every single sentence is a kick in the gut. It, like all the other stories in this antho, is about food and horror.
- And consumption, in this story, is the ultimate goal of romantic relationships. In order for two people to merge into a single unit, one partner has to eat the other – and eat them in parts, because the one to be eaten doesn’t disintegrate at once.
- Oh, no. It’s cough up a lung lobe here, a quarter of a liver there, and a nice romantic dinner that Hannibal Lecter would be proud to serve at, as the next step to symbiosis continues. But sometimes relationships end…
- And suddenly the man you’ve gifted half your internal organs to doesn’t want to be with you anymore. No consequences for him, or very few, but your investment has left you Partial, second-rate in the dating world, and ultimately recyclable in very biological ways.
- It is the creepiest, most painful, most terrifying story in this entire anthology, and once award nominations open for next year I will be pushing it HARD.
About the Authors
Jasmyne J. Harris writes from Washington, DC. Her work is forthcoming in Bayou Magazine. Find her on Twitter at @ciaojasmyne.
Maggie Maxwell lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband and a collection of overworked bookshelves. She has neither pets nor superpowers, so she writes about both to make up for it. Sometimes she puts them in space, just because.