The Need for a Hive

Author’s Note: So I decided to take a stab at a challenge. This challenge: A memory from one of your characters.

The challenge lasts ’til April 12. For more details visit in_the_blue.

Then I couldn’t pick. So Liana Mir said she wanted to see how Alvin got different/separated, and I tried. I don’t know if that worked very well.

This finds itself in the middle of No Place Like Home.

The Need for a Hive

Friend Tynan frowned too much. That much Alvin had seen ever since he joined Tynan on his journey. Tynan was quiet, too. He was strange after the hive that Alvin knew, and Alvin missed the noise. He should not miss the noise. They had been good to him. They had given him a name, a home, and a hive. He was happy. He did not understand why Friend Tynan was not. Friend Tynan had Friend Luna. Friend Tynan had hive. Friend Tynan should be happy.

“Friend Tynan?”


“Why do you not smile like Friend Luna? You are not happy to be home?”

Friend Tynan frowned again. “This is Luna’s home. Your home, I suppose, but a vortex does not have a home. We do not have… anything.”

Alvin wanted to frown himself. “You have friends.”

“Yes, I suppose I do.”

“If you have a friend, if Luna is friend, and friend is home, if friend is hive, then hive is home, and home is here. Our home. Your home. This is home.” Alvin turned to hug the bookstore, his wings flapping with happiness. “Home. Hive. Good.”

Friend Tynan did not say anything. Alvin held onto the bookstore, never wanting to lose it. He could not lose another hive. Not again. This hive, this home, it mattered. He must keep it forever. Nothing scared Alvin more than losing his hive.

The hive had stopped speaking to him. No, not him. He was not a him, he was a we. He was hive. He was not an individual. He needed the hive. No, we needed the hive. Hive was good. Hive was home. Hive was life. No life outside of hive. Life outside of hive was death.

Was he dying? Was that why the hive did not speak to him now?

“We are sleeping. Why are we not sleeping?”

He looked at the other. “The hive does not want me.”

“We are not me. We do not think of ‘me.’ We are we. We are not ‘me.’”

The other’s voice made him want to cry. He did not understand. That was not something the hive did—that was something the strange visitors to their planet did. He did not understand what was happening to him. He had been sleeping when he lost the sense of the hive. The whole planet seemed silent. He could think.

He did not want to think. He was hive. Hive did not think on their own. Hive was hive. All was hive, hive was all. He was supposed to be hive. He did not want to be other than hive. He hated not being hive.

It was too quiet.

“Hive,” he said, reaching for the other, but even when his hands were joined with the hive, he did not hear it. “Cannot hear hive. What is wrong?”

“Hive is still speaking. We have chosen not to hear it. We are foolish.”

“No. I did not choose.”

“Listen. We are saying ‘I.’ We chose. We want to be apart from the hive, so hive is apart from us. That is how it must be.”

“I want hive.”

“Then you must find a new one. You have rejected this one.”

Alvin would not reject another hive. He still did not understand how he had done it the first time, but he had found a new hive, one with Friend Luna and Friend Tynan, and this hive was better. He liked it. This was home. This was good.

He wanted to stay here forever.

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