Honey – Stephanie Fluckey

Honey never goes bad. My husband always bought bear shaped honey. He called me Honey, or Hun when he was looking over the paper wanting my opinion—the one that agreed with his.

I prefer jars. When the honey solidifies, dense enough to be hung from a chain like amber, it’s easier to scoop out. I cannot get my knife into the little arms and legs. The plastic bear’s bottom is tattooed with don’t microwave, but everyone does, except him. He tosses the bear—clogged limbs and all—into the trash.

On the grocery shelf there is clover honey, and organic honey (what is inorganic honey—mechanical bees?) I remember my husband telling me honey would help my allergies—local honey—but he always came home with the honey-bear from a city hundreds of miles away.

In the morning, he used his middle finger to wipe the honey from the corner of his mouth. I would pass him a napkin and little shreds of paper would stick to his fingers, like the dots on his face after a rough shave. His chin is like a Kandinsky color study, the poster of which used to be on my friend’s kitchen wall—when we were both single and happy. She married, I married, she’s still married. I used to love that painting.

I chose a large jar of honey with a wide mouth. I collected a few more things, I picked out ten apples, then put six back. A small package of chicken, salad, coffee creamer, bagels.

I grabbed the honey from the basket to lift it onto the conveyor belt and it slipped from my hands. It smashed open and oozed onto the floor. I was tempted to push the tip of my shoe into it. I wanted something to stick to.

“Don’t worry, we’ll clean it up—do you need us to grab another one?” the clerk asked.

I looked up. “No, I don’t even like honey,” I said.

Stephanie Fluckey (she/her) is a writer and artist living in the Pacific Northwest. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University. When She is not writing to the sound of Seattle rain, she is reading or gardening. Stephanie is the 2022 Guest Editor of Emerging Voices in Fiction at Oyster River Pages. Poem ‘Silent Night’ published July 2021 on www.Survivorlit.org

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