Stolen Honey

Stolen Honey by Nancy Means Wright Read Free Book Online

Book: Stolen Honey by Nancy Means Wright Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nancy Means Wright
Tags: Mystery
across the land. It revisited on cloudy days when the bees were less active. And when she thought about Shep Noble.
    Donna was standing up now, she needed a ride back to class; she had a conference with her sociology professor. She seemed obsessed with her studies, as though hard work and routine would get her through this trauma. Gwen stood up, too; she and Donna said their good-byes and drove off down Cow Hill Road toward the college. It was a lovely April day: sun out finally, gleaming on the yellow rocket that bloomed happily in the ditch. The bees would be ecstatic. Sometimes Gwen imagined how it would feel to be a bee, to visit the flowers, suck up the sweet warm pollen. Make honey. Such a richness! Her own life seemed drab by comparison.
    There was something wasteful, though, destructive, in the air—the opposite of making honey. It lay in Donna’s mood, something unspoken. Gwen was determined to bring it out into the light.
    “All right, tell me, Donna. What was the message on your voice mail?”
    Donna still couldn’t say the words. She fished in her jacket pocket, thrust a note at her mother: Go back to your teepee. You don’t belong.
    Enraged, Gwen shoved her foot down on the gas pedal, shot the truck forward.
    “Slow down, Mom,” Donna cried out. “There’s a dog in the road!”
    Gwen swerved and the dog, a scrawny black Lab mix, dashed across in front of the truck.
    “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that,” she shouted at her daughter. “That you don’t belong. It’s the Alyces who don’t belong, the hate people—not you!”
    But Donna was shaking her head; her thick unwashed hair fell across her eyes, making a shadow on the dashboard. “Not in that college, Mom. I’m the one who doesn’t belong there. And it wasn’t Alyce. It wasn’t her voice. It was a male voice.”
    “Be right with you, Donna.” Professor Camille Wimmet looked up briefly and then back at her computer. She was frowning into it.
    “I’ll come back another time. You’re busy.”
    Donna backed toward the door, but the teacher said, “No, no, sit down. We had an appointment, didn’t we? I was just working on something.” She quickly saved her work, then exited the screen.
    “Just a project,” she said when she saw Donna looking at the blank screen. “Nothing to do with our class. A somewhat controversial project, something people might not like to read.” She smiled. She had a nice smile, a little crooked. A light-colored mole to the right of her lips added mystery to a rather plain but cheerful face. “Sit down, Donna, please. Tell me how I can help you.”
    Donna drew up a chair, “Professor Wimmet—” she began.
    “Call me Ms. I don’t have tenure—not yet. I may never have. Not unless ...” She waved a hand at the computer again. “Well, it’s all right.” She laughed softly and fluttered her hands. Her fingers were long and slender—Grandpop would say she should make baskets, Donna thought. “Who really wants to be in that rat race?” the teacher went on. “This is a male-dominated faculty.”
    Donna felt uncomfortable. She didn’t want to hear about her teacher’s personal life. Nor would she tell the professor—Ms. Wimmet—about her own troubles. She just needed a subject for her paper, that was all.
    Ms. Wimmet was looking at her, waiting for her to speak up. She took off her gold-rimmed glasses. The violet-colored sweater she wore was the exact color of her eyes.
    Donna took a deep breath. “It’s about my paper. I was thinking of writing about the early settlers coming into this state. Why they came, who they were, what they did when they got here. What problems they might have faced. Still do, um, face.”
    Ms. Wimmet was looking intently at her. Donna felt herself blush. Her own skin had a cinnamon cast, her eyes almost a blue-black. She didn’t look like the progeny of Anglo-Saxon Vermont settlers. She felt she had to explain herself.
    “My ancestor on my mother’s side was

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