In her memory, the hive sat in the side yard, echoing family rituals and routines. Summer mornings, workers would swarm the basil plant on the porch. They bothered no one—not even Dale, whose deck chair always sat close by. Maisy could scarcely think of when she had ever been stung on her mother’s property. So familiar were the movements and flight paths of all participants that it never occurred to anyone to disturb each other.

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Leah Hampton is a fiction fellow at the Michener Center for Writers. Her work has appeared in storySouth, Still: The Journal, North Carolina Literary Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Haywood County, North Carolina.

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