Like Flies To Honey

Like Flies to Honey can be read in Shroud 8On the day of the annual Honey Ball, newcomer Robert Blythe spends his day rubbing elbows with the cream of the crop. But that does not necessarily safeguard him from being judged by the company he keeps.

 

Publication: Shroud Magazine
Publisher: Shroud Publishing
Publication Date: Winter 2010

 

READ AN EXCERPT:
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Like Flies To Honey

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INKLINGS: About Like Flies To Honey

Invitation sent to guests of the Honey Ball

The idea for Like Flies to Honey came to me from multiple sources of inspiration.

One of my favorite series has always been The X-Files. When the Space Channel used to show re-runs every night, it was a running joke in our household to try guessing which episode would be on an particular night.

Some episodes seemed to pop-up more than others, and Arcadia (which we lovingly dubbed “Perfect Neighborhood”) was one of them. You know, those gated communities where residents have to conform to certain rules? Perfect setting for a horror story, right?

The whole thought of the ‘hive mentality’ fits so easily into this story. The fact that the women seem to run the community, and that the males are just drones also lends itself well to the idea of the members of The Apiary Estates being over-indulgent and interested in keeping up appearances.

I actually came across the idea of the Mellified Man while researching for another story, and although there wasn’t a lot of elaboration on the subject (online, at least), I still managed to take the original idea, add some of my own personal ideas and twist it into something decidedly more sinister.

For those who have never heard of this before, a person is said to offer their body for a type of mummification. The difference here is that the mummification is in honey. And the process actually begins while the person is still alive. Yup…alive. They eat, drink and bathe themselves in honey and once they die, their body is encased in a coffin to ‘steep’ for a number of years until the process is complete. Then, what remains, a sticky honey confection, is eaten as a source of healing and also has been said to be sold in street markets.

Wow. What else can I say. How could I not explore this idea? Of course, I had to tweak it; I had to delve into the mindset of these people. Why would anyone volunteer to undergo such a process? And what type of person/people would ingest this ‘confection’?

Further inspired by one of my favorite tales, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, and incorporating my love of creepy small towns, Like Flies to Honey immediately received a report from one of my writer-buddies that it gave him “the wiggins”, and so, after some tweaking and a bit of a wait, it was picked up by the ever-so awesome Shroud Magazine for their Winter 2010 issue.
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Artwork by Danny Evarts

Artwork by Danny Evarts

Story Artwork

I hit the artwork jackpot when I saw the original artwork created by Danny Evarts for my story! I love-love-love what he did not only with the story art but also the title with the swirly bee graphic.
 

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Reader Feedback

The quiet horror of Mary Rajotte’s “Like Flies to Honey” calls to mind the best of Shirley Jackson. She sets the story at an annual gathering in a seemingly bucolic town, hypnotizing the reader with the normalcy of it all before striking a terrifying chord in the story’s final pages. The writing is crisp, well-paced, and quite addictive, and the characters painfully believable. Well done!

– Aaron P.

“Like Flies to Honey,” available in issue #8 of Shroud Magazine, provides a slow burn of paranoia and suspense. Rajotte has a way with description that had me marveling at the beauty of the vile.  She spins the two together like fine silk until the reader has no recourse but to marvel that such a disgusting thing could be so wonderful.

– Anthony R.