This week, Sue Vincent has most obligingly given us another prompt word that lends itself to an extract from my WIP, Through the Nethergate. Or maybe, the idea I had for this word lent itself to my writing a new piece into my draft. Either way, I am grateful to Sue for the idea.
“She hesitated on the threshold, gazing at the interior of the huge hall. Her stomach twisted and writhed in shock.
It was packed with row after row of cubicles. The walls were high enough to prevent any distracting exchanges or conversations between the occupants of the cubicles. The intense lighting gave the scene a clinical and sterile look but the cubicles reminded Margaret of the multitude of six-sided cells that make up a honeycomb. There was no relief from the heat inside the building although it was not as moist and oppressive as outside.
What is this place?
Each cubicle had a nametag stating the name of its occupant, in black capital letters. They were all equipped with a keyboard, computer, second screen and mouse. The glass walls of the hall were dominated by enormous screens. Each screen showed an outline map and row after row of words and figures moved up the sides of the maps.
It was not noisy but Margaret could hear the occupants. Not voices or breathing, although it was a living sound. Again, she thought of a beehive. The underlying sound, she could sense more than hear, was like the continuous hum of worker bees as they go about their jobs, their lives dedicated to the survival of the queen. In a beehive, each worker bee has its own role to play and everything is done in a strict pattern. The queen produces a “queen substance” which controls the behaviour of the worker bees and keeps them together as an orderly community.
It’s the sound of souls. The sudden thought, like a lightening flash, illuminated Margaret’s mind.
There was a sense of timelessness about the scene, as if this brightly lit hall and its occupants would remain here, unchanged, for all of eternity. She had a vision of the souls, working like honey bees into perpetuity, their actions facilitating the continuous expansion of the hive and maintenance of the queen.
Who is the queen bee? The possible answer caused Margaret to raise her hands to cover her eyes, blocking out the room, before her mind tumbled into a black void of horror and despair from which there would be no return.”
This post was written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. You can join in here: https://scvincent.com/2019/02/21/thursday-photo-prompt-timeless-writephoto/