Short Story: Annual Spring Clean

Once a year, the whole extended family gathers from all over the world to their family home. It’s a huge building in the middle of nowhere, which means that their two week long gathering always starts with a massive spring clean.

Everyone tends to claim the same tasks year after year, familiarity making the job easier to complete when no one knows where everything is in the mansion. The exceptions are when new members join the family, or when the younger kids grow up.

He usually helps his dad in the attic. This year, he’s joining his cousins to clear out the ‘shed’, a free standing structure that’s as big as a barn. While his cousins carry the heavier tools, he runs ahead to open the door.

The moment he pushes the wooden panels apart, his vision explodes in a buzz of black and yellow.


Arms thrown up to protect his face, he has no extra limbs to stop his fall. He lands painfully on his bum, but he’s only down for a moment before someone drags him to his feet. Blinded and disorientated, he follows the pull until they are safely inside the main house.

“There’re honeybees in the shed!” his cousins announce to anyone who will listen. With so many people, surely someone knows what to do with the hive in their shed?

Someone does know what to do, and it’s to call in a team of apiarists. Yup. A team, because just like the shed, the beehive is massive, large enough for a few of them to crawl in if they hollow the hive out.

Looks like it’s back to attic duty for him this year.


Genre: slice of life, family

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