By Star Traylor

Lucy got dressed in her favorite blue gingham dress with an apron attached. She was going berry picking with her friend, Agatha, a teenager. Agatha would arrive soon and in the meantime Lucy had to get dressed and ready. She put on her favorite red sequined shoes and a squirt of her mother’s perfume.
Lucy didn’t have a basket, but she planned to carry the berries in her apron like a character in one of her books had done. If she gathered enough blackberries, she would bring them back for her mother to make a cobbler, but sometimes Lucy only found one or two handfuls.
Agatha came and she and Lucy walked into the woods where they had found the blackberry bushes before. The bushes were located near a large fallen tree by a stream that flowed all the way to a lake on the bottom of the mountain.
“Here they are, Lucy,” Agatha shouted.
Lucy walked over to the bush, which was heavy with sweet, ripe blackberries. She held up the apron of her dress and put the berries inside, one by one, until she was distracted by a buzzing sound. She looked down to see not one, but two bees – yellow jackets. That was when she felt the first sting, then another and another.
Lucy screamed and ran from the woods, but the bees followed. She kept running and running until she got home to the cabin at the edge of the forest, where her mother counted one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve sting marks. She stopped counting at 12 and told Lucy they had to go to the hospital. Lucy’s father was allergic to bees and if Lucy was too, she could die.
“Are you OK, Lucy?” her mother asked as she drove to the hospital. “Can you speak?”
Lucy thought of the blackberries she had lost in the woods.
“Put the windows up, Mama,” Lucy said. “I can still hear the bees buzzing.”


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