The Beginning of the Story

The epidemic happened very quickly. There was an eruption. Cones formed and collapsed. Then, one night after dinner a slight wind began. The air became cold and dry. In the morning there were rough hands and somehow more empty days. Mostly, everything started crumbling. Within one week, we had either sore throats or our fingertips secreted salve.

Storms rolling in, ground rolling up...

Honey and dirt.

Books were written about the story of the Honey Fingertips which began:

(From dust to drawn)

Honey ran from their fingertips. They could not touch jars.
They spent time crying on to each others' fingers. No amount
of salt would help, on contact nothing turned to gold,
but often there was a residue.

People sat in lines at the side of the road talking to their fingers, but conversation did not deter the constant salve. They didn’t move for eighteen years or eighteen days. The snow sky made it hard to tell. In time, the honey turned the road to mud. That’s when an Old Tip suggested that the long road was a better place than to the side of it. That way, the honey left a sparkling trail instead of creating a puddle you might drown in.

All the bees had died - with nothing but dirt everywhere there was nowhere for them to go but head on into a thick puddle and stay there. The Honey Fingers wore many shades of ochre and deep amber, in this way they did not get as angry with their fingers. They slept in barns and were the colour of hay. Leaving trails like silkworms, they began to feel neither animal, vegetable, mineral. While acclimating to their own drastic and moist situation they heard others were simultaneously suffering from a terrible dryness.

No spit
and outdoor hurricanes.

The Book of Sore Throats

There was an epidemic,
no one could swallow.

I’ve heard stories of others with honey and fingers,
since I was little,

she said.

Having limited salve, they began to lick tables.
They would suck on doorknobs.

The Honey Fingertips discovered notes stuffed into jars located on windowsills of very tidy looking houses. On top of each note was a heavy round rock. Small cities of the type located in a very distant place covered the surface of each geological specimen. Many angles met, forming miniature outcrops of metallic sheen. The name was unidentifiable, as the look and the weight of the rock did not correspond, but fool’s gold would be a close description. Like lead knudged under a door to keep it open, they kept the jars from rolling away.

On each note was written:

We, the Sore Throats, have discovered that the beehives are now empty. We have heard stories when we were growing up, of individuals who can make honey without additional assistance. We are not sure how. We are not even sure if this story is true, but we are desperate and have no other choice then to believe in this possibility. Do you exist? Can you help us?

Also, a poem was found scratched in the dirt which said -

Rocks in our mouths
Too much air in our throats
Cold. Cold.
Our nostrils

old tunnels.

For a while, Sore Throats were on their knees scratching with ripped up fingers, writing in the road because they couldn’t use their mouths to talk. They wore wool up to the top of their necks and grew used to the itch. Through kitchen windows you would sometimes see one person holding another’s throat - but not to strangle, just to warm.

After the early days, the Sore Throats went nowhere. They stayed in the kitchen. Their fingers didn’t drip, but their hands hurt. There was never enough honey to soothe every swallow and they would hit each other’s hands if the bowl was reached for twice to


Each throat was allotted between three and five drops a day. Not very much considering how many times we blink in an hour. Relatively medium considering

1. Tectonic plates move at the same rate as your fingernails grow.
2. Glaciers move one to two meteres a day.
3. Drift ice travels two miles every twenty four hours.

Still, it is horrible. You hit your lover's knuckles because they grabbed the bowl to have a mouth to kiss you with. Saltines do not compare.

From the road, a glow in nearby kitchens meant rumors of sedentary swallows were true. The Honey Tips developed a set of equations based on information found in Sore Throat notes:

Sore Throats had sore throats = Honey Tips had honey
Sore Throats stayed put = Honey Tips were on the move
Sore Throats had kitchens and barns = Honey Tips had nowhere
Need place to stay + have honey = Leave honey/ stay in barn

They left these equations tacked to kitchen windows with the natural glue that came out of their fingers. Eventually new notes were left in the jars:

We accept your offer. Sleep well.

A system was established. The Fingertips slept with their fingers resting in bowls. In the morning, honey filled each one to the brim, was left in the barn, was an exchange for a well kept one night bed. The deal spread as quickly as the soreness had. Generally speaking, no one Throat had ever actually seen the Honey Fingertips, but fall light was cast across their tables from time to time (even in the middle of a storm!) and
they had tasted the goods left behind.



Unfortunately, there was no response this time.

Once you see someone drown in that awful sticky way, you keep moving. The Fingers had forgotten how to stop and sit. They stayed on the road. Left bowls in barns. There were exceptions. Many years ago, one Sore Throat and one Honey Fingertip spent two nights and one day in the same barn. They say these two had a sense of all all this.