Cletus grabbed the ice chest and headed for the bees. “Great”, Cletus thought when he saw that the bees were still clinging to the tree limb. Cletus moved in for a closer look. “How can I get this ice chest up under those bees. They are ten feet off the ground”? He asked himself. As he stood there weighing his options, an idea popped into his head. Cletus headed back to the debris piles and began removing some old tires. One by one he pulled them out from underneath the rubbish. He had to dig through several debris piles to come up with 8 old tires. Cletus rolled each one of the tires up underneath the swarm and laid them down. He stacked them on top of each other until he could not reach the top anymore.  “Now what”? He thought. There was no latter to stand on. There was no object tall enough to help him in any of the debris piles. “I know”. Cletus yelled. He ran to his Harley and grabbed the handle bars. Cletus rolled his bike over to the swarm and stood it next to the tire pile. Then he grabbed the ice chest and jumped up onto the seat. After slipping off his bike a couple of times, Cletus placed his right foot on one of the tires for balance. The top of the tire stack was about 3 feet to the bottom of the swarm. “Just about right”. Cletus thought. As he lifted the ice chest up to slide it under the swarm, he opened the lid as wide as it would go. As he was beginning to slide it under the swarm a gust of wind came up and grabbed the lid and it immediately slammed shut on his fingers. Cletus slipped off the bike and landed hard on the ground with the ice chest on top of him. He could feel his whole right hand throbbing with every beat of his pulse.

Cletus rolled around on his back for awhile and then just starred up at the swarm. He glanced down at his fingers and he could see that they were turning black and blue.

The pain reminded Cletus of the time in 1965 when he live in Lafayette La. He was only a young boy of 15. Hurricane Betsy was a category 3 hurricane and it was headed straight for Lafayette. Back then people used to throw these large parties whenever a hurricane was coming. It all seems kind of weird when you think about it. Here you have this huge terrible monster fixing to destroy everything you have and maybe even kill you and the people are down right excited about it. They make all the preparations for entertainment instead of preparations for saving their property and their life.

Cletus was no exception. He was preparing for the storm as well. He and a neighbor boy were cutting a sheet of  4 x 8 plywood. Now you would think from that statement that they were fixing to board up a window or something. Wrong. They gathered up the plywood, a rope and their bicycles. Now they waited for Betsy to arrive. The adults were getting the food and drink ready for their party.  

An hour or so before Betsy was to arrive; the party was in full swing. The music was blaring and the adults were getting louder and louder the more they drank. It was good times going on. Cletus and his buddy were in the garage getting ready. The winds were gusting 50-60 mph and the rain was coming down hard. The thunder crashed after every lightning bolt struck. It was daytime so Cletus could watch and wait for the right time.

It was time Cletus thought. He mounted his bicycle. His buddy lifted the plywood up and strapped it to Cletus’s back. There was no turning back now. “Open the door”. Cletus screamed. As the door flew open, the wind and rain swirled through the garage. Cletus peddled out into the storm without any hesitation.

The wind slammed up against the plywood and jerked Cletus forward. He screamed with excitement. The wind was pushing him so fast that he barely had any control. The ditches were full of water. The lightning flashed and the thunder roared.

Getting more daring, Cletus decided to race though one of the water filled ditches. As his tire came into contact with the water, he was jolted forward and almost lost it. He rode the ditch for a while and then headed back onto the paved road. The winds were so strong by now that he had no control of the bicycle. The plywood was strapped on and he could not get it off. He tried to turn back towards home but the wind was too strong. Cletus was headed towards a house and had no control. Every time he leaned over to ditch the wind would lift the plywood and keep him upright.

Cletus slammed into a neighbor’s picture window. There was some good to that. The window was covered with a piece of plywood so he didn’t fly though the glass. The crash twisted his right wrist and the pain was intense. He laid there on his back on top of the still attached plywood. The good time ended abruptly.
The sound of the bees brought Cletus back to his current situation. As he focused on the swarm, he could see a lot of commotion going on. Then the swarm took to the air in a frenzy. In pain, Cletus jumped to his feet. The swarm was on the move. Cletus was in a panic. He wanted those bees. He watched the bees head in the direction of his RV so he…