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oliver didn't know much about honey. they didn't know much about barbecues, either, or most things that you could touch and smell. this body may have come with a name and power of its own, but it was a fancy machine without a manual. the spirit occupying it had a ways to go before it could call itself fluent.
as they shuffled over to the little table with its even smaller operator, oliver skimmed their human brain for any information pertaining to melittology and the genus apis. of course they had next to none, but oliver found that figuring out what one didn't know was always a good place to start.
oliver studied the jars with their congealed ombre yellows. then they looked to the tiny humanoid for guidance.
"i know very little about honey." they said, because honesty was easy. "this jar," oliver pointed to the rotund vial second-most to the young queen's left, "looks better than the rest. please confirm if this product is in fact superior. if it is not, please direct me to the one that is."
then oliver procured the twenty-dollar bill that peter had given them, to show that they meant business.
cassandra thriae hope you don't mind my hopping in!
$10 a jar. Well, then they could get two jars and maybe Peter would stop telling Oliver to enjoy their youth and eat more sweet things. In addition to human homework, Oliver had done their homework on humans. Sugar destroyed teeth. And humans without teeth were like a baku without a dream catcher. Irrelevant.
The jars would sit on the bottom shelf of the pantry along with all of the other snacks Peter had tried and failed to tempt Oliver with. But just the act of bringing them home should keep the nosy adult at bay, at least for a while.
If the bees were proud of this jar, then Oliver would buy this jar. They didn't know what difference it made whether the honey had been collected this morning or a hundred mornings ago, Oliver wasn't going to be eating it, but a normal human would, and so Oliver kept in mind to ask and pretend to care about the things that a normal human would ask and care about.
"I see. The bees eat the flowers and the flowers become honey. Interesting." Oliver placed their hands on the jar of their choice, fixing the girl with a blank stare. "I will take two of the jars that the bees are happiest with. Also." They made a point of frowning. "If you are going to tell all of your customers that they 'talk funny', you should lower the price."
cassandra thriae SO LATE IMSORRY
the tiny human's speech pattern changed, beginning with an upwards inflection and continuing with a smattering of pauses before it ended at last with a tight-lipped frown. oliver concluded this observation with the determination that the girl was confused. by what, it was unclear. but her expression indicated displeasure, so they mimicked it with a pinched brow of their own.
they did not, however, interrupt. that would be rude.
"nowhere in my dialect did i include what any logical organism would qualify as 'humor', nor did you laugh or smile, therefore it is reasonable to deduce that my speech was not 'funny', unless perhaps you mean that it is 'strange' and 'difficult to understand'."
oliver pulled the jar towards themself and lifted it eye-level. through the glass container, they could see the girl's face, albeit warped and alien, the refractions stretching the sides of her head until her ears were so far apart oliver could hardly tell they belonged to the same person.
"however, according to the adult who instructs me in my english lessons, my speech is without grammatical error and always enunciated with accuracy and precision. therefore, in this scenario, it is you, not i, who is the strange one." oliver felt their forehead relax. they lowered the jar until the girl's eyeballs had returned to their original position.
something the girl had said resurfaced. it would be very human to mention it, oliver thought. so they did.
"if different does not equal better or worse, then there is no purpose in distinguishing the 'strange' from the 'not strange'. yet some nectar tastes better than others and the bees do not like the nectar that is 'different'."
they set the jar back on the table. "you are like the bees."
cassandra thriae he's onto you, cassie! except not really.