Wax, or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees

Synopsis: In this highly allegorical and experimental mockumentary, a man recalls the story of how his bees implanted in him a bee television, causing him to lose all perception of space, time, and self in the deserts of the American West.
85 min

In early 1914, a spiritualist


from the Supernormal Picture

Society of London

joined the Royal Expedition to

the Antarctic.

His name was James Maker -

also known as "Hive" Maker.

James 'Hive' Maker hoped to

photograph evidence

of life... after death.

The Spring of 1915 found James

Hive Maker in France

where gas warfare had begun at

the Battle of Ypres.

Hive Maker photographed

the reaction to the new threat.

Each day's batch of film

brought him closer to his goal

of recording the moving spirits

of the dead.

The Supernormal Picture Society taught

that the dead live near to us

but in an unknown world.

This world could be made visible

by the cinematographer

who could see through the

haze of our world...

...to the darkness beyond.

To the Supernormal cinematographer

the ghost was a spiritual radium

in decay

which could stain photographic film.

It lived in the land of the dead.

Hive Maker wrote that he imagined this

to be a place of dense vegetation

where the souls of the dead lived

as small floating lights

Hive Maker believed that someday

these lights would swarm into our world

to join the living.

In the Summer of 1916,

James Hive Maker returned to his home

and business -

a bee farm north of London.

to supervise the work

and check on his hives.

A telegram had warned Hive Maker

of a new disease among British

Black bees.

To prevent possible ruin,

Hive Make hoped to purchase an

experimental stock

of specialty bees from Mesopotamia.

He had heard that these special bees

were both plague-proof

and producers of an unusually

clear honey.

If the experiment was successful,

he would replace his entire stock.

In London that summer,

the telegraph company had begun

to modernize its operation.

As a result, Ella Spiralum

lost her job as a telephone operator.

Spiralum herself was an electrical


who dreamed of developing a means to

transmit moving pictures

through the telephone.

Ella Spiralum was the half-sister

of James 'Hive' Maker.

Through 'Hive' Maker,

Ella found work as a photographic medium

at the Supernormal Picture Society.

Each Sunday, ghosts would appear

in a sance in Tavistock Square

to be photographed with the living

by Ella and her special camera.

Often, the ghosts spoke to Ella.

One talkative ghost had died in an

auto accident.

This ghost was the dead wife

of a Hungro-Egyptian man

who attended the sances.

This sad gentleman was the charming

bee scientist, Zoltan Abbassid.

Ella discovered that Zoltan

knew her half-brother,

James 'Hive' Maker.

It was Zoltan Abbassid who had brought

Mesopotamian bees to England.

Abbassid had discovered the bees

near Basra,

in the south of Mesopotamia.

In the Fall of 1916, the bee plague

stuck Hive Maker's farm.

The British bees began to die.

Their breathing tubes infested

by parasite mites.

The Mesopotamian bees flourished,

and quickly took root

in the empty hives of the dead bees.

At that moment,

a sudden love grew

between Ella Spiralum and

Zoltan Abbassid.

The two were married in early winter.

For the honeymoon, Zoltan took

his new wife to America

to see the cowboys.

They stopped in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

I live in Alamogordo with my wife,


at the edge of the army's

Deseret Test Facility.

My name is Jacob Maker.

'Hive' Maker is my grandfather.

I inherited my bees from him.

I didn't keep them for the honey.

I just like to watch them.

Melissa and I were related.

'Hive' Maker's half-sister, Ella

was Mellisa's grandmother.

Mellisa and I met in Alamogordo

while we were working on a training

simulator for the shuttle.

When the project was finished,

we got married.

Mellisa stayed on the shuttle as part

of the technical support group.

I was reassigned to another part

of the company.

We still went to work together...

but I felt uneasy since my reassignment.

There was something in the air,

maybe my eyes weren't very good.

That had to do with the job.

I spent a lot of time in front

of the screen

in that first flight simulation

right on the side of the mountain

above town.

I was assigned

to military systems

where we built weapons systems trainers,

making sure that everything

was as real as possible.

I didn't really understand

what was going on...

until the first time it happened to me.

One afternoon,

when I went out to the backyard

to open up my hives...

...when I was among my

Mesopotamian bees...

I always thought about how

things had changed.

When my sight came back,

I was closing up the hive.

I'd gone someplace familiar,

but I couldn't remember where.

I must have spent several

hours with the bees.

When Melissa came out to talk,

it was almost time for dinner.

That evening, Melissa and I watched

the shuttle on television.

We made love that night...

...for the last time.

I usually flew from the start of the day.

My specific assignment was the Army's

integrated air battle mission simulator,

where several pilots could fly at

once over a common landscape.

I was a programmer

in charge of writing the code that

simulated target acquisition.

It was up to me to make sure the

gun sight displays worked.

The day after my strange experience

at the hive,

a thought came to me

in the middle of an explosion.

I remembered another strange experience

with the bees.

Only the week before,

I'd gone out after dinner

and as I opened the hive,

I knew that something was wrong.

There were voices

INSIDE the hive.

When I awoke,

I was watching the bees.

I realized that I didn't really

understand my job -

there were things I had to do, but

I didn't really know what they were.

So I went home early,

leaving Melissa at work.

"I discovered Pluto about 4pm

on the 18th of February.

Pluto seemed to be the most logical name.

There weren't many good mythological

names left.

And you may not realize that

that the fissionable element plutonium is

named for the planet, Pluto."

I was drawn to the bees...

I wanted to be in the dark again.

When the dark came,

I was able to stay awake.

I waited for something to change.

I began to travel...

I arrived... at a patch of land

hanging in the darkness.

It resembled the place of my birth.

I was born

on July 16,

in the house of my dead grandfather.

A place known as the Garden of Eden

near Abilene, Kansas.

James 'Hive' Maker left England in 1919

to invent this place.

Concrete trees bordered the property.

Up in the concrete trees, where

the concrete people.

On one side of the house

were the twin brothers:

Cain the Plowman, who had a lot

of fixed ideas

and his brother Abel.

When I was a child,

Cain killed his brother Abel.

After that

God put an "X" on Cain's forehead.

in order to protect him from vengeance.

Whoever killed Cain would die

thirteen times.

I read this riddle in my grandfather's

diary which I found in the library.

After that, I went for a walk.

I couldn't go beyond the perimeter

of the acre.

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David Blair

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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