Jason Erik Lundberg‘s fiction is forthcoming from Subterranean Magazine and Polyphony 7.

Jason Fischer has a story appearing in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again.

Susannah Mandel’s short story “The Monkey and the Butterfly” is in Shimmer #11. She also has poems in the current issues of Sybil’s Garage, Goblin Fruit, and Peter Parasol.

Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

The Black Bees

by Daniel Braum



Page 274

Excerpt from the journals of  demon hunter and exorcist Reginald Mallion


Paranormalist Edwin Sullinger earned his fortune in the 1930’s and early 1940’s working as a medium for wealthy socialites in Connecticut. His wife Mary Elizabeth was a horticulturist and artist. She kept several beehives in her greenhouses. The Sullinger residence was filled with her watercolor studies of rare orchards and smelled sweet from the honey used in her baking.

In the mid 1940’s Mr. Sullinger’s work turned towards the removal of unwanted spirits. In 1949 I visited the Sullinger residence seeking Mr. Sullinger’s aid with a troubling exorcism.  Mrs. Sullinger informed me that Edwin was away on a field operation for the Department of Applied Light Sciences. (FN-1) I was given a tour of the greenhouses and that was the first time I saw a black bee. The creature was the size of a regular honeybee but from looking at its black chitin and the faint red haze of sulfuric-brimstone surrounding it, it was clear this was not an insect but a denison from an infernal realm.

I never met with Mr. Sullinger. My client succumbed to the possession. The Sullinger residence and greenhouses perished in a suspicious fire prompting the Sullingers to relocate to an orchard farm in upstate New York. (FN-2)

Mr. Sullinger contacted me, in 1952, asking for my aid. I arrived at the Sullinger farm to find the apple trees in a state of rot. Swarms of black bees like the one I had seen in Connecticut plagued the property. I theorized, at the time, that one of Mrs. Sullinger’s bees had somehow crossed over into the infernal realms. Some door left open from Mr. Sullinger’s frequent banishings, I could not say. I did know that bees are known for their astute direction systems which they communicate to the hive in complex “dances”.  Perhaps these black bees followed the lost honeybee back.

The situation was beyond me and I entreated Mr. Sullinger to contact the Department of Applied Light and Sciences. My experience with the Department is not one I’d like to repeat and is chronicled elsewhere.  The Sullinger farm was cleansed but I am not legally allowed to speak of how or of what I saw.

It is believed that a few black bees and other entities present from Mr. Sullinger’s “open doors” fled the fires and are responsible for several other entries in this book.

After the incident, Mary Elizabeth moved to Paris to raise bees and went by her maiden name, Giancarlo. Mr. Sullinger disappeared and his whereabouts were unknown, however several government documents confirm field operations involving one operative Sullinger until the mid 1960’s.



Footnote One ( The D.A.L.S was a short-lived government bureau that received funding from Congress to explore practical applications of lasers and solar power. In fact it handled the U.S. government’s paranormal research and demon hunting until it was absorbed into other programs.)

Footnote Two ( Although I was questioned in connection with the fire, which was ruled suspicious, no charges were ever filed against me.)

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