Lonely Girl Pt. 1

Always, always alone

 

Once upon a time there was a lonely, lonely girl who lived in an attic. Though sunlight often filled the room throughout the day, she felt little warmth from it as she swept the floors with a small broom she had found. She did not sweep the floors because she was told too. She was never told anything. She did it to pass time. One cannot spend one’s life simply staring out of a window all day. She saved that for nighttime when all of the stars came out and the moon shone down so much kinder than the sun.

 

Alone, alone, always alone she was. Not by choice, never by choice. She did not know where she’d come from or why she was there in the attic. She had never encountered another soul in her life.

 

Alone, alone, always alone she was. Understandably, though she knew not what she missed, she desired a friend.

 

One day the girl sat at her window looking up at the moon. She noticed how particularly beautiful the stars looked that night. Suddenly one of the stars moved and grew in size. Alarmed, she thought for a moment it was falling from the sky. But after descending a few moments the star began to fly straight toward her eyes. The sight took her breath away. With amazing speed, the star flew up and bobbed and begged in front of her window, wanting to be let in. Quickly the girl unlatched the glass and swung it open, letting in a breath of fresh air. The star slipped out of the night and into the little girl’s world. She looked, mesmerized, as it flew around her room. Here she thought stars would be giant! Gleefully, having never seen such a little thing up close before, the girl chased the light around the room, jumping at it playfully before the light settled atop her dresser. But a surprise stood to be in store. Slowly, the light of the star faded away to reveal a beetle.

 

“Hello!” The beetle greeted, looking up at the girl, whom in turn looked down on him.

 

“Who… are you?” Croaked out a voice foreign to the owner’s ears. The girl did not know where she learned the words, only knew what they meant.

 

“I am Batul, the beetle!” He flicked his wings, lit up and scuttled in a circle as demonstration. “The Beetle King sent me! He has had his eye on you from the beginning and sees the good, innocence, and pureness of your being. But he also sees how lonely you are. He charged me, an officer in his army, to find you and take away your forever isolation. I am your company!”

 

“A… friend?”

 

“Yes, a friend.” Batul assured. With the gentlest smile the little girl offered her palm to him. She took and set him on her small straw pillow, as cloth and straw are surely more homey than wood, and she wanted to appear a good host to her guest. She then lay down next to him. Without further speak, the little soldier began to glow by way of night light, and the girl was able to fall asleep easily within moments.   

 

As time passed on the two became close, spending hours upon hours by the window sharing stories. It took all of an hour to tell her story to the beetle, for her entire life could be summed up in an arm’s sweep of the attic. The beetle’s stories, however, entranced the girl’s mind to no end. Tales of the grand Beetle Kingdom, far far way between the sky and tree tops. Tales of places he’d flown to for the king on errands. No sooner had he finished one tale than she begged for another, long into the night. To travel around the world through another’s words is only second best to having those words be your own. He told her about his family back home in the kingdom. His wife and five children maintained the home, waiting for his return during his long tours abroad.

 

“You… don’t mind… being apart from them?” The girl found herself encountering a new feeling whenever the beetle brought his family to the front. Jealousy was its name, though she cared not what its title was. She was jealous of both the beetle and his family. The lot of them had someone, more than just a single someone to boot. She had no someone. No someone to look after her, to think of her, to wait for her. “Don’t you… miss them?” She would ask.

 

“Yes,” He replied every time. “But my duty lies first and foremost with the king and his wishes.

 

The girl envisioned herself traveling to the Beetle Kingdom. Batul described it as nothing but lights glittering off the glass wings of the beetles that lived there. Oh how I would like to go there, she though every night before laying her head down to sleep.

 

One day Batul posed a question to her. “You have never gone beyond this window, have you?” The girl shook her head. “Would you like to? If you could leave this place, your whole world, for a new one, would you?” She looked at him thoughtfully. “I have a confession. It is true I was sent here by the Beetle King to keep you company. But I was sent here to also propose an opportunity. As I said, the Beetle King has been keeping an eye on you, and truth be told he has taken a liking to you. If you chose, I can take you away from here to the Beetle Kingdom, but only if you agree to marry the Beetle King and become the Beetle Queen in return.”

 

“There is nothing for you here.” He stated. Which was most certainly true. The lonely girl had nothing to her name. She did not even claim the broom, not the window, not her cot. She felt no feasible attachments to the home of her life. She took one look around and left without further ado, not pausing long enough to even bid farewell to her pretend parents, who never paid much attention to her ever.

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Show and Tell

I’m sorry daddy, but I don’t know what else to do.

Matt didn’t lead a difficult life. He’d never known his mother, but then again that could be said for most around him. All he had when not in school, in limbo between days, was his father. At first it had been good. At first he had been a good father, working a stiff eight to six Monday through Friday in order to provide. To provide was all he knew how to do.

So when things changed, and really you can’t prevent it nor stop it when it happens, Matt had little thought about what to do. By all statistics and stereotypes he should have been the one. The one to start missing work. The one to start staying out late at night. The one to get moody.

So when his father left one night, without a word or sound, Matt went exploring. His father had been spending long hours in the basement lately he knew. Matt found the door easily enough and tried the handle. Even in his current state Matt’s father was smarter than that. The door was locked. Getting down on hands and knees Matt craned his eyes under the sliver of a crack between the wooden floor and door. A dim light helped reveal the situation little. He could just make out the feet of tables and chairs against the far wall. Try as he might, moving his face this way and that, pressing it up against the edge of the door until it left an imprint on his forehead, he could see nothing of much use. Matt sighed and took at deep breath. There was something there. It was faint but very distinct. Matt heard the front door open. Rushed, he bolted back into the living room where cartoons were the night’s entertainment for him.    

His father was back but still didn’t say anything. Matt missed the nights they would sit and watch cartoons together. He couldn’t help but wonder what his mother would do if she were here. It didn’t take much to know she’d left, abandoned is how most people worded it. Still, what would she do?

Matt knew what he had to do. His father was his father, but that didn’t make him perfect. Matt kept watch, waiting for the best moment. A mere week later it came. His father left every night now, hardly speaking a word when home. Every night Matt checked the door. One night his father made the fatal mistake of not checking twice.

Matt heard the initial click and stopped. Swallowing his fear, he turned the knob the rest of the way and swung the door open. It wasn’t an impressive sight. Most home made equipment, the dim light still illuminating. The more he explored the more his heart stopped beating. Matt was not an overly smart kid, his age prohibiting him the most at this point, but nor was he stupid. He knew what he looked at for what it was. He knew with the utmost certainty.

The next day just so happened to be show and tell at his school. Normally Matt did not participate, having nothing he wished to show and tell about. Not today. With gravity he carried his backpack into school past teachers and peers. In class the minutes passed by. He watched the clock religiously. Finally his teacher called for it. All the students grabbed their objects and headed to the back of the room. Solemnly Matt clutched his backpack and sat between two others, one with a teddy bear, the other with a watch. Round Robin it went until attention settled on Matt, his teacher having noticed how he held his pack this time.

No turning back now. Matt stood and pulled what he’d stolen from his father out between a pair of zipper teeth. “This is my dads,” He said. His peers looked curiously on as his teacher’s jaw dropped. He guessed a few moments later her shock wore off as she jetted across the room and grabbed his shoulder. “Where did you get this?” She whispered anxiously. Without much chance to answer she dragged him out of the room.

Yes, no turning back now. 

Sand Box

Charlie quickly learned that recess usually began with a fist full of sand thrown in his face. Today was no exception.

 

Sitting alone in the schoolyard sandbox, Charlie busied himself playing a quite game of trucks. With careful precision a surgeon would have envied he filled the beds of the plastic figures with lumps of sand and drove them a few inches away (complete with sound effects of course) , adding to a neat little mound he’s made for himself, calling it the next Mount Rushmore.

 

He liked it, the sand box. He was the only one who ever seemed to play in it. He didn’t have any friends and seeing as no one asked to share the space, in his mind he had claimed it as his own.  

 

Out of nowhere a small tennis shoe stepped into his vision. Charlie cried out but too late. Away in a gust went his hard work. Away went his trucks into someone else’s ownership. Hands shoved him hard, knocking him over into the sand. Tears flooded up to wash out his eyes as he sputtered dirt out of his mouth.  

 

“Ha ha ha, look at Charlie! He’s eating sand!”

“He’s crying! Crying like a baby!”

 

Charlie made out the figures of his classmates who just happened to be the local schoolyard bullies. He couldn’t be sure how many there was this time. They always banned together, swaying in a wind of cruel laughter.

 

“What’s a matter Charlie?” One voice said. The biggest boy stepped forward to shove Charlie again.

 

The taunts continued. This was Charlie’s only interaction with boys his age. One boy, who’d stolen the toy trucks, threw them over the fence nearby. Charlie didn’t know when these things started to occur or why they continued. None of the teachers ever seemed to notice, and the boys never seemed to tire of the game. Sit and take the abuse was all Charlie could do, hoping against hope that one day they would let him and his sandbox be.

 

Without warning a basketball entered the fame, hitting one boy in the back, nearly snapping him in half with the force. “Hey!” A new voice entered the fray. A small boy no one recognized stood confidently nearby, hands on hips. Everyone stared at him.

 

“Who are you?” One of the miscreants scowled.

 

As answer the lone boy strode up and punched the boy who had spoken right in the gut. This time he did snap in half, crumpling to the ground in a whining heap.

 

“Hey,” The other boys chanted, banding together into one mass again. Taking everyone off guard the boy charged at them, yelling something that sounded to Charlie like an ancient warrior cry.

 

All of the boys, every single last one of them, turned tail at this sight and ran away screaming. The one felled boy scrambled to his feet and limped on his way as well, sounding like Charlie’s father’s old truck when he started it up on Sundays.

 

Satisfied, the boy walked up to Charlie, who by now had dusted himself mostly off. His mouth hung open in the presence of such a great being.

 

“My name’s Brad,” The boy stuck his hand out.

 

“My name’s Charlie.” The two shook hands.

 

“I can’t get your trucks back until after school,” Brad continued. “Do you want to play basketball instead?”

 

“I don’t usually play sports.”

 

“Why?”

 

Charlie thought about this. “Because no one ever asks me to.”

 

“Well I’m asking you.” Brad walked over to where his weapon of choice had rolled. He motioned for Charlie to follow as he made his way to the small paved court nearby. Without much thought for the old familiar and comfortable, Charlie stepped out of his box, leaving a certain part of his childhood behind.

 

By the end of recess neither one remembered a thing about the lost trucks nor the desire to retrieve them. Instead they discussed sports tactics and the possibility of putting a team together for next season.

 

Charlie soon forgot what had been and who he’d been. He learned a friend could be a powerful and wonderful thing, and only thought of what could be in a future walking along side one.       

Scones

Do you suppose one of the greatest bar fights of all time would be started over a batch of scones?

Beth had to admit that taking scones to a club would appear, at least to most, strange. “They don’t match,” Some would shout over the bass. “Scones and clubs? Who ever heard of such a preposterous thing?” Well Beth had obviously. She found it quite appropriate. So appropriate in fact that she bakes up a tray every Friday for a night out on the town.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Beth took this saying to heart. Truth be told, her recent baking habits were all on account of a little crush she held on a bartender at the Local. Ralf he was called. She wasn’t terribly fond of the title. But he was cute enough, with his shaved head and tattoos, to overlook the borderline atrocious name. Seeing him made Beth happy. As she passed the bouncers, who she each gifted a scone, she could hardly wait.  

Now, another man existed in this scenario. Robert, you see, is not a jealous man; he never has been. But rather a spiteful man who hated others fortunes; to put it so plainly. Seeing Beth, so cheerily out of place silhouetted in her sun dress against flashing strobe lights, he knew he could not let this opportunity pass him by unexploited. He knew what he had to do.

But back to Ralf. Ralf of course knew of Beth and the favors she held towards him. He had favors of his own for her and never unwelcomed a chance to see her or her baked goods. Together they made a rather cute old school pair of sweethearts.

 Speaking of which, the two had just spotted each other. Waving brightly, Beth’s heart skipped a beat. Ralf was just finishing up a mixed drink for a birthday girl at the bar. He smiled his gigantic grin full of white teeth as Beth neared.

Beth’s feet, encased in red bowtie flats, were suddenly tripped out from under her. Squeaking helplessly, she fell forward through the crowd, hitting the ground elbows first. She watched in slow horror as all her hard work, flour, and raspberries bounced up and over the lip of her plate, gracefully falling all over the floor. Hands found and pulled her up. “You alright there miss?” Beth found the voice’s face and knew instantly it belonged to the culprit behind the moments old tragedy.

Robert felt quite happy in this moment. The look of furry on the little girl’s face was surprising, but priceless. He couldn’t wait to see what she would do.

What Beth next did was amazing to say the least. Simply looking at her, one would assume her to be harmless. But one would assume wrong. Beth was far from harmless, least when hassled. And one could hardly incite Beth more than to ruin something she’d spent time and energy making. “You!” She yelled with a shockingly booming voice. Everyone around turned their heads in buzzed interest. “Why did you do that?” She demanded in Robert’s face.

Innocently, he smiled back. “I’m sorry lady, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You ruined my scones jackass!”

“No one ruins my love’s scones!” A few yards away Ralf had heard and seen everything. Almost like a comic book super hero, he slammed his hands down on the counter and vaulted over it. Gasps parted the people like a sea as he barreled down on Robert.

“Whoa big guy,” Robert had not thought about this very carefully. He hadn’t counted on Ralf being so protective over his little baker. Ah well, too late now. Ralf stormed up and popped Ralf right in the jaw. In turn, without much warning, Beth pulled up her skirt and Spartan-Kicked Robert in the chest, sending him flailing back, tumbling into another girl. This girl happened to be the birthday darling previously at the bar ordering a drink. Now she was covered head to foot in said drink.

She blinked once, twice, then flared her eyes. “No one ruins my party dress!” She gripped her glass and threw it. Luckily for Robert he was now unconscious on the ground. The girl’s glass instead hit another man, completely unrelated to this incident until now, square in the back of the head.  

“No one hits my best mate!” Another man cried out. As you can well imagine this did nothing to defuse the situation. Like a school brawl, a voice in the back of the room, without origin, shouted “Bar fight!” and society broke loose. Chairs, bottles, and even bodies flew through the air with the greatest of ease in what some would come to call The Great Battle of Pastries.

Somehow the only damages Robert incurred were his original punch to the face and kick to the chest, which he told no one of. No further actions were taken against him as he lamely limped out of the back door never to be seen again.     

An hour later, after the fight had largely died down, Beth and Ralf found each other and left shortly after. I am happy to report they traveled back to Beth’s apartment where she promptly mixed up a fresh batch of scones to share with her crush. The couple sat happily together and ate the night away.