Breakup

Late again. Typical. So, so typical of him.

I sat in the living room waiting as usual. This is so juvenile. Hadn’t he gone through puberty yet? I expected more from an older man, but I saw now, after months of this drama, that nothing would change. I didn’t want to care anymore.

Finally I heard a key in the lock and watched him walk in loosening his already loose tie. “Good evening,” He said, pecking me on the cheek.

“Good evening,” I said in return.

Heading towards the kitchen he threw his briefcase on the island. He took his time in pouring the perfect scotch, obviously worn from his “strenuous” day away at work.

“Darrel?”

“Yes?”

“You were the one to call me first, yes?”

“Dear?” He laughed, turning from the liquor cabinet only he ever touched.

“Answer the question.”

“Well, yes. I remember—”

“And were you not the one who asked me out?”

He crinkled his eyebrows. “Evelyn, I don’t understand where—”

“Answer the question.” I said sternly, glaring at him.

“Why have you been so pushy lately?” Setting his drink down with a snap he folded his arms. “Is there something you haven’t been satisfied with?”

I scoffed. “Satisfied? Is that what your secretary is? Satisfied?”

His lips fumbled for words. “Of all the—I don’t know—That’s—”

“Oh stop blabbering,” I stood from my seat. “You’re so childish.”

“Childish!” He stomped his foot. “That’s outrageous.”

“So now you’re a tough guy?” I smirked, slowly making my way towards him.

“What has come over you Evelyn?” Remorse lined his unchanging face. “Tell me what’s wrong.”

I thought for a moment. “I’ve realized I’m sick of you. Utterly sick of you.” He opened his mouth to argue, but with a deft hand I cut him off. “Everything you do is selfish. You’ve obviously gone through puberty, so my only guess is that you are an utter mama’s boy.”

“Leave my mother out of this,” He threatened.

“Oh, whatever would you do without her?” I cried dramatically. “Rude awakening pal, I’m not your mom, thank God, so I don’t have to continue putting up with you.”

“What are you getting at?”

“I’m asking you who do you think you are? You’re a pathetic boy who failed at trying to play a grown woman. But perhaps I am more pathetic for trusting you to begin with. But you know what? I’m not sorry.” He looked to me in confusion. I threw my shoulders back and shamelessly held my head high. “Seeing someone like you has shown me that I deserve more. I’m too good for you.”

His jaw dropped open as if to spit something out. I honestly waited for a smart retort to all I’d said. I wasn’t naturally one for confrontation, but I am not shy in admitting that at that moment I was ready for a fight. But sadly nothing came.

“A taxi is waiting outside with my things. I am leaving you Darrel.” Leaning in close, close enough to give one last smell of my perfume, I picked up his scotch and drained it. “Here’s to growing up,” With that I let go, shattering the heavy glass on the floor. I had had the foresight to wear shoes. He, unfortunately, had not.

The Ball

The ball was to take place on the 5th of October. Traditionally a grand occasion, all the lords and ladies of the land were to be in attendance. A vast wealth of wine and food was on the menu for the evening. It would be a ball to remember, celebrating, only once every ten years, the changing of the seasons.

Micheal never looked forward to these sorts of occasions. Formal attire and formal speech had never suited him. He preferred casual meetings, not straight-laced gatherings which held not meaning after all this time. 

Sam’s life revolved around waiting for such events. The lights, the sounds, everything about a party excited her. And the dresses! The dresses that the ladies wore and the suits the men dressed in were what Sam’s dreams were made of.

Micheal dressed that evening in a fine suit. He would be the envy of every man and the desire of every woman in attendance. He was not happy about it. Simply because he mother thought it imperative his presence that evening be noted, he was going. Forced, would be the right word. 

Sam dressed in a hurry. Her maids could hardly keep up with their eager charge. One held her down while another adjusted her skirt and hair. She begged her father to go and after much appealing to his good nature he had conceded. She loved the changing of the season’s festival. Such tradition! 

Micheal arrived in a pearly coach pulled by coal mares. He stepped out onto a lavender carpet and walked into the ball alone.

Sam arrived in a cherry oak coach pulled by white steeds. She jumped down without assistance onto the lavender carpet and barreled her way into the ball alone.  

Micheal tried to avoid any and all social interaction. He picked up a drink and found himself a deserted corner to hide in. He preferred people watching more than actual interactions. He hoped his mother wouldn’t notice he’d arrived.

Sam dived into a crowd the second she stepped through the door. More like a heat seeking missile than a wall flower she prowled from group to group looking for the best discussions. She hoped her father would notice she’d arrived.

He saw her first. She was dancing in a circle with a few other girls. Dressed in an exceptionally fancy dress, he thought she looked ridiculously childish. He hated when she dressed like that.

She saw him first. He was standing in a corner alone. Dressed in a simple black tux, she thought he looked devilishly charming. She loved when he dressed like that.

She walked towards him. He wanted to run away but decided he wouldn’t get very far. Even dressed like that, he had witnessed firsthand how fast she could maneuver. 

She walked towards him. She wanted to run to him but decided it wouldn’t look very lady-like. Dressed as she was, she knew she must behave.

“Sister.” She reached his corner all too soon and suffocated him with her embraced and perfume.

“Brother!” She finally reached him. She held her arms out wide and squeezed him wholeheartedly. 

Even with all the town in attendance, he could not escape from family.

Even with all the town in attendance, she could always find family.

Miners

Turns out she lived in an underground bunker she had outfitted to be a paradise for people like us. Problem was it was located in the middle of the forest. So trucking we went through weeds and ruble until we found the door. Chuck insisted we turn our back while he knocked out the secret code on the tin door. The sound echoed through the treetops, gathering the attention of the random bird or two. Not the smartest crayon in the box that one.

The door opened without a soul on the other side. Carefully we ventured inside. A small, steep staircase creaked uncomfortably as we descended. The place was a dump. Pulling out a flashlight I scanned the dark room. You couldn’t see the floor for all the wires, scraps of metal, and candy wrappers.

“Ellisa?” Chuck called out. As answer a quick shuffle drew our attention to the right. Just as my flashlight landed on the area another clank and drag sounded to our left.

Dail drew his gun while our group drew together into a protective circle. “Chuck…” Mellisa whispered.

“Hello,” A voice said. Everyone broke their necks in their surprise. Perfectly in the middle of our circle, behind everyone’s backs, was a girl, buried hip deep in the trash. She wore black goggles which her braided hair fell in tendrils over.

“Jesus…” I released my own hold on my gun and turned around fully.

“Ellisa!” Chuck towered over the girl. “What have I told you about doing that sort of stuff? You knew we were coming! You’re gonna get yourself shot one day…”

The girl laughed and disappeared again, back into the depths of her obsession like a mole. She reemerged from the ceiling, dangling in front of me. “So what is it you seek in my humble abode? Don’t step on that.”

She glared at one of the hulks we were forced to bring with on this venture. His foot was posed over a toaster, by now covered in vines and moss.

“Why?” He asked. “It’s not like it’s alive.”

“So you think…” She said. I looked over again to see the toaster had vanished. The hulk looked down into empty space and stepped back. Ellisa meanwhile was setting herself down, unfurling from the ceiling surprisingly gracefully. Almost inhumanly, she proved to be willowy, her arms, legs, and torso taking up the majority of her. Standing toe to toe she looked me in the eyes. “What is it you seek?” I don’t know why, but suddenly I was really grateful not to see the girl’s eyes.  I was really happy about them being covered.

“You already know what we “seek”. Skip this show and just hand it over.” Chuck interjected.

“Alright, alright, you don’t have to be so pushy. This is my own home you know; you could at least be a little more civil…”

“We don’t have time for civil.” Dail glanced around, listening carefully.

Shrugging she stepped awkwardly through her own home, nearly falling several times on her way to a table off in a corner.

Mellisa leaned over to whisper in my ear. “Be careful with that one,” She said. “You turn your back and you’re going to find a knife in it.”

Ellisa was soon next to Chuck, once again waste deep in her own collection. “Here it is, just as we arranged.” She handed him a simple cardboard box.

“Nothing is as we arranged witch.” He stuffed the box into his pack and signaled us to move out. Making our way to the staircase, she waded at the ascent to seeing us out. I was the last to leave. Just as I set my foot on the case she caught my ankle.

“Be careful who you trust.” Though her eyes we covered I could tell she meant it, fully anxious about the future.

It looks like everyone felt it.

Show and Tell Pt. 2

The walk to the principal’s office was the longest walk Matt had ever taken. His teacher’s heels echoes in the halls of his school as she dragged him behind her. He could tell she couldn’t quite decide what to do with what he’d brought to show and tell that day. One step she held it loosely at her side, the next she tucked it under her arm, the next she made to hand it back to Matt only to snatch it back against her chest in fear.

“Marissa?” Matt recognized his math teacher. His expression at the scene hurrying past any other time would have Matt smiling. 

“Not now Randal.” His teacher moved even faster to the point that Matt had trouble keeping his feet on the ground.

Entering the main office, Matt’s teacher rushed to the secretary. “I need to see the principal. It is very important.” She stressed.

“I think he’s on the phone at the moment. What’s the emergency?”

She held up the bag. The woman behind the desk narrowed her eyes. “Is that…?”

Matt’s teacher nodded. “I’ll go get him,” The receptionist pulled herself up from her chair and flew across the room, not pausing for the courtesy of knocking before entering the Big Man’s office. That’s how the teachers described him. “You best behave before I send you to the Big Man!” They always threatened. Matt had never been sent to the office once until now.  

Voices could be heard from behind the door. Matt’s face flushed. Was he really doing the right thing? He knew what he had was a deal, he just didn’t know how big. He felt a hand rest on his shoulder. His teacher smiled down on him. “It’s going to be ok,” She said. “We’ll take care of you.”  

Matt felt bad for putting her in this position, using her really, but he hadn’t seen any other choice. He wanted to smile back, but before he could move the secretary reemerged and ushered them inside.

Behind a faux expensive desk sat the principal. He was a grave man who looked particularly dead today. The room looked somber and dim, the lights themselves hiding from the coming conversation.

His teacher sat him down in one of two chairs. She sat down next to him, then sprung back up to awkwardly set the package she still held on the desk.

The principal looked at the bag with awe. He hadn’t believed what the secretary had told him at first and even now needed confirmation. He looked across the table at the only woman in the room. She didn’t say a thing.

Breathing exaggeratedly the principal rubbed his legs and folded his hands together. “This is an… unusual situation to say the least. Matt,”

Matt was not feeling ashamed except that he was disappointed he was here. His father had let him down, no two ways about it. But he could set things straight, could right the wrong. For that he knew he had had to be strong, so he steadied his gaze and sat up straight.   

“Matt, do you know what this is?” Matt nodded. “Where did you get this?”

The moment of truth, no pun intended. Matt didn’t know all the consequences of his actions or what his future, no, even tomorrow would hold for him. Matt saw his father as he used to be. It hurt; Matt understood that things would never, ever, be the same. They would never be able to return to what they used to be. It wasn’t fair, but it was the way it was.

“It’s my dad’s. I found it in our basement.” 

His teacher reached over and squeezed his shoulder. The swallowed and picked up his phone to make a call.

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

Lonely Girl Pt. 2

Flying to the Beetle Kingdom took less than she expected but lasted longer than she could bear. Batul grew five times his size and carried her on his back. She hesitated at first, feeling the roughness of his shell, but with encouragement felt it wasn’t so uncomfortable as long as she wasn’t alone. Far far away they flew over many different lands. Every time they saw something new Batul would explain who, what, where, when, and why. She learned much during their travel, so much so that by the time the duo settled just outside the front entrance to the Beetle Kingdom, the once lonely girl was quite different. Far more worldly and outgoing, but still in need of slight refreshment, for flying tends to tangle ones hair.

 

Four female beetles, her newly hatched servants, escorted her to what she learned was to be her temporary room until further preparations could be made. Until she should move into the King’s room, is how the she interpreted it. Not to say she was offended by such a presumption. By now she had held many conversations with Batul, who she considered to be more like a father than anything, about what would happen once she met the Beetle King. She knew fully what was expected of her, and she did not mind. That is why she came after all. Following a much needed dip in the most luxurious pond water the girl had ever smelled and a cordial change of clothing, she felt as if she were newly born. As if the person who existed before had been lost somewhere along the way never to be found again.

 

The Beetle Kingdom was indeed glorious, and the girl had a difficult time walking straight as she neared the main hall. To think, this was her home now. Her servants didn’t say much but were respectful. Unused to the treatment, the girl smiled shyly at one. She smiled encouragingly back. It was time to meet the king.

 

The room was filled with attendees, but the King turned out to be the biggest amongst them all. She had suspected as much, but was taken aback by his impressive crown and cape of glass. Oddly enough she detected some apprehension from him. She noticed how his very back legs tapped nervously as he stood to greet her, and she instantly thought him cute and took pity upon him.

 

“Hello,” He stood up on his back two legs and smoothed his belly. “Welcome to my kingdom.”

 

“It is lovely to be here,” The girl smiled and curtsied as Batul had explained was customary.

 

“Ah, please,” The Beetle King reached forward. “Don’t bow. You are my guest. It is I who should bow to you.” With that the entire room, servants, lords, officials, and one king, all kneeled down and bowed to the most humble of persons.

 

Their wedding took place but a season later, at the break of the frost, when the first flower bloomed. The rays the sun sent down warmed the earth and acted as a blessing on the union. The girl walked down the aisle escorted by her rescuer and her dearest friend Batul, whose large family she was now fully integrated and comfortable with. She favored the second to youngest of the offspring, though she of course would never admit to such emotions. The Beetle King awaited his queen with nothing but open arms. She could feel his heart beat as she drew closer. Seeing him in his most regal of attire she could not help but smile.

 

Cheers roared as the ceremony concluded. Finally, finally, she was not alone. She had an entire kingdom to love and be loved by. There would never be a time when she was far away from anyone ever again. She had found a place to be, to live, and to grow in. She even had a name, given to her by the people as a wedding present. Celeoptera. For that is what she was now.

 

Though happily ever afters rarely find their way into the real world, they do occasionally pop up in the most peculiar of places. The lonely girl was no more, and never would be again.