Young Grasshopper 2

What does love look like? Recently I found myself staring out my bedroom window late at night in a dreamy sort of state. Seeing as I was never wont to do this before, the other members of the colony noticed when walking down the hall (rooms are without doors you see). Nothing was said, only looks and whispers of curiosity.

Life passed much like that for a while with Dusty. One day he met a girl for lunch at the café. Dusty did, my Dusty. I felt my heart break in two but could only watch from affair in between work routes. I couldn’t even keep a constant eye on him or her. Maybe she’s just a friend? They talked and laughed then parted ways, by all accounts innocently. Dusty walked back to his big building full of possible jobs. I felt no better. That night I looked out the window in my room and cried. I could not sleep or even move; seeing, thus knowing, we were still under the same star littered sky gave me comfort and connection to the man who, undoubtedly by now, had my heart.

A knock on the door frame. Wiping my cheeks, I glanced to see an elder waiting for an invitation to enter. I bade him come in but moved little from my vantage point. As I noted before, my race is one big family. Everyone born before is either your older sibling or parent; everyone born after is your younger sibling or child. So reluctantly, like a child, I turned towards my father. “I’ve heard you crying for some time now,” he said. “What is the cause?” He spoke kindly, folding his hands behind his back as he awaited my answer.    

Looking at the ceiling, I sighed. “I think I’m in love.”

He laughed. “With who?”

“A boy,” I curled my toes in embarrassment at confessing my affections out loud for the first time.

A combination of questions crossed the elder’s expression. “A boy… Where?”

“5th and Western.”

“A human boy?”

I hesitated, already seeing the end. “Yes,” I answered. “But –”

His look silenced me alone. “Angel…” he smiled. “A human boy? Love?” He scoffed, but seeing my expression grew serious. “Initially such a little thing wouldn’t warrant attention, but crying? Over him I can only assume. I’m concerned.”

“There is no need to be.”

Pursing his lips he continued. “The bottom line is this: it’s affecting your work ethic. Lack of sleep, emotional instability, distraction throughout the day,” he looked up sharply. “What are you thinking?”

Shifting uncomfortably, I smiled. “I don’t know. I’m sure if he knew me, he would like me. We would talk and –”

“But you cannot,” he interrupted.

“Why?”I found his eyes and refused to let go.    

“You are a foolish, selfish girl. Let it be.”

“No.” I said.

He blinked twice. To go against a family member’s wish was to go against your very self, your very nature. “You should concern your life with other things than luxuries such as love. Family comes first, not strangers you don’t know anything about.”

“But I know a lot about him!” I pleaded. “I know he has a sweet tooth and always takes cream and sugar in his coffee, plus caramel. I know what book he’s reading right now. I know what music he likes. I know he works in a big building two blocks from his favorite coffee shop. I know –”

“All from observation. Spying on the man while he is none the wiser to your very existence –” he huffed, furrowing his eyebrows. “Nothing will come of it.”

“I’m not so sure.” I said, turning back to the window.

“You will learn the hard way,” the elder promised as he left the room. “You will learn and forget.”  

The next day changed everything. 

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Young Grasshopper 1

Hi. My name is Angel.

I’m not really sure how to describe myself. Just regular old me. I have a job that takes up all my time; flying back and forth between places running errands for the higher ups. Mostly fetching food from the fields. I mentioned flying, right? I can fly; wings and everything. Humans would say I most resemble a grasshopper, but I say I mostly resemble a human. I’m not either; I’m part of a race that lives alongside humans and grasshoppers without sight or sound. Pretty cool, right?

It can be a bit repetitive actually, but it’s not so bad. Passing between the city’s buildings looking at others’ lives can be interesting. Like the baker at 5th and Corner, he just married the daughter of his best customer (he visits everyday wearing a fine suit). The banker on Douglas bought a new car to fit her new lifestyle (stocks were up). Not to mention him.

I first saw him a month ago, walking down the street. What caught my eye was the top of his head, mainly his hair. Understand, I see the tops of heads many times throughout the day, but his was different. He dyed his hair blonde, a dusty blonde that offset his skin tone like the field dust does over the setting sun. I quickly found he walked the same route every day at the same time, which conveniently matched with my route. After lunch he walks to a big building containing several companies, any of which I felt suited him as the career oriented young man he most obviously was.

He didn’t know I existed, but from then on he became the most important existence to me. My life was a planet and he was the sun. I didn’t know his name but decided Dusty suited him. Infatuation I had never experienced so I knew not how to control it. It pained me he could never hear or see me, but it served as a blessing in this instance, allowing me to fly low and close without notice. Every day I examined every inch of him, learning his tiniest quirks and habits. I even noticed a slight limp one day and fretted the rest of the week till it disappeared.

My kind doesn’t fall in love. On the very rare occasions it is brought up it is discussed in a matter akin to something alien, not of our world. We don’t marry and raise a family. We are born, but not in the traditional sense. There are no families save one: our entire race. We have no hearts to give a single person because our existence is solely dedicated to preserving and strengthening the already existing family, not starting our own.

So to find myself in love quite disturbed them.

Bazooka 3

Bullets exploded a wooden light pole as I frantically rounded a corner. “What did I ever do to you?” I screamed, the woman in the yellow dress flying after me. Needless to say she seemed to be in fantastic shape, as the heavy artillery loaded around her neck did nothing to slow her down. 

Running blindly down one street after another I risked a look over my shoulder, witnessing the lady show surprising versatility as, in one bound, she leaped onto a low stone boarder while reloading her rocket-launcher. I could tell it wasn’t an easy thing to do. I wondered where her semi-automatic went and thought back fondly to those moments she wielded that instead. Upon loading the rocket she stopped, took aim, and fired.

“Oh shi –” The ground erupted beneath me as I was once again thrown through the air. Landing on the ground with a thud I rolled head over foot, coming to a stop in a crumpled heap covered in bruises and cuts, gravel and dirt blasted into every pour of my body. Smoke clouded my vision. I coughed and lay collapsed for an unmeasured amount of time before finding the motivation to sit up.

She was gone, but the damage left behind certainly acted as calling-card. A crowd of onlookers gathered to marvel at the crater in the middle of the street but somehow overlooked my presence. Content with that, I crawled to the curb and tried to clear my head, now nursing far more sores than a broken nose. Police officers came, I can only assume there’s a file on it, and chased everyone away…  

“So,” Officer Buck worried at my pause. “I already know all this. What happened next?” 

“My mom always gave me ice-cream when I fell,” I said absentmindedly. “So I got ice-cream.”

Luckily for me the park was nearby. I felt at this point in the day I should take a break and examine my life, so a bought a cone and strolled. I took a lick and thought back to the woman in the yellow dress. “Man, what a crazy broad…” I chuckled. Hell, maybe I’d imagined the whole thing? Unemployment can do that to a person.  

“Kyaa!” I heard above me. Looking up just in time to offer a landing platform for a foot, I felt my precious ice-cream fall from my grasp as legs locked around me. Fists pounded my head and shoulders left and right, but it felt more like the temper tantrum of a child than an actual assault. Blindly I grabbed an arm and tore the attacker away, throwing them to the ground.

 “You?” I meant to sound accusing, but came off more confused when the figure straightened from her fallen position. Remember the fetus that decked me in the bar? She simply rolled her shoulder and raised her fists. Instead of hitting me again she spun on her heels and performed a perfect round-house kick to my jaw. What was it with this chick and the face? It was all a bit much.  

Told You So

Shelby sighed. “What’s wrong?” Her best friend in the whole wide world, Miranda, sat next to her at their usual table in the cafeteria, halfway-through another day of junior high. She focused heavily on devouring her pizza but could always tell when something was on her mind, and never failed to inquire. Shelby sighed again, this time a little dreamily. Finally Miranda looked up to see her best friend in the whole wide world staring across the room. She rolled her eyes. “I don’t know why you bother,” she said. “It’s never gonna happen.”

Shelby frowned. “You don’t know that.” Truthfully Shelby wasn’t staring across the room, but at a table of boys, and one boy in particular. Let’s just cut to the chase: that one particular boy was perfect.

“Yeah, I do.” Miranda insisted. “He is the most popular guy in our grade. In what reality does he date you?”

“My reality,” Shelby said defensively, hiding her disappointment at how true Miranda probably was. “It could happen…”

“Excuse me.” A voice, like the voice of an angel, rung through the air. The girls stiffened and turned to see the subject of their discussion standing a mere foot away. Tall, dark, handsome (for a middle school student), and with the apparent speed of an elk, he shone with radiance akin to a god.

“Y-yes?” Shelby fluttered her eyes, unable to fully register her crush of all crushes was now, currently, in this very moment, in this very reality, looking directly at her with his beautiful, gorgeous, deep, perfect eyes – Miranda slapped her shoulder, she herself smiling giddily at the boy.

“I couldn’t help but notice you looking over at my friends and I.” He smiled, addressing Shelby.

“Oh?” She got out. “I didn’t notice. Sorry.”

“No, no it’s perfectly ok.” He chuckled. Shelby swore he was the swavest man alive. “I just wanted to say if you ever feel like joining us, feel free.” Shelby’s breath caught in her throat, but Miranda managed a little gasp. “In the meantime, I wanted to give you this.” He held out his hand, offering her the holy grail of holy grails, the end-all-be-all greatest thing ever to receive from the boy you like: chocolate milk. His chocolate milk. She took it, speechless, and nodded by way of gratitude. He turned and walked away with a little wave, the cutest little wave Shelby had ever seen. The two girls couldn’t help but stare after.

“Did you see that?” Miranda asked excitedly, nudging Shelby. “Did you?”

“I’m never drinking this milk. Ever. So I can show it to our kids.” Shelby stated matter-of-factly. Turning to Miranda, she stuck out her tongue. “Told you so.”