Two Kinds of Odd

short stories collection - a compilation of my short stories.

Summary

I've always wanted to fly--to soar and twirl without a care, to dive bomb that crazy little brat who walks on me every day and spills his rancid milk, or to skim the streets unhindered. Alas, I am here, watching the world pass me by. I was always the odd one out, but that would make me special right? It's always good to be special...

A tale about an inanimate object (I'll let you figure out what) and its journey to be free.

I’ve always wanted to fly--to soar and twirl without a care, to dive bomb that crazy little brat who walks on me every day and spills his rancid milk, or to skim the streets unhindered. Alas, I am here, watching the world pass me by. I was always the odd one out, but that would make me special right? It’s always good to be special…

Interesting things happened on this side of the block; all kinds of people passed by and plied their trade. None more so than the man I soon nicknamed Mr. D. With a giant, he used to pick up the mail on his front porch then survey the neighborhood, always with an eye out for the children—he would stare down any unusual personas. Blue eyed and gray haired, I’d only ever met the grumpy side of him, but he told tales to those willing to listen—of his adventures in the Dead Sea and his battles on the scorched plains of the Sahara. Alas, he now tells no new tales, his flowing bathrobe no longer mystified the afternoon scenes that played out in this rather quaint little cul-de-sack.

That little brat was always up to no good, he’d tried to take off 10-60 before, but those mythical builders had made him solid and he did not budge. Often I would get nervous at his passing, at times he would carry his metal baseball bat on him, whacking as he went by, hoping that he would knock one of us off—but we stood our ground. His pearly skin, brown eyes, freckled face, and bowl-cut hair belied his true, wicked nature. He would play games on poor animals, confuse and scare the little critters, all the while using us as shields, barriers to his mischievous acts. It was unfortunate that we were all born with sight and hearing, yet God was so unkind as to make us mute. Oh how I yearned to tell all about his secrets, to divulge to the next passerby the nature of his acts. This was not to be so, and for ages I watched him grow old, until one day his awful deeds ceased to permeate the neighborhood.

Now, it seems that Nature plays a doggone trick on us at times; the little brats mother was, shall we say politely, quite the lady. Having no feeling undoubtedly tempered my passion, but her walk, that sultry stroll and swaying hips as she prowled the block; well, it moved me ever more to break free and fly, so I could revel in the form and beauty that she embodied. However—as always—I was stuck, cursed to witness her age and her once voluptuous figure give a dire warning that nothing is timeless. How I thought that my virtue would not be their vice, but death’s gripe never came to me. I waited for that slowing of the mind, that loss of boyish wonder at all that took place—it never came.

I observed one day a small, blue car pull up to one of the houses on a quiet Sunday morning. Out stepped several men dressed in black attire and carrying what looked to be a large box, much like 10-62—who had been born to this world rather large. The old man hadn’t come out in a while, but all of a sudden the boy came prancing by and smacked me firm on the face, dazing me for a bit—I subsequently blacked out.

People came and went. I believed our time—our usefulness to this world—would come to an end, we were, after all, relics of the past. With time I’d shown signs of their vice, I’d become frayed about the edges, my demeanor taking on a darker hue. But, how the times changed! With the last sighting of the original neighbors, the little cul-de-sack underwent a radical transformation—houses were torn down, little bits of memory lost and swept away. I always loved the sight of the small, yellow adobe across from me, over the years it had played host to the most interesting residents. Puff, with unnecessary aggression the house was a plume darkening the sky. I’d never thought about my mortality with such fidelity as then; to my horror a man similar to the one who’d recently occupied the yellow adobe came up to us and started to run his fingers along our heads. A few words were exchanged and with a rush of air accompanied by a deafening roar, I flew into the air. Oh and how splendid it was! Flipping and twirling, I had finally done it! Then I hit the ground.

Awaking to the sound of drills and hammers overhead, I tried to get my bearings, but my sight was blocked by the others. How odd, it seemed most of us were still here, together. They must have been constructing a new wall; I always sensed we were in an odd spot. However, it seemed that several of the others were flapping about! I tried to ignore the sight, but it was too delightful to block. I was giddy again, my whole frame attempted to move, alas, it still could not. Ah well, maybe someday.

This was a new era, people strolled about with more confidence—they wore clean-cut suites and drove sparkling cars. Some of that old happiness seemed to have died with the restructuring, that wise acknowledgement of the simple life. There were no kids at play. It seemed that while the scenery was undoubtedly brighter, whiter, sexier—my times spent enjoying those quirky and eccentric individuals who stopped by this quaint little cul-de-sack were at an end.

It had been awhile since the change and I’d very much grown to like it, the little boy’s mother that I used to lust after, well she was an ugly duckling compared to the ladies that did their daily Pilates and jogged around the neighborhood. Oh, but once again this yearning was to no avail, though out of the corner of my eye one day, I spotted one of us not in row or column.

And then that day arrived. I shall never forget it, such was the immense release that it brought. I had noticed some of the other walls in the neighborhood move, change shape and contort after someone pressed their hand against them. The man who owned my lawn, he’d never so much as manually cleaned us—he always strolled to his sleek, black car and drove off into the rising sun. But one day he came back, his assured, usually slick, hair in a fritz and his face gaunt, his eyes sunken in ever so slightly. He rushed into his house and came out, a bulge in the side of his jacket. Dashing up to us, he pressed his palm to me and stepped back. Then it happened! I was wiggling and began to rise. With an ever-growing smile on my face, it dawned on me. I could fly! And I took off, zipping around doing loop-de-loops and dive bombs. The thrill, the sensation, the release—I can still not describe what I felt for those few precious moments. Then my wings went away and I fell. As my descent accelerated I surveyed the world beyond this quaint little cul-de-sack that I’d known and what a sight I took in. In the distance stood towers that glittered in the setting sun, they seemed to reach past the clouds and pierce the heavens. There were lights strung out across the sky, twinkling and changing, morphing and splintering. Oh the sights I saw! I nearly blacked out from the overload before I—thump!—was greeted by terra firma again. The man picked me up, his expression slightly crazed, and threw me into the air one last time. Ah that feeling! You must be getting tired of my obsession with it, but you must understand by now what it means! The ground loomed below and all of a sudden it changed to a green then black hue. With a clang I hit a wall then an ever so cold ground, its metallic surface not the best of friends. And so I sat there, waiting for him to come get me and place me back in my rightful place. After all, I was special, it’s always good to be special…

-biafra
bahanonu [at] alum.mit.edu

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©2006-2017 | biafra ahanonu | updated 12 december 2017
biafra ahanonu