Temple of Kraden News:
now it is time for the most brilliant thing i have ever written
i am so proud
should i continue y/n
- Derek and Louise met because of a school project. And, guess what: it was in biology class. When he pulled out the mutilated rat ovaries, Louside couldn’t help but swoon at the manly manliness of slaughter.
“I like your ovaries, Derek,” she says to him. He blushes and holds them hestitantly out to her.
“Would you like to touch them?”
Louise recoils at the offer. She’s never touched rat ovaries before, but she’s fascinated that this boy is offering his to her. “Okay,” she says. “Just let me get some rubber gloves first.”
“Aw,” Derek says with a slight slip of his grin. “But it feels so much slimier without gloves.”
Louise wavers. Until three minutes ago, she wouldn’t have thought of touching rat ovaries at all, and now she was considering touching them without a glove?
“I’m not sure, Derek,” she says. “What if it gives me a disease?”
“It won’t,” Derek says, confident. He holds the ovaries closer to her. “Just touch, and then I’ll put them down. It’s really cool.”
Well, he is rather cute, and she has never touched rat ovaries before.
- At the top of a building sits a young girl. She’s looking at the trees on the ground because she doesn’t often see them from this angle, and it makes her feel bigger.
On her hands are winter gloves that she doesn’t want to put back in the closet. On her feet are shoes that fit just perfectly and aren’t quite brand new, but broken in enough to be comfortable. She’s wearing a floral skirt that her mother bought her and it doesn’t match her checkered top, a tiny thing with spaghetti straps that slip against her shoulders. Most days she wears her hair in a ponytail because of the wind, but today it’s down because… well, it is.
She thinks she needs a tragedy. She’s just a young thing, but already she understands that the saddest of people are the ones who do the best when they grow up. Attention is something she’s growing up to crave, but when she’s on this here roof the sky and the birds in it couldn’t care less about her presence, and she’s reminded that nature is the very basis of the individual.
When the tiny cellphone that belongs to her dad vibrates in her pocket, she jumps a little bit, one foot bracing itself on the concrete. She reaches into the pocket in her shorts and pulls out the phone. She hits the green button and holds it to her ear.
“Hi,” she says.
“Veronica,” says her dad.
“Hi, daddy,” she says.
“Can you come home, please?” says her dad.
Veronica throws her head back in a laugh. “No.”
“Supper’s getting cold.”
The crusts of a peanut-butter-and-jam sandwich sit at her feet. “I brought a sandwich.”
The ten-year-old laughs again. “Bye, daddy,” she says into the phone. It shuts with a click, and she holds it in her palm like a precious stone.
The sky darkens in waves, and the next time she looks at the phone the number blink 9:14 at her. She’ll go home when the stars come out. A bat swoops above her head and she thinks that it is the most misunderstood creature on the planet.
“Hey there,” she coos. “Hello, little bat. Come closer?”
The bat swoops again, and she imagines that she can see red teeth poking from its lips. Its face reminds her of a dog that got run over last week in front of her house; furry snout, with little pink lips that barely cover the incisors beneath them. She reaches a hand up to pet the bat and sees its wings grow longer, watches it stretch out of its bones.
“Go home, little girl,” it rasps at her as it comes closer. Her heart immediately screams out a rhythm of fast adrenaline, and she braces her hands on the roof behind her, one leg crossed and the other one poised to hoist herself up. Her own incisors slip from between her pink lips, and she grins the way the night creatures taught her.
“I want to talk to you.” Her girly voice drips from her eyes like tears.
The bat comes closer and finally alights on the edge of the roof, bare feet with ten toes and painted nails gripping the cement. It closes its wings around itself like a cape and opens its mouth wide when it talks, words that look like they ought to be a feral scream. “You’re imaginative, little girl.”
Veronica nods at the compliment. The rusty stack of colours sinks lower on the horizon, taking with it the little bit of warmth whose absence makes the night air cold. Veronica shivers.
“May I borrow your cloak?” she inquires. The bat bares its teeth, yellow and sharp beneath a button nose. The fur lining its body twitches like it’s fighting to hold in a chaos of feathers. Veronica wonders if it’s as downy as it looks. “May I? Just for the night. I’ll give it back to you in the daytime.”
The bat shakes its head. “Daytime does nothing for me. Don’t ask after something you were never gifted with.” In temperance, the bat folds its legs beneath it and rests its butt on its heels. It eyes her with a wary scorn that might be closer to curiosity. “I am a bat,” it says.
“I know,” says Veronica with a puzzled headscratch. “I didn’t know bats had arms and legs and eyelashes.” The bat replies by ruffling its wings, a shiver clawing from its toes to the tips of its ears. “You’re even scarier this way, you know.”
“You don’t look afraid, little girl.”
Veronica bares her teeth, a snarl that is more of a grin. Her canines poke from her upper lip, little tiny triangles of white on chapped peach. “That’s because I’m scarier than you are.”
- This is not as true as I’d like you to think it is, but hear me out regardless. I’ve been trying to find you for a long time; such a very, very long time. I just have to tell you some hundred things. Whether you want to hear them or even care anymore is beyond my knowing; you haven’t let me in in two long years, you know.
Are you feeling alright? You weren’t last I saw you. You were dry, shrivelled, chalk on the sidewalk. You rubbed out of the creases under the soles of passersby, washed down the storm drain whenever it rained a little too hard. You had this way about you, this way of regrowing all your lost parts so you could pretend they’d never been pried away in the first place. But it shows, babe. Your surrogate arm, the one on the left? It’s too short, too gnarled. A person isn’t born that way. And your eyelids—they’re too loose. I can tell those aren’t your eyes beneath them.
More transparent than you thought, hm? The people you meet today won’t notice. They think you were born like this. But me? I was there when that arm started to wilt. I saw the skin give up and flake away in the winter, passing itself off as a decoration to the season. Merry Christmas, it said to the snowflakes. Millions of pieces of you gliding to the ground to melt in the springtime.
If that isn’t enough, don’t forget that I saw your eyes sinking as well. By the time you closed them, it was too late to hide your disease. You’re still too lonely.
Yeah, pretty much.
- I found an old friend today. She never used to talk much, but I was eight years old and sad, and she was a dancer.
I can’t say I remember how we met; I probably saw her dancing, thought she was beautiful, and started telling her my stories. I had a lot of stories--I was a kid with a too-full head and a nose stuck too high in the air. She would sit on my bed and I would tell her about my day, about the things I did wrong and the things other people did wrong. Never once did she speak a word of judgment, though she probably should have. She would sit there still and quiet and listen to me talk until I’d said all I needed to, and then I would give her a big hug and promise to talk to her again tomorrow.
Eventually, of course, I grew up a little bit, and Angelina stopped being my confidant and best friend. I moved on, moved up and down and backwards and inside-out. I should probably have kept her around longer. She was a dancer and an idealist; I was an academic and a realist. I should mention that, as eight-year-olds are wont to be, I was not a very good friend to Angelina.
I can recall one instance, near the beginning, when I completely forgot about her and went outside to play. My little sister found her alone in the hallway and they played together until I returned. Angelina never said a word about it; I think she liked my sister, so everything was alright. She was good at alright.
Today, I see Angelina again. She’s not sitting on my bed, listening to my stories; she’s hiding beneath it, long forgotten and perhaps hoping, all this time, that I’d miss her enough to go looking. I smile at her, a small, nostalgic thing. And then I toss the stuffed bunny into the Sally-Ann box for the next little girl who needs a friend.