First of all, can I just say that I am going to see Much Ado tomorrow and that I’m super excited?  Yeah for Joss Whedon and yeah for him always bringing back the actors we love.  Smiles! 🙂

la_ca_0522_much_ado_about_nothing

So, as I have mentioned before, I do some volunteer work with the library, specifically with the library’s teen programs – the theater group and the writing group.  Now usually when I go to the writing group I try and participate with whatever the challenge is because I think it’s good practice, and if someone needs help I can better relate because hey, I had to write from the weirdo/difficult/magical prompt, too!  So we write for about 20-30 minutes and then the teens all share.  (I generally don’t just because it really is supposed to be a group about them, not me.  Also, on the weeks when we have like 15 students, we really don’t have the time.)  But!  In the last couple weeks I’ve really enjoyed the prompts we’ve had and since I haven’t gotten to share my results with the group, I figured I’d share them with you nice people 🙂

So…here’s the prompt from last night…

And here is my story….

BEING HUMAN

Pedro sighed.  Being human wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

From the day he’d hatched he’d never been like the other birds.  While they flew and chirped and caught bugs, Pedro hung out downtown and watched the humans.  Sure, there were other pigeons there, and sure, they’d eat whatever human food fell their way, but when night came and the streetlights flickered to life, the others all went home.

But not Pedro.

Pedro was fascinated by humans: the way they walked, their hands, their cars and clothes.  All he ever wanted to do was be a human.

And so, each night, Pedro visited the windows of the local hospital, peering in at the sick and newborn and dying, and wishing for just a piece of their hidden lives.

That was how he’d first met Frank.

Frank was pushing 40 and hopelessly miserable about his life.  Confined to a bed in the psych ward after his 3rd failed suicide attempt, Frank spent his days staring out the window and dreaming.

Pedro liked Frank.  He had fun hair that looked like a nest, and he always kept his TV on at night, illuminating the room and giving Pedro a window within a window to spy on countless human experiences.

So Pedro came by often.

At first the staff had discouraged Pedro’s visits, setting out poisons and banging on windows.  But once they saw the effect Pedro had on Frank, that Frank had taken an interest in something, they encouraged Pedro’s visits, and even allowed Frank to leave bits of bread and seeds on his windowsill.

Then came the day Frank had been dreading: the day when Frank would have to leave his bed, and Pedro, and go back home to his nothing life and his nothing apartment.

He didn’t want to go.

As he sat with Pedro, shoving bits of stale cornbread through the opening in his window, he wished he had the freedom of a bird, to just fly away and never come back.

If only he could just go.

Little did he know that at that same moment Pedro, the human-obsessed pigeon, was making the exact opposite wish, just has he did every night he visited Frank.

The thing that happened next almost kept Frank, or at least his body, from leaving the psych ward for a very, very long time.  Luckily for Pedro, he’d retained enough of Frank’s memories to play off his initial freakout as a bad reaction to a crazy dream.

And oh what a dream it had been.

At first.

Pedro didn’t understand these humans.  Not like he’d thought he did.  They didn’t like it when you went through their trash, to help spruce up your home.  They called the authorities when you followed them home, just to watch what they did at night.  They gave you strange looks when you snatched fallen food from the ground, even if they weren’t going to eat it themselves.

Pedro sat now, alone on the bench, watching a lone pigeon peck the ground at his feet.  Could that be Frank? he wondered, as he did every time he saw one of his former brethren.  A tear fell behind the reflective sunshield of his brand-new space suit.  He’d thought it’d make him friends.  The astronauts on TV always looked so interesting.  Plus they got to fly.  Pedro missed that more than he’d expected.

He thought he understood now Frank’s depression, and why he’d wanted to leave this life behind.  He wondered if he’d have the courage to do it himself.  He doubted it.

Pedro took a shuddering breath and prepared himself to go.

Just then, a frazzled mother passed, dragging a sticky toddler behind her.  As the mother stopped to answer her phone, the rosy-cheeked tot stopped and stared at Pedro.

Pedro braced himself.  He’d gotten used to the judgmental taunts and stares.

“I like your shiny helmet.  It’s pretty.”

Pedro sat up, his head darting from side to side.  Had she just said something nice to him?  His human memories told him she had.

“Here,” said the girl, handing him her half-eaten sucker.  “You want some?”

Pedro nodded, his face beaming behind the mask of his shiny helmet.

The mother finished her call, and yanked the toddler behind her once again.  “Bye-bye, Mr. Space Man,” the child called as she disappeared around the corner, her tiny fingers waving.  Pedro had just enough time to raise his hand before she vanished out of sight.

Pedro started back towards home, the stick of his watermelon lollipop bumping against the inside of his helmet.  Maybe, he thought, I could get the hang of the human thing after all.

Tadaaaaa!  Hope you enjoyed it!  I really considered letting this one end on a negative note, but I just couldn’t do that to poor, miserable Pedro.  He just seemed so sad!

Oh, and if you’re looking for a puppy update, Dyson and Lizzie are getting along better and better, though they’re still nowhere close to being best friends.  Lizzie’s just to full of squiggles for Dyson to tolerate for long.  But hey!  I’ll take all the baby steps I can get!

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