First line provided by @WritersDigest:
“How does a cricket get into a trashcan on the 2nd floor of an office building?” thought Joe the Cricket.
“The things I do for Mrs. Joe.” He added, grumbling and clicking his wings creating more racket than he wanted to.
He hopped to the front door of an office building and made a plan. He shook his head to clear the drunken fog.
“I know,” thought Joe, “I’ll use the air duct and make it up there. Here I go!“
And meandering through the air duct, Joe began to notice a heavy sense of pressure from outside… what was happening!? Suddenly, a big gust of wind blew and lifted him up and away… and suddenly Joe the cricket began to blown toward a celestial dream.
“Ok, here I am… Where’s the trashcan? In an office or a bathroom? I see a trashcan… but it’s behind a glass door.
The wind stopped. Joe regrouped and noticed a secretary standing by the glass door. Still feeling a little dizzy, he slowly and silently crawled out of the bin. The celestial dream turned nightmarish as Joe felt his body pummel into the window pane, his eyes fixated on the trash can. Once on the window pane Joe let out a sigh, the trashcan was so close, but how was he supposed to get to it? Joe realized that trash cans and glass doors meant one thing: he was already dead. Joe was heading toward a white light.
“It’s heaven” Joe thought. “No, that’s a bug zapper! Is there any hope?”
Just when the white light nearly encompassed his full vision, it receded. Joe could see the woman again, she waved feathers. She was motioning for Joe to come her way. Was it a trap? Joe instantly became scared. He began to twitch his legs nervously playing the softest sweetest music. The woman heard a familiar tune. She’d wished upon stars before, after all. She glanced down, saw Joe’s pitiful, mangled form and felt sorry for the poor little guy. She scooped up Joe and placed him in a styrofoam cup.
“I’ll take him outside on my break.”
He stopped, concealed himself and waited for silence, thinking to himself, “I got to hurry.“
“No!” Joe cried, “Not outside!” His tears glistened and enchanted her.
She felt something she had not in a long time and as she bent down to the little cricket she could hear him say, “Please, please don’t put me out there. This place is all I know.”
Susan, the secretary, was less surprised than she should have been but then again she had quite the imagination. She decided to indulge the cricket and took him to her desk.
Susan jumped at her chance, “Can you grant me three wishes in exchange for peaceful life in the trash can?”
Joe considered her request. He was still a young cricket and had never granted wishes before, though he’d heard it could be done, but then, granting wishes could be a double-edged sword.
“Well, due to inflation, I can only grant one wish, so make it a good one.” Joe thought it would be prudent to limit himself to one wish at first. After all, he didn’t know if this would actually work. “So what exactly is it that you want?” asked Joe, “Do you want someone to publish something you’ve written? Then show me something you’ve written.” said Joe.
Susan pulled a manuscript from her desk drawer.
“Publishing doesn’t require magic,” he said. “You can publish it yourself.”
“No I want to live the life of a writer!” And just like that, Susan and the cricket were transported to a studio apartment which reeked of coffee and cigarettes. But there was sunlight and a laptop pulsing with fresh drafts. Susan thought she was in heaven, but Joe was distraught because he hadn’t gotten what he needed out of the trashcan.
“No, no that’s not how it’s supposed to work!” he chirped, his legs twitching nervously, “But then again, with the luck I’m having today, it’s a wonder I haven’t made it to the incinerator.” Joe mumbled.
Susan sat in front of the laptop and began to click rapidly through the documents, “This is my novel!” she exclaimed.
“Of course it is, this is all yours.” Joe mumbled unhappily, “You got your wish.”
Susan glanced down at the cricket in the cup. She realized that in getting her wish, the cricket had given up his dream. Susan knew she could never be happy knowing it was at the expense of another.
Susan closed the laptop and picked up the cup, “Can you take us home?”
Joe’s antennae twitched “Isn’t this what you wished for?”
Susan looked around the apartment and shrugged, “It’s not that great.” she lied.
“Do you see my sparkly red shoes anywhere around here?” Joe demanded, “Do you see Toto? It’s not that easy to get you home…”
Steven the Squirrel was yanked from his sleep.
”What a dream I had! I was this little cricket stuck in a trash can and I had these WEIRD blue antennae!”
“It means you had bad acorns last night,” his wife, Kim, grumbled, “Who’s Susan?”
“No one, dear, forget I mentioned it,” he stammered.
But Kim could not forget. “He mentioned her name for a reason.” she thought.
The next morning after Steven left to go on his morning foraging routine, Kim decided to bake some nut bread. It was then she noticed the small silver tin tucked in behind her spices. Obviously tucked away because it wasn’t meant for her to find, but she could not resist her curiosity. She opened the tin. Inside was a lock of blonde hair, obviously human. Kim was bewildered. Where had the human hair come from? And more importantly why did Stephen feel he had to hide this from her. Kim heard a noise behind her and quickly put the tin back, grabbed the oregano and closed the door. When she turned there was Stephen staring at her in disbelief.
Kim knew she was caught, there was no point in hiding it. “Who’s hair is in my pantry, Stephen?”
She could see her husband’s face fall, “I never thought you would see that.”
“You left it in my pantry!” Kim exclaimed.
“I know.” Stephen said.
“I think I deserve an explanation, Stephen.” Kim said.
Stephen nodded. They both sat at the table, he took a deep breath, “The hair belongs to a woman named Susan… She was my owner.”
Kim continued to stare at him wide-eyed. She had heard him say her name in his sleep.
Stephen took a deep breath. “I wasn’t always a squirrel, Kim. I used to be a cricket.” Steven looked away, “I didn’t even remember until the dream I had last night.”
Kim couldn’t believe her ears. Was her husband losing his mind? Her attention drifted back to his words.
“It all started when I was still a baby cricket, I was taken from my family by a Human and put into a little box with other crickets my age. We were all scared and some of the crickets began to chirp, trying to alert our families when…
(Unfortunately, we did not actually have an end to this story… Odd, but it happens. *shrug*)
Contributors to this week’s #storyfriday are (in order of appearance):
@rads @YuanOrdenes @inktomni gilbertmpadilla @NabhanWamiqbelindawebbBrianKlemspixiesnstardust2tammytoddWakaSpecterJakeDebbieDadeyruthlefaiveChellevestershareasarahfogisbeautifulgladeslibrarianMadison1Morris @itsezhere @sunspot11 @One4TheBooks @hithereKaitlin @USmileJB_iSmileVaChicklet @LiveWriteLove @pamjcoleman @origtracy @leanlearnings
Minor editing (punctuation, capitalization, etc.) was done before this story was posted, to allow for easier reading. No words were removed from or added to this story after its original posting on Twitter except where indicated with red and then only to promote continuity in the story.
Alright guys, sorry this took me so long, but I hope you enjoy it! See you all tomorrow!