Wind and Cake

(Inspired by The Book Thief )

Has a child ever walked past you on a particularly bland day and say how much of a waste of air you are? Or perhaps you have said such a thing to another person who you believed was entitled to this label?

Well, I’ve got a bit of news for you.

You’re not a waste of air.

And neither is the obese man breathing through his mouth like his nostrils are always clogged.

            See, I am one of the rare resources provided by this atmospherically differentiated Earth that you humans can never deplete of. Can I be polluted, filled with toxins set off by factories and automobile emissions?

Yes.

But that’s neither here nor there.

            Truthfully, I do not know my purpose here on this planet. I am a burden in places of ice and snow, but as I travel in the scorching, humid areas I am a praised delicacy, if I may be so vain. These mixed climates—these mixed reactions—have led me to be somewhat of a nuisance.

My breezes may fill up your shirts and travel through the gaps of your six-layers-thick winter gear; gusts of me may ruin your freshly curled mane or make your skirt fly up at the most unexpected (and downright most inappropriate) of times.

Yet none of the aforementioned things is as bad as when I snatch something away from you, high, high, high, waaay into the air, to the point where you would look foolish trying to retrieve it.

What can I say?

I’m a thief.

(Also, it’s not my fault if your skirt flies up on a day I’m feeling rather…interactive.

I’m sure many can’t complain—I one of them, to be frank.)

            The incident with the snatching has become a common trope used to signify human error or lack of good luck. But you see, it’s not that at all. If I come and take something out of your hands, or I push it away so you are no longer in grabbing range of the item, it means it has a purpose. Something I want. Something I need. Do the things I take ever have a purpose? I’ll give you a hint:

N-o.

            However, when I take the items I can—meaning they’re not too heavy and I can carry it away with ease—the look on the devastated humans faces give me something to smile about. Whether it be a flimsy paperback book that I drop ever so gracefully into a stinking mud puddle, or a little boy’s green Kroger balloon that floats up into the infinite firmament, or an essay that a teenage girl didn’t even want to write in which *magically* floats into a nearby trash can, I have to be honest, the feeling is always the same: pure joy.

They jump, they scream, fly about, run to it as fast as they can, knowing the entire time it’s too late. And I give a small smile, then I dash about and I’m on my way to cool down those sunburnt dudes down by the pool.

See? I redeem myself.

            For hundreds of thousands of years, I had thought this was my purpose. To torment and (later on) help humankind.

Until the day I met Peter.

 

 

Part One

the baker’s cookbook

featuring:

sad blue eyes—a loud girl—a hybrid—and burnt cookies

 

Sad Blue Eyes

The boy was a depressing sight.

Even before I had swiped the green bills from his hands.

I could sit here and say that the saddest thing about him was his oversized jacket he was sporting in mid-July (which in turn filled his forehead with a thick sweat.) I could lie and say it was his pale, soft cheeks, burning from the scorching Florida heat. Heck, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say it was his poorly cropped, sandy blond hair that shaded his eyebrows.

All could say that the most depressing thing about this child—only accounting for his appearance and nothing else—were his soggy, blood-shot, blue eyes. When fifty dollars blew out of the boy’s hands, the onlookers did not stop to help him. Instead they cast him sad, pitiful looks. And said things like:

“Look at him! He’s so little! Are you lost little boy?”

“Where’s his mom?”

“Oh, it’s that first grader that wanders. Lucky kid, his parents don’t even care. Wish my parents were like that.”

He ignored them all.

Peter threw his small stubs of legs in front of him, keeping his arms still by his side. He kept his eyes locked on the money twirling about the air—he had to, he needed to.

This was his purpose.

These few dollar bills were all the baby-faced Peter had. If he wanted to fulfill this dreary life he had lived thus far, he would have to get it back.

But his stride was too short, and his 5 foot one stature was one foot too small to reach it. Tears began to form in his eyes, and I nearly returned the thing to him at the sight of his sad blues looking even sadder.

I hold onto it for just a second longer before my snatchings are snatched away from me by a boisterous figure.

 

A Loud Girl

“Hey, Peter!” I wave her hair about and nearly take the cap off her head, but she’s got a tight grip on it.

Clementine is the prepared kind.

                She started to weave through the crowd of people to get to Peter. A thing to note about Clementine: she’s everything that Peter isn’t. Her coffee-colored skin, sharp hazel eyes, dark hair that stopped right under her ears, and solid build complimented the lacking features of Peter Johnson.

“Here,” she said as she placed the money in Peter’s hands, holding them a bit as she did. “Keep better grip of your stuff, silly.”

Peter failed to smile. “Thanks, Clem,” he murmured.

Clementine crooked her head to the side. “You’re going to be late. I’m pretty sure that place is shutting down for today in ten minutes. I told that buck-toothed Emma to keep it open for a bit longer, but you know she doesn’t listen to anything I say.”

He repeated before running off: “Thanks, Clem.”

When he scuttled away toward the direction of the bakery, Clementine couldn’t help but grin.

“Idiot.”

With that, she stole a bike from a rack and cycled back home.

As you can tell, I like Clem.

 

(I’ll be posting the next few parts later. Let me know if you like it!)

 

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