Beth’s Trip Into Tropicality
Brine, a mode of direct transport to the land down under, punched Beth’s gut with an immediate whiff. Smushed between the shoulders of elderly men and blue-vested employees, Beth commandeered her path through the tapering walkway. Backing into the farthest wall, she sashayed her Skechers over blue and white nautically-reminiscent tiles. Calculating left from right, Beth chose the middle: as LED illuminated as the others but it contained her treasure. Staring at it parallel through its eyes, Beth’s face met another–one of a Blood Parrot. Tapping the corner of the plasticky tank, Beth averted her father’s former attention on fish food by pinching his nose that was set as flat as a plateau. Begging! Beth’s behavior prompted her dad to indulge. Holding his hand and her brother’s in the other, Beth jogged. Her familial blood combined with her adopted blood parrot. Arm in arm. Satisfied and conquering, the group returned.
Beth’s Baby Grand
Drumming her fingers against ebony, black, red, brown, against cedar, against pine, Beth couldn’t decide which ONE to bring home. The resonance, the sustain, the color? They sounded all the plain same to her, like the drone of a mother’s voice. What was the difference between boring yourself while listening to your mom’s voice versus boring yourself listening to that of an inanimate object? How could an inanimate object exude emotion whilst having none to harbor, to save for itself? It seemed like a lonely disposition to have, Beth thought.
Sensing the employee’s frustration at the length of this appointment, Beth’s lips remained shut like the zip of a case. Her eyes landed upon a slick auburn model, a dreamy color to peruse with pursuits, but perhaps not fitting to her house’s molten brown persona. She slowly approached the glossy apple–no, wood–of her eye and swatted away a mote of landed dust like it was a fly.
A smeared blotch of pink ink branded her hand after Beth stamped it. She had obtained the same variety, the same quality, but not the same design as her teachers’ stamps.
Beth clutched it within the warm palm of her hand, shielding it from the breath of others. Beth could find no other possible, feasible, or incredibly intricate method of keeping the stamp closed. No pockets. She’d make due. Trudging up against the rock climbing wall with all of the amenities you’d expect: wooden planks instead of rocks and splinters awaiting your fall, Beth hurrahed at the top checkpoint. She proudly championed the crest of the obstacle course with the stamp in her grasp, determined to lecture the masses below about the origins of the commodity and how she could replicate a teacher–an authority figure–like no other.
Chilly, Beth’s shoulders shivered with the lack of her jacket while her palm yearned for something clumsily bygone. Plopped.
Prying the slippery metal containers open with freshly-hacked nails, Beth struggled to lift the lid of the box. While she didn’t struggle to find the toys within her aunt’s chartreuse lunch pail, Beth wiggled and squirmed until the Lalaloopsy was wrested free.
Beth unpeeled and unstuck the magnets from the doll’s body to redress her in the accompanying magnets. Like after expending so much energy crying at the doctor’s, those regular one-dimensional stickers you refuse to accept don’t cut it until the nurse hands you the ones that come with Dora’s accessories.
Bandages that mask. Stickers upon stickers. Faces upon facades.
Beth’s Embroilment, a Sticky Situation
Securing the gloves and reading the proper warning labels, Beth and her cousin, Jenna, incorporated the ingredients they’d bought at Target. The napkin-shopping list procured during the car ride had read two simple things: laundry detergent (Gain was Beth’s preferred brand) and a gallon of glue (Elmers, underlined). Jenna already had the acrylic paint used to variate the colors of their slime. As per utensils, Beth thought it practical to wield a foot-long spoon: a pink, biodegradable one she’d received on National Frozen Yogurt Day.
Itching with anticipation, Beth rose from her seat, toppling over the plastic green mixing bowl. Fanning out upon the carpet was her purple mucusy project.