Chapter 1, "I Moved to a New Town"
So I guess you could say that it all started the day I moved from the town I used to live in and into a new town that I lived in that was new. The place was so new, to me anyway, that I didn't realize it was actually a really old town, with lots of really old things, like buildings and clocks.
I moved in with a hobo I met on the street when I got off the plane that day. His name was Lou and he was really hospitable. He'd crafted a gorgeous, elaborate castle out of cardboard boxes and he certainly didn't SEEM like a serial rapist. So that was good.
Lou was absolutely no good at anything except waxing poetic about the best places to find cheap newspapers, so I got straight to work doing the cooking and cleaning. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to keep a cardboard castle clean. Most of my days were spent cleaning in fact, that is because the place was such a mess. A messy place it was, with large, sweeping messes, and I was constantly cleaning the place up. Because it was a mess.
Maybe you're wondering why I decided to move from the town I lived before (which was on one side of the country) and into this hobo castle with Lou (on the other side). Well, I'd tell you, but it's none of your business and anyway it's really complicated.
It's okay though, and you shouldn't worry about me, because really, I'm okay. I'm strong. And I'm tough. People back home used to call me Toughy McStrongPants, as a nickname. Instead of my real name. My real name is Friggen' Gorgeous, but Lou took to calling me Frig for short. I thought that was nice of him. Except for sometimes, when I thought it was really irritating and those were the times that I yelled at him for no reason. He didn't mind, though, because that night we had fried bacon for dinner.
One day, Lou said, "Frig, this place is a pretty big place and you don't have any form of transportation."
"I know, Lou," I said. With my voice.
"So I decided, since it's your birthday and all-"
"My birthday is next month-"
"That I would give you this."
He knocked over one of the cardboard walls to reveal a wagon attached to some plywood. It was covered in stickers in the shape of fairies.
"What is it?" I asked inquisitively.
"It is a car," he replied answeringly.
"No it isn't."
"Alas, actually, but it is, lass." Sometimes Lou pretended he was from other countries. "It's for when you start your new school."
There was no sense in arguing with Lou, mostly because he wasn't entirely sane and half the time I couldn't tell if he was talking to me or the wall. So I hugged him and said it was a wonderful car and I would happily drive it to school.
The town I had moved to was called Spatulas. Spatulas was great and everything, but the thing of it is...well...it had all this weather. Sometimes the weather was hot, sometimes the weather was cold, and sometimes the weather was quite pleasant. I hated weather more than anything in the world. The town I'd lived in before didn't have weather, we actually lived in a vacuum and had to wear temperature and humidity controlling suits. You might think I lived in space or something, but I didn't. I'm still not telling you why I moved.
So anyway, the day I woke up for my first day of school, the weather was happening and it put me in a horrible mood. I grumped around my room for a little while, irritated that the sun dared to shine, that the wind dared to blow, and when I looked in the mirror, I saw my face wasn't quite grumpy enough so I grumped it up some more.
Lou was already gone, collecting bottle caps to trade in for quarters probably, so I hopped in my wagon and proceeded to scoot the three blocks to the local school.
The school was called Learning Land, and I parked my wagon safely under a tree in the shade with pretty butterflies and also there was glistening rain and where did that come from? Wasn't it just sunny? Damn this weather.
I walked slowly and with trepidation to the registration desk. The lady behind the desk she was sitting at looked at me warily.
"Name?" she pondered.
"Frig," I uttered.
"Oh," she melodified, handing me a stack of papers. "Write on these."
The papers were full of things I already knew, like my name, my birthday, and what I wanted to do with my life when I grew up (be an astrophysicist). I filled them out with beautiful aplomb and turned them back in to the lady behind the desk that was in the room that we both were in.
She perused them.
"Hmm," she sputtered. "There's a problem."
"What is it?" I wondered, curiously.
"Your last name."
"It's been legally changed."
"Well, that settles that, then! Here's your class schedule!"
She handed me a piece of paper with words written on it, and I read the words, and so determined that my first class was math.
Boo on math, I say, I hate it and it is boring. But that is only because I know all about it. I am amazingly smart, did I tell you that before? Kids sometimes are jealous of how smart I am, but they don't tell me that, because that would make them look bad. Mostly they just throw things at me and call me a freak.
And look, there was a boy running up to me now! Perhaps he wanted to call me a freak, but actually that's not what happened at all.
"Hi," he said, "My name is Steve." He extended his hand for me to shake, and I shook it, and we shook hands.
"I am Frig," I told him tellingly.
"I think you're attractive," Steve said to me. "Would you like to go on a date?"
"No," I said, "But would you mind telling me how to get to my first class which is math?"
"I can do that, because as a matter of fact, that is also my first class!"
"Hooray!" I yelled, and we high-fived each other.
We walked down the hallways. The hallways had walls, one on either side, and also a ceiling and a floor. The floors glimmered like shiny things that sparkled in the nighttime like a beacon of hope and happiness. Steve said the floors around here get polished regularly. I wondered what other interesting things happened in a town like this one, a town like Spatulas.
When we got to the classroom, there were already other kids sitting in it. I noticed they all had hair, some of them even had hats. I thought they would instantly shun a new person like me, but miraculously, another boy came up to me.
"Hi," he said sayingly, "My name is Hector."
"Hi, Hector!" I replied in reply.
"I find you very stunning," Hector said, "and I would like to take you out for coffee someday."
I giggled and exhaled a little bit of CO2 at the same time. "Oh, thanks and all, but I don't consume liquids."
"Well, can I walk you to your next class which I happen to know through telekinesis that I have with you?" he asked.
"Sure," I muttered.
Hector and Steve silently glared at each other. It was funny.
The class was boring because I already knew everything. Once, the teacher asked me if I could add three plus five. When I told him the answer was eight, he said, "Frig, have you already learned this?"
"Yes," I said.
"Well, we don't allow snarky know-it-alls in class, so why don't you go sit in the hall until you dumb up a bit?"
So I went out into the hall and I sat on my butt for a while until class let out and Hector said, "Okay, follow me."
I followed Hector to another class, where I learned more things I already knew, and finally, it was lunch time.
If there's one thing I hate more than weather, it's food. I don't understand how anyone around here eats. In the town I used to live in, people just regenerated fat cells and never had to consume anything for energy.
I found a table full of vapid looking girls. One of them was probably named Jessica, because everyone is named Jessica. One of them was probably named Tabitha, because I know a few Tabithas. One of them was probably named Lexington, because I don't know anyone named Lexington but I bet that would be an awesome name for a girl. And I bet one of them was named Joe.
I was right on all counts, except for the girl who wasn't named Joe but was actually named Christopher.
They all lacked any distinguishing personalities, so I handed them some construction paper and asked if they could craft some stylish name tags from them to wear at all times. They said sure, and tittered or something, and asked me about myself. They asked me why I moved here. I shot them all evil grimaces, and told them it was none of their friggen' beeswax, and why don't they just eat their darn "food" anyway and leave me alone?
For some reason they didn't all hate me immediately. I think maybe Lexington did, but I'd hate everyone if my name was Lexington, too.
That's when I saw him.
I recognized him immediately. He was easily recognizable because his skin was bright green and he had antennae.
I jabbed Jessica in the ribs. She said "Oof".
"Who is that green antennaed guy?" I asked her.
"Oh, him? That's Xlormp. He's a space alien."
"Really?" I shouted ponderingly.
"Yes," Jessica said passionately.
"Oh," I said with words.
Lunch ended abruptly and we were all sort of going, WTF, lunch, where did you go? I was just getting used to all the food everywhere.
I grumbled a little bit for no reason, then I went over to the window and looked out of it and grumbled at the outside for still having weather, and when I turned around, Steve was there to take me to my next class, which was Advanced Egyptian.
The hallways were long and skinnier than a room proportionate in length. I wondered if sometimes the kids at this school ever went skiing. I used to ski in my old town. I bet these kids wouldn't know a ski if it hit them in the head. I decided I hated all of them arbitrarily.
Except for that space alien...I just couldn't get him out of my brain. I kept thinking of his name, Xlormp. It sounded so exotic, so...so ALIEN. I wondered if he liked me.
When we got to the Advanced Egyptian class, my heart skipped a beat because there he was! Xlormp was sitting right there in the class I was in! I couldn't believe it. The teacher told me to sit next to him because there were no other empty seats, and Steve grumbled a mighty grumble as he sat himself down at an empty table.
Xlormp didn't look up at me as I sat there next to him. But I couldn't help noticing his webbed hand sitting stiffly on the table. I imagined it, all weird and wiggly, caressing my face as he moved in to kiss me...
But these thoughts were silly! I'd only just met Xlormp. Well, not actually met him as I hadn't really said a word to him at all yet. Maybe I should do that.
"Hi," I said, holding out my hand in what I hoped was a really alluring way. "My name is Frig."
Xlormp turned to look at me, and his eyes bugged out of his head. Literally. Not in that figurative way that most people talked about, but I mean his eyes really extended from his face and sort of goggled around in my general direction. I guessed that was probably part of being a space alien. It confused me, and sort of made me want him more.
But after the eye bugging, he turned right back to face the front and didn't reply at all, he didn't even tell me that his name was Xlormp. I wouldn't have known that at all if it weren't for Jessica. I made a mental note to bake Jessica some cookies. I hoped Lou would pick up some spare flour from the hobo guy who traded grocery store's cast offs to other hobos who had good offers.
Class began, and there were still a lot of empty seats other than the one next to Xlormp. In fact, the seat immediately to my left was empty, and when I glanced back at Steve, his table was still completely empty. I figured probably a lot of people were out of class that day or something.
Class bored the snot out of me, because I already knew everything there is to know about Advanced Egyptian, in fact, I had learned it all in third grade, because that is when kids in my old town learn about Egypt and its language and culture, both ancient and modern. This dude was droning on about hieroglyphs and I was just all, whatever. I couldn't take my focus of Xlormp and his alienness.
I kept stealing glances at him, trying to figure out if I could guess what planet he was from. Mars? No, too simple...Pluto? Ah, but that isn't a planet anymore. Maybe he's from some as of yet undiscovered planet.
Xlormp kept making weird noises and gestures, and I noticed he looked really tense. I wondered if it had anything to do with me. The thought made me nervous, because I love him, he is my life, my heart, my one true reason for living, and it would suck if he didn't feel the same. I mean, look at me. How could anyone not fall madly in love with me upon immediate viewing?
Anyway, somewhere during class I fell asleep because I was so bored, and there's only so long a space alien I was madly in love with could hold my interest. I awoke to Steve tapping me gingerly on the shoulder and saying, "Frig, it's time to go home for the day."
"Aren't we supposed to have more classes?" I asked with curiosity.
"Yes, but not today, there's been too much exposition already," he replied smartly.
"Oh, okay," I nodded knowingly.
As I walked to my plywood fairy wagon, I noticed Xlormp rushing away from me in a fast way.
"Hey, Xlormp!" I called after him, making another effort to extend the hand of friendship and potential marriage. But Xlormp merely turned around, eyes bugging, and ran on.
Shoot. He must loathe me entirely. I felt bitter weeps of sadness lodged in my throat, and it was all I could do to scoot home safely in my wagon car.
Lou greeted me at the door, dressed in a tiara and a tutu. "Arr, lassie, how be your first day?"
"Horrible!" I screamed in a loud voice. "You wouldn't understand!"
I shoved him out of the way and ran for my box, and heard him say something about "minding the teacakes." It's obvious he doesn't care about my pain anyway.