Day 8: Troglodyte

Word of the Day:

troglodyte

noun

  1. a person of degraded, primitive, or brutal character.
  2. a prehistoric cave dweller.
  3. a person living in seclusion.

Alright.  Making up for yesterday.  Let’s do it.

She slaps him—just once, but very hard—and the sound rings out, punctuating her screech: “You troglodyte!”

The young lady in question is known by friend, foe, and proclaimed troglodyte alike as Elsabeth; her latest victim is the unfortunate Peter, and he has recently been unwise enough to break up with her in a public setting.

(Although this scenario has already played out several times, whether Elsabeth or a girl like her has been the protagonist, the casual observer finds that he or she is quite unable to look away.  One might compare it to a particularly gruesome car wreck.  Although we are quite sure of this story’s ending, let us indulge that mysterious desire and continue to watch the scene play out:)

“You idiot!” she screams, heedless of the many onlookers who are now beginning to look concerned at the stunning purple hue currently being adopted by Elsabeth’s face.  “Don’t you know what you’re losing?!  I am the best thing that has ever happened to you, you uncultured barbarian!  Do you even know everything I’ve done for you?!  I bought you a good suit, for God’s sake, and you think you’re ever going to find a girl as good as me?!”

“Um,” says Peter, who currently seems to be shrinking at a rather alarming rate.

“And where do you think that leaves me, you parasite?!” continues Elsabeth.  “Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and I will have nothing to do because my boyfriend is a loser!  I am going to be the laughingstock of  my friends—they’re all going out tomorrow with their boyfriends, and I’m going to be single!  And the dance!”  For the first time in all this, Elsabeth begins to cry.  “You insect, the dance!  You didn’t even get to see the dress I bought for that, and you’re going to be so sorry, Peter, because, let me tell you, I look gorgeous in that dress.  I look like a supermodel, Peter, and you’re never going to get to see that, because you’re an idiot, and you’re a caveman, and you have no idea how good you’ve got it!  Once you figure it out, though, don’t even think about coming back to me, because I can do so much better than you!”

Elsabeth storms out of the café, sobbing.  Peter stands up straight and looks around embarrassedly.  Heedless of the pitying glances he gets, he brushes himself off, strides up to the girl behind the counter, and musters a smile.

“Are you free tomorrow night, miss?” he asks.

She blinks.  “No,” she says.  “I’m not.”

(She is, in fact, free tomorrow night; however, Peter need never know this bit of information.)

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4 thoughts on “Day 8: Troglodyte

  1. It is a dark and lonely walk, this one which winds through narrow alleys, far from the cleaner and more populous thoroughfares. It’s even darker and lonelier at night. It is a path for whores and troglodytes, the desperate, the hopeless, the insane. And sometimes, it is rumored, it is walked by those who are not quite human.

    She keeps her head down, trying not to think about what the stains she can see on the ground and on the walls of the surrounding buildings might’ve been made by. Turning a corner, she almost trips over the stretched-out legs of a woman who sits propped up against a doorframe, cradling an unbelievably tiny baby to her chest.

    “Peace to you, little mother,” she says, slipping the woman a coin. The woman half-smiles. She moves on.

    By her reckoning, the sun will rise soon. True, that’s not too much of a worry here. There are few places where the sun can reach past the sloping roofs and the regularly occurring fog. Still, it never hurts to be careful, and Mikey’s rules are strict. She has to get home. She picks up her pace.

    Suddenly, she stops, her nostrils flaring as she catches a familiar scent. She turns and begins investigating the wall to her left.

    It isn’t long before she finds what she’d known she would. She runs her fingers over the words scrawled messily on the wall, red-brown and flaking.

    BITE ME, they say.

    There’s a rustling sound just ahead. She moves toward it. The scent of blood grows stronger as she does. She runs her tongue over her teeth.

    It seems she’s going to be a little late getting home after all.

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