Written by Alliah Pe Benito
“As an arrow goes whizzing by your face, you dive to the ground and hear what seems like a toddler laughing.”
I don’t turn around. Baby laughter out of nowhere, right after a mysterious attempted murder? Nope. Nope. NOPE. I’d like to live past college, thank you very much. But just as I’m struggling to my feet, gearing up to fucking book it out of the suddenly silent park, another arrow cuts through the air right where my face was a second before.
“Well, you’re a piece of work, huh?” says an almost hilariously high-pitched voice. Don’t look, I think aggressively to myself. But alas, I’m kind of an idiot, so I glance over my shoulder and almost trip over my own feet. My brain short-circuits or something and the words seem to spill out of my mouth before I can even register them.
“What the fuck are you?” I whisper-yell at the glittery, grumpy-faced winged creature, who’s making a valiant attempt at being intimidating by crossing their arms and squinting really, really hard in my general direction. I think.
“Excuse me?” the creature squeaks at me, offended. Their wings flutter double-time. “Are you as dense as you are lonely? Don’t you see my badge? The wings? The literal, heart-tipped arrows you keep dodging like all the men in your life?”
The creature, as ineffective as they were in inspiring terror, was still holding a glittery gold bow and a quiver that had at least a handful of gaudy heart-shaped arrows left, needle-point sharp. I hate needles. The rational part of my brain blares at me, “Get the fuck out of here?!”
…I really didn’t want to go to Expos though. After a brief moment of struggling with my sense of obligation and scholarly pursuit of knowledge, the dumbass part of my brain wins, so I shuffle a little closer. The creature looks vaguely child-shaped from a few feet away, and they were indeed sporting a sash with a very shiny badge, boasting the title EX CUPID in blood-red.
“Ah,” I say, “Well, looks like you’ve got your work cut out for you, huh kiddo…”
That…was probably not the right thing to say, considering the creature–Cupid–flushed bright Rutgers red. Oops?