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Grasshoppers



I really enjoyed catching grasshoppers, and crickets, in the wheat field behind granny's house. I was terrified of the grasshoppers though, because in an attempt to escape, they would vomit a thick black paste onto my hand. In granny's kitchen, I brought back jars of grasshoppers, and watched and listened to them jump around in the jar.

There was a lot of loud noises, and yelling; upstairs on the new side of the house. The door slammed, stomping...it told me that granny had gotten into another fight with one of the foster girls. The girl, no more than a few years older than me, marched down the narrow stairs. She put boots on, a denim jacket, and ran outside furiously mumbling to herself, "I'm calling my social worker".

A moment later, granny ran down the narrow stairs, yelling, "Don't you bother my neighbors like this!"

I gathered my grasshopper jars, and sulked in terror in the kitchen. After a few minutes, I snuck outside to the field. I hid in the field, and released the grasshoppers.


I started up the narrow stairs on the old side of the house. It went upstairs to granny's room on the new side. I went to ask her for a scifi VHS. At the front door of her room she argued with the same girl. I hid at the middle of the stairs, and listened in anxiety.

"I'm supposed to take my pill at the same time everyday. How can I take it at the same time everyday when you have it loc-"

Granny rolled her eyes, scoffed as if inconvienced; puffed out her chest, and rose her voice to her, "Now you listen here missy!"

I silently, tip-toed down the stairs, in case I had to move quickly; but continued listening.

The girl, kept speaking at the same tone she had begun the conversation in, "-I come to the door to take my meds on the clock. And everytime you ignore me, and hours la-"

Granny roared, "I have told you numerous times that I am busy, and I am also an old lady; and easily forget things!"

The girl continued, "If you let me have my meds, I wouldn't be bothering you everyday for my meds-"

"That's enough of this!" granny yelled louder.

The girl started to cry in frustration.

"Oh my god, what is wrong with you?" granny jeered.

I could hear the girl through clenched teeth say, "I need my medicine. That's what's-"

"Don't you get an attitude with me! I will give you your medicine when I'm good and ready!"

The girl screamed, "THEN GIVE ME MY MEDICINES SO I CAN DO IT MYSELF!"

"Wow! Don't you raise your voice to me! Clearly, you are too unstable to trust them with you!"

"YOU HAVE ALL OF THIS POWER AND CON-"

"THAT'S IT IM CALLING THE COPS ON YOU LITTLE MISSY-"

Door slams, and wailing.

I decided to forget about getting a different scifi VHS to watch, and quickly flew downstairs. I grabbed a light jacket and went outside to the wheat field, and caught grasshoppers.


One afternoon in the foyer on the old side, I was eating noodles with a few foster girls. A CRTV set up to a VHS, stood in a liminal corner of the foyer. We watched a movie and ate. Mom returned home from work, and I could hear her through the door to the new side ask my sister where I was.

"She's not supposed to be over there!" she came through the door, and visously snapped, "Get over here!"

"But mom," I protested.

She interupted me with an intense glare. The girls stopped eating, and froze. I froze. I didn't know what to do with the bowl of noodles. NOW I took them with me, and quickly went to the new side. I felt like ice. When the door closed, and I started to eat the rest of the noodles; she glared at me again.

"There's too much sodium in that! Don't eat any more of that, or you'll get fat," she snapped again.

I put the rest of the noodles in the trash, and put the bowl in the sink. The entirety of the act was hawked by her, and scruntinized. I scuffled to my room, my sister, Sef, was already on her bed. I flopped on to my bed while mom started to chatter, "What's wrong? What's wrong with you? Why are you acting so weird lately?"

Sef picked up on this, and repeated what she said, "What's wrong? Why are you upset?"

"Can I read my book please?" I said pulling a fantasy book from my nightstand.

Mom loudly responded, "Oh ok, well why didn't you just tell me that instead of sulking all over the place?"

"Please," I held back tears, and opened my book, pretending to read.

She left, and Sef watched me for another five minutes. I read my book, and eventually she got bored. She left the room; I turned the lights low, and crawled into bed. Covered my face with my book, and silently started to sob. I had forgotten what I was upset about.


Sef found my composition notebook.

I had started to use it to write down my thoughts. The teacher at school told the class that doing this type of exercise is good for thinking and getting things off your chest.

Sef gave the composition notebook to mom, who then showed granny. I was called to granny's bedroom to have a talk with her and mom.

Mom lashed out about what I had written in the composition book. I couldn't hear the string of words coming out of her mouth; all I heard was red. Granny yelled; I heard venom. Stunned, and delusioned; inside myself I hid my thoughts and feelings. Further into hiding; I told them, "That is not my composition book"

"It has your name on the front!" screamed mom.

"Who found this?" I asked.

"Oh I see," said granny, "her sister is trying to get her into trouble," she laughed.

Mom, angry, threw the composition notebook in the trash, and I went back downstairs to my fantasy book. Sef watched me digentally from her bed. After a few hours, I forgot that the event had happened.