The full moon had formed over Thing’s cave 12 times when he decided that enough was enough.
He now realised that his mother and father were not coming back home.
Where ever they were, he hoped with all his heart that they were happy.
That night, Thing sat at the mouth of his cave and thought about all the
stuff that concerned him.
He needed to get a job since the money and tokens his parents had
left in the cave were just about to run out. Thing had done okay at
school, especially with counting and numbers. Perhaps he could get a job
in the town’s bank. When Thing awoke the next morning he found himself
still sitting at the mouth of the cave. He got washed and made his way
down the mountainside, crossing the main street and into town.
Thing was used to people staring just because he was different. People
didn’t like difference, it frightened them, and frightened people didn’t
always behave rationally.
He loved life, and he loved the town where he had gone to school and where he had found (and sometimes lost) friends.
He went to the employment agency to see what job were available.
Thing didn’t notice as he entered the office, that everyone stopped and
stared. Thing wasn’t the first of his kind who have lived in the town.
There had been Thing’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and of
course, his parents.
All of his family had gone to the northlands where many of the Things
had formed a colony. His own parents would have gone there too, was it
not for the fact that his mother had taken ill and gone to hospital. The
last words his father had said to him was that he was just popping out
to see his mother. Neither of them returned, although Thing had spent
many sleepless nights waiting and wondering.
He had many good friends in school and some enemies but that wasn’t any
different from anyone else. Children learn either love or hate very
early in life and rarely do they forget.
The one brave soul in the employment agency asked Thing how he was doing.
“Fine,” said Thing. “Very fine, indeed.”
Thing told the person that he was good at numbers and counting. The
agency manager went through many cards, saying ‘no’, ‘no’, ‘no’ to most
of them. Then he pulled out a card and exclaimed ‘a-ha’.
The job was at a café near Thing’s old school. He’d remembered the
owner being a kind elderly gentleman. As was requested on the card,
Thing popped along to the café for an interview.
The old man remembered when Thing’s parents had held a birthday party
for him in the café. The old man was happy to give Thing a job and he
was able to start immediately.
The following morning Thing almost skipped all the way to work, given
that it was such a nice morning and that he enjoyed being at the café.
He had company there and people to talk to.
In the middle of the morning, a middle-aged man came in and when he
saw Thing, the man said he didn’t want no dirty animal serving him and
he expected a human to give him a cup of coffee.
When the old man told the customer that Thing was his new server and
that was that, the man said he would be taking his business elsewhere. The old man thought that would be the end of it but it wasn’t. By the
time he was ready to shut the café, the middle-aged man was standing
outside with several others of his kind and all of them had flaming
“If you don’t put a human behind the counter then we are going to burn the place down.”
Thing told the old man that he was sorry, it was all his fault, and that
he wouldn’t return to the café the following day – but the old man just
shook his head and said ‘nonsense’.
Then the old man went outside and faced the gang of men intent on burning down his café.
“You men, think that because Thing looks different that he deserves
to be treated differently. In fact to be treated as a lesser being that
you. Is he a child of a lesser god? I don’t think so. How many of you
created yourselves? How many of you brought yourselves to Earth? None of
you? I didn’t think so. We are all in this living together and all we
can do is live together. It is you with your black hearts and thoughts
who are different from the rest of us. The problem is you hide your evil
thoughts in a body and brain that looks like everyone else. But you are
not like everyone else. You are evil and most of all, stupid. So burn
my café down if you want. We will only set up in another place, and yes,
Thing will be there too. You people are what is wrong with the world,
not Thing, not me.”
And with that the men, one by one, threw down their torches and
wandered off. The middle-aged man came forward and spat at Thing. The
old man wiped the spit from Thing
and apologised to him.
“I cannot make an excuse for such a person. They are what they are, and
we must exist beside them. Now you go home, have a rest and I will see
you tomorrow. We have living to do.”
bobby stevenson 2016