INTRO: Jenny & Glaarg is a flash fiction, inspired by the idea of space travel and the dark art of re-animation. At it's core, Jenny & Glaarg is a love story.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Illustration supplied by Two Left Fish. Check out his work at www.ataraxiantimes.com and instagram.com/thetwistedknife.
By the fourth millennium, man had finally learned how to live in peace. It was an age of electric cars, magnetic trains and high-speed blimps. A giant filament, buried a thousand miles deep, generated limitless energy from the radiation and magnetism of the Earth’s core. The food supply was stable and no one went hungry. Habitable worlds had been discovered outside the solar system and people were beginning to colonize them.
In this age of peace and prosperity, people were free to pursue their hobbies, interests and pleasures. Glaarg’s creator was one of the curious few, who dedicated his life to science. In a dripping laboratorium, deep under ground, Glaarg’s creator toiled in secret, until his dream of reanimation came true. With the stolen halves of two very different creatures, Glaarg’s creator achieved the dream of reanimation when he lifted Glaarg into existence, out of the ashes of death.
As an adolescent, Glaarg was horribly bullied. His half bovine form was not just repulsive, but an easy target for the other youth. For you see, Glaarg was half man-half cow, joined in the middle where his creator had grotesquely stitched a calf’s torso to the hips of a human child. From the day that his lifeless parts were clumped together and zapped back into being, Glaarg’s life was filled with ridicule and shame.
It wasn’t until his junior year of high school that Glarg’s brown fur and doe-eyed cuteness caught the eye of another. Jenny was a petite blonde with a mischievous smirk. She was a foster child, and she was rebellious. There was something about that Glaarg, she thought as she passed him in the halls of their high school. A genuine one-of-a kind, she thought. And his baby face was kind of a cute, in a calf-like sort of way.
With magic in the air, Jenny got up the courage to approach Glaarg one day by the flagpole and the spark of romance fused them together right there and then just as Glaarg’s halves were stitched together all those years ago. From that day on, Glaarg and Jenny were inseparable. They spent every possible minute together, holding hoof and hand and finishing each other’s sentences. Cupid couldn’t have hit a more perfect couple with his arrow of love than Jenny and Glaarg.
After high school, Jenny and Glaarg moved into an apartment together. At first, life was simple and sweet. Glaarg got a job and Jenny went to night school. In those early days, they’d lie together on the weekends making love and watching television on the sofa. Jenny would make little sandwiches and rub Glaarg’s furry back. But the good times didn’t last. The teasing that Glaarg experienced as a child carried on into the professional world. Clients wouldn’t do business with him. His co-workers openly mocked his floppy ears and moo-like laugh. They gestured behind his back and pointed. At home, money was tight. Jenny had to pick up a few shifts at the local restaurant to help make ends meet while Glaarg shuffled between dead end jobs. To make matters worse, their conflicting schedules meant they rarely had time for each other. When they did, there were always chores or errands. The playful bickering that defined their tender romance soured into the steady nagging of a spoiled marriage. As the time went by, the love and joy that they once shared became but a distant memory.
Then one night while Glaarg was working at a warehouse, Jenny went to a party alone. She got drunk and kissed a man. When she told Glaarg about it the next night, he was furious. He accused her of every vile act in the book. Then he screamed at her, “Admit it, you resent me for being a cow. You always wished I was a man!”
Glaarg pulled back his black hoof as if he was going to strike Jenny. The anger was too much. Then he burst into tears. He snorted and ran to the kitchen door. Standing in the open door way in his blue jeans and a dark t-shirt, he looked back at Jenny one last time. The fur under his big calf’s eye was already damp from the tears. Snot dripped from his big pink nose. He snorted once, the way he always did when he was angry and then he slammed the door with his hoof and disappeared into the night.
Glaarg eventually found himself at a bar where he proceeded to drink until the world around him blurred. The need to escape overcame him. Some time after midnight, Glaarg settled his bill, slugged down the last gulp and took off again into the night. The last thing he remembered before his vision went black was a swinging door and a flashing billboard advertising work half way across the galaxy in the new worlds.
When Glaarg came to, he was on a light speed freighter to one of the habitable planets on the other side of the galaxy. He immediately realized what he had done. He might as well have killed himself, because the world he knew was gone forever. He’d arrive by morning, relatively, but back on Earth a millennium would have elapsed. That meant Jenny was already a century dead! Glaarg began to wail, long and hard. His body shook with agony. His mottled, brown furred skin burned. Glaarg beat his hooved fists against his chest and bellowed. Finally the other passengers began to shout. A medic came, and shot him with a tranquilizer.
Glaarg woke up in a hospital bed in a new world. Outside the window, large flying creatures flapped their wings against a purple sky. They soared above red grasses. Their flapping rustled the yellow trees. The sight was incredible, but all Glaarg could think was how badly he had screwed up, and how deeply he wished he could apologize and say the things he should have said when Jenny was still with him, like how beautiful she was, inside and out, and how much he loved her. Glaarg thought he had cried out all of his tears, but there was one left. A single tear rolled out of the corner of his big calf’s eye, over his brown cheek and past his pink snout. It dropped onto the hospital bed’s white linen.
As Glaarg wiped his eye, there was a tap at the door. The nurse, he assumed. Glaarg wrinkled his big pink nose and sniffled. “Come in,” he said. The door opened and a short blonde girl came in. It was Jenny holding flowers. She had followed him all the way.