My Oldest Friend Loves Windows
By Carson Sawyer Laframboise
My house is up in the Utilitarian Meadows. It’s an ironic name, since most of the houses have small windows. There’s a small town beneath us with all the minimum necessities. Everyone will lock their doors but not their windows. My living room in particular, has full floor to ceiling windows out back and around the street corner. It’s fenced so no one can see me through it, but who would spy on a seventy- year old man watching his TV when they can hardly see him through the built-up scratches on the windows? Artie will keep them safe.
My sisters and brother were kind kids, always playful when we lived back in Ontario, but I was “too old” for them while my bullies were fine. Xavier once threw a rock at me and broke a window I was carrying while his sister, Rebecca, shoved me to the ground. I had shards of glass in my knees and left palm. They jumped on the remaining shards and my siblings joined them, but how could we blame them; they were only six. I snuck out of my room that night with a broom and dustbin in my bad hand and a light in the other to clean up the mess. That was when I met Artie.
I called him Artichoke, since he was incredibly chubby and had greenish fur. He looked like a bear but his paws were wider and fitted with transparent claws, his legs were just a few centimeters longer than one, and he had a bunny-like tail. He was adorable with his front legs curled up and his small whimper somewhere between a fox and a chimp, but his face was off. He had a long, skinless snout with flat gray teeth and six canines that rivaled the blades on his paws and the glass. They were unevenly spread across what I assumed to be a grin until I realized it must have been impossible for him to even shut his mouth. His eyes were a lighter shade of green than his fur, but they shined orange in the night. He tilted his head and let escape from his nose a gust of cold air and walked towards me, sniffing. His growl rattled when he looked at the glass I scooped up; he had scars across his legs and back and his skinned nose looked polished, giving me the feeling that there was never muscle there to begin with. He glared up at me and started to whimper again. Artie swept the glass shards into the dustbin.
I was unlucky enough to watch Rebecca throw another rock at me but fortunate enough for it to miss and break another window. I was annoyed that I didn’t do anything, but as I walked in the twilight that night, Artie was eating from an old bag and he was gently tapping at the window of an abandoned house next to the forest. His claws scraped the glass as he cooed at the trails he made, sticking out a yellow tongue and perking up wolf-like ears I had not seen before and he froze. His head snapped towards me and he dashed. I thought he would eat me right there, so I was even more surprised when all he did was sniff me again. This time he gave a shout that was almost human and walked into the trees.
Xavier and Rebecca’s mom and dad wouldn’t stop screaming and mine joined them. My bullies and my kin vanished. My mom couldn’t handle seeing what had happened to them, neither could I.
When I left the town, I had not seen Artie in over ten years until my wife, Karol, spoke to me. She was pregnant, but what made me absolutely ecstatic was when I saw the scratched windows.
Nothing got out of hand in town with Artie as the invisible security guard, but things becamerisky when some punks thought it would be funny to break Artie’s favourite window in our backyard. Two bodies were found covered in uneven bite marks consisting of what looked like human teeth and knives. The only reason why it was investigated was because there was a trail of broken glass leading to the crime scene.
It started to happen more often this year and everyone is getting a little concerned with their windows being covered in scratches. Our son came asking about it, since we had these markings for as long as we lived here. I told him not to worry. Artie just likes windows, but I am uneasy now.
I fell through my floor to ceiling window last week and Artie is not happy.