YAY! I only have 1 hour left to fiddle with this particular one so it's a little late for that, but next time it'll be in time to help maybe?
(Btw, are you supposed to feel helplessly underqualified wile you're writing for school? I'm new to this.)
Perhaps all adventures are exercises in curiosity, and maybe by extension all mysteries act as channels that carry us down new paths in life. In hindsight, the girl that I will refer to as “mini-gamine” wasn’t a troublemaker for the sake of any malicious intent. In some respects she may have been at the forefront of maturity, but her knack for tapping into the curiosity of the other kids was borderline paranormal.
Thinking back, I’m not entirely certain where she really lived. I never met her parents, but I knew her grandmother. She lived in one of those bizarrely tiny old people homes. I remember it painted uniformly white from top to bottom, embellished with elaborate lacy patterns carved into every available wooden surface, and in its front yard there grew a garden filled with innumerable flowers wrestling eternally with wild looking climbing plants. Part of my imagination could easily see the pygmy home containing more dimensions of space and time than is perceivable to my mortal vision, and it is from these realms that I naturally assumed mini-gamine had hailed from.
She would just appear sometimes; Skipping across the street to our block when she caught us playing outside. My little brother, the neighbor boy, and I would often wander up and down the old sidewalks and back into the woodsy suburban yards behind the houses. We admittedly would pass through lots we weren’t allowed in sometimes, but it’s not like we meant to! We normally wouldn’t sneak into fenced off yards or anything! Perish the thought. Usually we were pretty good kids all things considered, however the boredom of restless children is a dreadfully hard thing to sate.
At this time mini-gamine was probably around six, whereas my little brother and the neighbor boy were both four or five and I was mayhaps as old as eight. They were likely too young to understand that they were being led on, but thankfully as a world-wise older brother I could somehow sense the odd power that had supplanted our sense of morality. With a decisive resolve I “leapt” into action before mini-gamine’s moral conflictions could catch up; Clambering up the boughs of a tree and securing myself fastly in the knotts of its branches. Sanctuary! Nothing could get at me, and I wouldn’t have anything to do with the break-in that was underway on the other side of the vacant yard.
Of course, it wasn’t like I expected them to actually get inside. For the longest time Mini-gamine and crew were just tossing pebbles at the glass. They were set on an easy point of entry, sure, but they were still just brats! How was I to know that they could lift a brick between them and hurl it through one of the windowpanes?
My head was buried as they crawled inside over a windowsill of broken glass. It happened before I could think of a way to stop them. I had never encountered anything like it before in my life. Sure, nobody seemed to live in that old house, but there had to be some repercussion to vandalising it so brutally! Would our parents care about the house? They would most likely scold us for our behavior even if they didn’t care about it, but how badly would they punish this though? A slap on the wrist? A week without Calvin and Hobbes bedtime readings? Doubled homeschooling hours for a month? Hopefully it wasn’t too late to apologise!
I couldn’t apologise for all of them though. No matter what I did they would still be guilty, and maybe by extension I would be guilty too? What if it didn’t matter that I wasn’t taking part, what if by allowing it to happen I was as guilty as everyone else involved? I’m embarrassed to think of how slow witted I was, but I really didn’t have an aptitude for understanding others. I barely spoke, and I couldn’t make eye contact with another human being if my life depended on it. The human animal was essentially alien to me, even my own little brother was incomprehensible. A creature that my facsimile worlds could never sway, just like the adults, or mini-gamine, or the neighbor boy.
Retreating deeper into myself, I confronted the cold logic of my inner mind. Try as I might I found no clear verdict on how I might conduct myself in this situation, yet the computations had repeatedly come back to two main goals required by my fundamental morals. Firstly, it was my duty to individuals to make amends for anything unfortunate that may transpire, and secondly it was my duty to mankind to see to it that others commit no wrong doings in my presence.
I really did wish that I had a plan though... all I could do was climb down from the tree and follow them inside. I did a fine job of demonstrating my infinitesimal charisma when I tried to tell them to leave. By some scrap of luck the house they were “exploring” was featureless on the inside, having been already stripped of all its furnishings, so I was able to resign myself to a patient waiting game as their low attention spans took effect. No further damage could be done. I had just started to relax when I heard a click from the front of the house.
Apparently the home was still owned --barely-- and today was the day when prospective buyers of the property were showing up. There was no room to escape so I just calmly shuffled into the open with mini-gamine, my little brother, and the neighbor boy all coming up behind me to see what new adventure had befallen us.
I am amazed to say that only two people were punished after the repairs were all paid for, and even then my little brother and the neighbor boy were only given solitary confinement for a few days. Somehow my parents believed in my honest intentions despite my inability to control the situation, on the other hand... mini-gamine somehow escaped as well; her grandmother spiriting her away into the other realm where she was to receive no scoldings for her runaway sense of wonder.
Today I would like to believe my perspective is wider. Where once I saw mini-gamine as an eldrich monster, I have begun to see that humans are creatures of emotions outside of their conscious administration. I myself am subject no less, as my resentment toward her was guided by a need to protect myself and others from a supposed evil.
Ultimately, I would endeavour to see all of humankind as having no true fault inherent to its design, but this is a little ways off. There are too many paths that human lives can led along, and try as I might I’m still the odd little “separate species” that can’t make eye contact without getting a headache... I guess for now I’ll just tinker with sci-fi cartooning until my computations are finished.