Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans; I am just borrowing the characters for my own enjoyment. And maybe yours.


Story of a Scrap

Torn and smudged, the bit of paper sat hidden at the bottom of her drawers.

It had entered the gleaming white tower that five young people called home, bundled with four hundred and ninety nine other sheets. The packaging had proudly declared that it was Office Shack Recycled Printer and Copier Paper. In a smaller, more modest font, the labeling indicated that it contained no less than 35 post consumer recycled content.

Still held tight in its packaging, the sheet of paper had been placed next to the laser printer that the teens seldom had need for. Their crime reports were submitted electronically to the Jump City Police Department. The occasional joke that was emailed to them was quickly spread via Beast Boy, rather than being printed and stuck on the fridge.

By the time Cyborg needed to reload the printer, a thin layer of dust had been deposited on the package of paper. He had blown the dust off, and hurriedly opened the package. Five hundred sheets of plain white paper, indistinguishable from one another, had seen the soft glow of fluorescent light before being loaded into the paper tray.

On a rainy Saturday some weeks later, a green figure had come along and opened the paper drawer to the printer. Nimble fingers had quickly selected the sheet of paper on top before sliding the tray closed again. The sheet was rolled onto itself, forming a tube in Beast Boy's hand for the journey back to his room.

In his room, Beast Boy had taken a moment to look for scissors. A full sheet of paper would be a waste, all he had wanted was a quarter. After a moment, he had realized that he'd not been permitted to keep scissors since the "cactus incident".

The sheet of paper had been carefully folded in half. Beast Boy had stuck his tongue out the side of his mouth, holding it "just right" while he lined the corners up. Heavily creased, the paper had been folded back against itself in the opposite direction. Folded one way and back, several times before Beast Boy had carefully torn it in half along the fold. One half had been placed on his desk. The remaining piece was subjected to the same treatment. Beast Boy had been left with a quarter sheet of paper, sharp factory edges on two sides; soft, fuzzy edges from repeated folding and tearing on the other two.

The rest of that rainy day, Beast Boy had written and erased dozens of words on that scrap of paper, until the entire sheet had been gray and soft from repeated erasing. The surface had been marred by indentations from the pencil lead, ghost words in the surface of the paper. He had stopped when hunger reminded that even heroes ate.

Unsatisfied with his work, Beast Boy had wadded the scrap up. Absently, he had carried the paper with him as he had sought something to quiet hunger. In the kitchen, the scrap was tossed in a bin and forgotten.

Hours after the rain stopped and the sun had slipped quietly below the horizon, purple eyes had caught the clumsy scrawl of Beast Boy's handwriting in the trash. Slender gray hands had curiously recovered the scrap and smoothed the paper. The words had been read, and the scrap carried back to her room.

Carefully, she had secreted the scrap of paper in the bottom of her drawer; under her meditation mirror and the one photo she had of her mother. In the darkness, the scrap shared its message.

purple twilight; dark
beauty beheld, beloved
cherished. hero. friend.