"I can't believe I'm doing this stupid project."
"Maybe if you stop and look at the positives about the project, it won't seem so bad-"
"No." Helga said, interrupting. "This project has no positives. I hate it. I hate everything about this project."
Helga's complaining was scaring away every variety of the subject of their project, leaving them with little work to do. "Gee, thanks." he said, under his breath. He knew better than to take offense to anything Helga said, but the comment caught him slightly off guard.
"Oh get off your high horse, Football Head. This isn't about you." Helga said, crossing her arms and leaning back against a nearby tree. The two had been sitting amongst the waning flora of the park for nearly 45 minutes, and Helga was growing more bored and frustrated with each passing moment.
"Then what? Since Simmons told us about this assignment, you've been groaning and complaining…more so than usual." he added, smiling to himself.
"You wanna know why I hate this project so much? I'll tell you. We have to observe a city-dwelling animal and write a report on it. And when Simmons comes to you, and asks what animal we would like to write about, you say 'pigeons'." she replied angrily.
"What's wrong with pigeons?" Arnold asks, taking slight offense to the tone of Helga's comment. Though he had far less carrier pigeons than in times past, he still used them and saw them as useful, intelligent animals.
"Pigeons are birds. And I hate birds. They're essentially, rats with wings, and I hate rats too." Helga explained. "I hate birds. I hate all kinds of birds. I hate big birds, I hate little birds, I hate sparrows, and seagulls, and toucans and woodpeckers, and pigeons. I hate birds."
Arnold was shocked. Instead of blowing up and replying erratically, Helga remained seated, and kept her tone completely even as she spoke. The only true indications of her ire were her clenched fists, that remained firmly pressed against the grass.
"If you don't mind my asking, why do hate birds so much?" Arnold asked, cautiously.
"Oh, I don't know." Helga responded, sounding very much like she did know. "Maybe it's the fact that anytime I'm around them, I become their toilet. Or-"
"Wait, what? That's happened to you before?" Arnold asked, skeptically.
"On numerous occasions."
"Like, when you saved the neighborhood, and had that big block party, and when you lost your hat, and I found it, and a few weeks back, I lost my stupid parrot, and-"
"You lost what?"
Helga's face immediately dropped, her expression falling as well. She froze, hoping that she hadn't said to much, but knowing in advance that she had. She began searching the recesses of her mind for a clever lie to cover up her slip of tongue, but nothing came. Nothing believable, anyway.
"I lost my…parr…par…pair!" she said, looking surprised. "Pair of shoes."
"You lost a pair of shoes?"
"Yes, I lost my pair of shoes." Helga said, nodding to reinforce her terribly concocted lie.
"Well, what does that have to do with why you hate birds?" Arnold asked.
"Well, right before I lost them, a bird…pooped on them." she said.
Arnold looked suspiciously at Helga. "So, you hate birds, because they pooped on your shoes?"
"Pretty much. And the whole 'flying rats' thing too." she said, falling back into her cool again. Helga found that her often witty and sarcastic comments were lost when the time came to lie, turning her into a puddle of incomprehensible mess.
Turning around to peer through some bushes, Arnold scanned the park for more pigeons. "Well, there don't seem to be any birds in the park anymore."
"Thank goodness." Helga said, not looking particularly worried. Usually the birds only bothered her when she was working on some plot to keep Arnold from finding out her secret, so she felt safe for a while. "Let's just finish this up tomorrow…" she suggested lethargically. The subject of the project was already daunting, but sitting in the park looking for said subject wasn't much better.
"Do you want to come over my house?" Arnold asked, innocently, as Helga choked back a yawn.
"What?" she responded, in a voice higher than she anticipated. Is he actually inviting me to his house? Am I awake?
"Do you want to come over to my house today? Just for a little while. You can meet Chester." he suggested with a smile.
Helga's face, on the other hand, fell slightly. Finally, Arnold was inviting her into his home, his sanctuary, his abode. She dreamt of being introduced to his extended, eccentric family, as the love of his life. Only now, she was being invited to meet a bird. A rat with wings that lived on his roof. Splendid.
"Chester is a bird, isn't he?" she asked, monotonously.
"Yeah. I think you'll like him."
Sighing, Helga replied, "Sure, Football Head. Why not?" Granted, se was far from thrilled about meeting a bird, but an invitation to Arnold's house was something, and Helga wasn't in the habit of looking a gift horse in the mouth.
Arnold raised himself up from the grass, and Helga followed suit before his could extend his hand to help her. After brushing some dirt off of her clothes, Helga followed Arnold back to the path that led out of the park, in the direction of his home. She barely noticed the object coming at her from the side until it collided with her face.
"On second thought, Arnold," Helga said from behind him. "I think I'm just going to go home and wash my face a few hundred times." she finished, her words somewhat difficult to understand, as she spoke through her locked jaw.
Arnold turned to see what made Helga change her mind so suddenly, but all he saw was her walking away from him, angrily, wiping the back of her hand against her face, and flicking her wrist away from her.
I have a philosophy, of sorts, and I will tell it to you for free. I don't like everything I write, and sometimes, I write things, and don't share them with anyone, because I don't think they're any good. But, sometimes, it's really good to share that stuff with other people. Because they might like it. Or they might know what you can do to make it better.
So, although I don't love this oneshot, I like it a little, and I'm sharing it with you. Thank You. I was inspired mostly by...myself. I don't hate birds, really. Like, if I go over a friends house, and it turns out they have a canary or something, I would freak out. I like canaries. They're cool. They're yellow. But I am thouroughly freaked out by large flocks of birds. I was driving home from work and there was a huge flock (I'm not kidding, there had to be at least 600 of them..if not more) flying behind me. And I couldn't look in my rear view mirror for about 3 miles because I probably would have cried. I'm not sure why, but they just freak me out.
Thanks for reading!