Welcome everyone to the start of Act 2, and I hope you’re all caught up on Act 1! If you need a quick refresher, last we left off, Legno had just met Timothy, an enormous talking bug who promised to change his life. Will he follow through? Let’s find out in Act 2 of Wood You Be Mine?
Legno stared, his mouth agape, his eyes wide. He tried to respond, but all he could manage to muster was “Bluuuuuhhhhhhh?”
“Understandably, this must be a lot for you to take in,” Timothy replied.
“Bluuuuuhhhhhhh?” Legno continued.
“It’s not everyday one sees a well-dressed, well-mannered, and above all else, well-spoken insect, is it?”
Silence for a second, followed by “Bluuuuuhhhhhhh?”
“Okay,” Timothy said, slightly annoyed and beginning to turn away, “I guess I’ll find some other boy to woo that cute little lady that you have eyes for.”
“Wait!” Legno yelled, finally with actually words, “You’re not serious, are you?”
Turning back towards Legno, Timothy calmy stated, “No. I’m not. But I assumed that would snap you out of it.”
Although the initial shock had finally subsided, Legno still couldn’t believe his eyes: There in front of him was some sort of overgrown cockroach, roughly thirteen centimeters in height. Adorned with what appeared to be a blazer, walking stick, and a top hat, Legno got on his hands and knees for a closer look.
“I’m sure you have a lot of questions for me,” Timothy remarked.
Legno’s gray eyes squinted as he examined the creature. After a few moments, he responded, “Where the hell do you find a top hat that small?”
“Really? You see a talking insect, and that’s your question? My attire?”
“It’s so well crafted. Is it a fashion thing, or do you just have a weird-shaped head?”
Having no interest in playing in to the boy’s stupidity, Timothy began, “I saw how those two men treated you. Not very helpful, were they?”
Legno’s eyes narrowed, and he turned his head, not wanting Timothy to see his expression of shame and embarrassment. “No. Not at all,” he replied.
“You’re just a young man looking for love, aren’t you?”
“Yes! Absolutely! And they refused to help!” he responded, his eyes widened and head snapping forward to face Timothy again.
“Ah, well that’s where I come in. Don’t you know why they refused?”
“Because the whole damn world’s out to get me,” he muttered pathetically as he turned his head to face the ground.
“Oh stop with that woe-is-me type attitude,” Timothy said with a sigh. “You’ll get nowhere in life thinking like that. Take a look at me for instance…”
“…and your hat…”
“Take a look at me for instance,” Timothy repeated, “I wasn’t born this way. I started out as just another common member of the Recticulitermes lucifugus.”
A baffled look danced across Legno’s face and he asked “You’re…rectal fungus?”
“Why don’t you just do us both a favor and keep quiet for a while? Now, as I was saying, I was just another common insect, but I always knew I deserved more. I had the potential to be more, and it was going unrealized.”
“So you ‘being more’ meant becoming an abnormally large bug with abnormally small clothes?”
“No, son. Me ‘being more’ meant a chance at a new start and a new beginning to make my life anything I wanted it to be. All I needed was that push in the right direction,” Timothy explained, “And I was able to amass everything one could want, including love.”
“You were able to find love?” Legno’s interest was now truly piqued. Timothy had said the magic word.
“Indeed I was,” Timothy replied. “And you can, too. And as I said earlier, I’m going to help.”
“This girl, this…?”
“This Marion. She’s not quite human, correct?”
“She’s, well…no. She’s a doll. But at the same time, she’s more human than the rest of us.”
Timothy nodded. Sure, what the boy had just said made absolutely no sense, but a mixture of youth and infatuation rarely made for the most sound of minds.
“So,” Legno began, “what do we do? How can you help me?”
“Oh, it quite simple, son,” Timothy replied.
“I’m going to help you become a wooden boy.”
Legno was taken aback. That idea, it was…it was…
“…the best idea I HAVE EVER HEARD!” Legno exclaimed.
“I thought you might like it,” Timothy said with a smile.
“And then the Geminis…es will have to take me along with them! A doll that can sing and dance all his own, they’d make a killing!”
“My thoughts exactly!” Timothy declared, sharing Legno’s enthusiasm for the idea.
“But why help me? I’m no one to you,” Legno asked in a rare moment of lucidity.
“When life is kind enough to grant you a chance at something better, the least you can do is to pay it forward. These Gemini Brothers, they’re like so many other people in the world: They look to put others down, suppress their potential, and keep them from obtaining what they want and what they deserve. And that includes you, son.
“A person can grow bitter and angry when they are denied their heart’s desire,” Timothy continued, “and I’d hate to see a boy with his whole life ahead of him become jaded towards the world at such a young age. The thought of it just breaks my heart.”
An image of Saggezza flashed in to Legno’s mind and a pang of empathy struck him. He was beginning to piece together why his surrogate father drank so much.
“That’s…that’s really nice,” Legno replied, noticeably touched by Timothy’s kindness. “But how do we go about that?”
“Simple. We see the witch who made me what I am.”
“We see which what?” a confused Legno asked.
“No,” Timothy responded, almost immediately.
“I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking,” retorted Legno.
“I’m not doing shtick with you. We’re going to see a witch, as in a woman with magical powers,” Timothy countered, not interested in the back-and-forth that was sure to ensue.
“Fine,” Legno pouted as he began the rise back to his feet, “but it would’ve been a riot.”
At that moment, Timothy, with a few deliberate hops, began a scramble up the left side of Legno.
*Hop* First to his ankle.
*Hop* Then to his knee.
*Hop* Next to his forearm.
“It would’ve been…”
*Hop* And finally resting upon his shoulder.
“Utter hilarity,” Timothy finished, slightly out of breath, “but we have to be on our way if we want to get to my friend’s house. I imagine you’d like to get there sooner rather than later.”
“Fair enough,” Legno responded. “Just point me in the right direction.”
TO BE CONTINUED
See you all in a week!