January Short Story

  My fingers played at the arrow held in my grasp, and I found myself sorely tempted to throw it to the ground and walk away. The two men who stood in front of me were talking, and I could see the soft shine of want in the red heads eyes. Lust - it was a sparkling pink emotion that dazzled a human’s aura and begged for my attentions.

  I could understand lust - I could feel lust. It was palpable and sweet, all burn and aches that begged for release. It was what came after that I couldn’t comprehend. Bitterly, I pulled the bow from my back and shot the arrow that I held between numb fingers. I didn’t have to look to hear it hit home, and my wings twitched as I turned away, my vision flashing from pink to crimson as the boy’s aura changed.

Love. I didn’t understand love. My insides were frozen to the emotion - I was a cupid, and cupids didn’t get to feel the emotion that they gave. 

  I would never know what love could taste like. 

  There was no sound of footsteps as I retreated from the flourishing couple. They would go home together tonight, but their desperate clinging would change from fucking to lovemaking - their world would spiral and tilt on its axis, and they would stay together, unless someone ripped away their arrows. 

  That only happened sometimes, because I couldn’t always be around to protect them.

  Sometimes I got tired of watching their red auras entwining while they held each other close. 

  I really hated love. 

  I know saying that is unbecoming of a cupid, but it wasn’t like I chose this life. I was picked at birth, because my love aura was so strong - strong enough that I could make our arrows. I was plucked from the arms of my parents before I even had a chance to coo at my mother and let our red mist swirl together for the first time. I don’t know what jackass thought it was a good idea to snatch babies up from their parents, but whoever they were, their methods had been in play for as long as anyone could remember.

  I sometimes wonder if that’s where humans get the idea of cupids being fat little babies, strung with hearts and bows. We certainly all start off that way, but we aren’t even able to operate in the field until we’re trained for sixteen years. We stop aging somewhere in our twenties, and as long as we manage to do our jobs well and not be killed by the Enmity. It would make sense, after all, that there was an opposite of a cupid - the Enmity were born much the same way that we were; they were taken from their parents at a young age, and their auras were just as black then as they are in maturity. We are mortal enemies, the Cupid and the Enmity, forever waging a battle for the fate of humanity. Love and pure emotion is the only thing that keeps mortals from falling to the wayside, enslaved under the Enmity’s control.

  Just because I feel bitter about the emotion doesn’t mean that I don’t understand its relevance. At least a world with sappy, loving mortals is better than a world of enslaved, mindless creatures, ready to do the beck and call of our sworn enemies. Still… sometimes I wish that they’d just left me to my mother’s arms, so that I could be the one being fought over. It was a nice thought, but it was a thought that I knew could never come true. I’ve been alive for over a century.

  There’s no turning back now.