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Love Smears

Scalzi Story

Wherein I take a band name from Scalzi’s Next band name list, and spend no more than 20 minutes writing the story about it. Today’s band name, is Love Smears



The two flies buzzed around Artie’s head again. Artie was sick of it.

For reasons unknown to Artie and all of his classmates, bugs seemed to love divebombing Artie. He showered twice a day, he ate all those awful vegetables his mom gave him. He did every thing the doctor told him to do, and no adult who was asked seemed to think he smelled weird, but the bugs kept dive-bombing him.

While such bombings seemed amusing to all of his classmates, Artie didn’t find them amusing. Not one bit. Not that his dislike seemed to stop the teasing from his school peers. Or the bombings from the bugs.


The two flies buzzed near his ear.

Artie threw out his hands in frustration, just as the bus went over the speedbump into the school turn-around. Artie loved his bus driver, Uncle Sam. The old guy had been taking that final turn and speedbump at breakneck speed for decades, giving all of the kids on his bus a small jump into the air, to the sounds of squeals and gasps. All of the kids on the bus had shared that joy with their parents, whose eyes would crinkle in merriment at the memories of their childhood bus rides over the same speedbumps, at the same too-fast speed.

The bus lifted Artie up.

His hands connected with both the flies, which had been starting their next dive-bombing run.

Both went over to the window Artie sat next to.

The window and Artie’s hand survived. The flies did not.

Smeared across the window was now a trail of fly guts and parts. Artie looked at his hand, then at the window, then at his hand, and back to the window. Kids stood up to leave the bus, as Artie sat there. He had never connected with a bug before. They had always eluded his vague battings. Now he had just killed two. At once.


Artie turned around to the girl behind him, sitting in the next seat over. He was sure he had never seen her before.

“That was quite ninja,” the girl continued.

Artie stared at her. When had a girl talked to him when not forced by a teacher or a parent?

“My name is Amy,” she said.

“Uh… Artie.”

“Nice to meet you.”

“Uh… you, too.”

“I’m new. This is my first day. Can you help me around?” she asked as she stepped into the bus aisle to leave the bus.

Artie unconsciously wiped his hand on his jacket. “Um… sure…”

Someone had talked to Artie. And that someone was a girl.

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