Plucky the Winged Unicorn
Plucky the Winged Unicorn lives among the stars. The shooting stars are his own free transit system, but they’re not very predictable, so Plucky is often late for things. Everyone knows Plucky doesn’t have reliable transportation, so no one gets mad when he’s late. Once in a while, someone new will say, “But Plucky, you have wings – why didn’t you just fly here?” And everyone else looks down as an awkward silence settles on them. They listen, again, to Plucky tell the story about how he broke his left wing rescuing a fairy princess, and the king wouldn’t give Plucky workman’s comp because he hadn’t asked Plucky to do that. Plucky hadn’t thought ahead and gotten health insurance before the incident, and now he has insurance but the companies all say his wing injury was a pre-existing condition and won’t pay for treatment. So Plucky hitches rides on unpredictable stars that whiz through the galaxy the way he once could.
The Talking Porsches
Rad, Dude, and Yo are Porsches that can think and talk. Rad is red, Dude is yellow, and Yo is blue. They can drive without people drivers in them. They have faces on their hoods; they have headlights for eyes. They like to race one another on the freeway. If a cop tries to pull them over for speeding or reckless driving, the talking Porsches just drive faster. They would high-five one another if they could. They like to taunt slow drivers and bicyclists. No one could keep up with them. Until one time when Dude guzzled some whiskey instead of gasoline. He knew better than to do that, but he wanted a taste of what it was like to be a mad poet. So he filled ‘er up and went joyriding alone on a country road under a full moon. He drove off the road and into some farmland, toppling a bunch of cows. He landed in a ditch, his headlights pointing up, mingling with the stars. Rad and Yo found him and nudged him out, but were unable to straighten out his crinkled metal body. After that, Dude couldn’t keep up with his friends on their freeway races; he let them go on ahead. But he didn’t mind. Because he had been farther out than either of them would ever go. For one night, part of him had shined with the stars.
The Good-Deed Badgers
The Good-Deed Badgers wake up early in the morning, do some calisthenics, eat a good breakfast, and finish all their chores. Then they go out into the community and volunteer. They wear T-shirts that say “Good-Deed Badgers, Inc.” There are four Good-Deed Badgers: the cool one who is the leader, the smart one who wears glasses, the fat one who is the comic relief, and the girl one who wears a pink bow on her head. They go through people’s trash for the things that should be recycled, and they take these items to a recycling facility. They pick up litter using sharp sticks, so that it looks like they are making trash shishkebabs. They stand outside of polling stations when there is an election and answer citizens’ questions about the voting process. When the sun starts to set, the Good-Deed Badgers go home and eat dinner and watch the evening news and do their homework. They sleep in four beds in a row. The cool one sleeps soundly. The smart one wonders why he is not the leader, and silently seethes in resentment and dreams of revolution. The fat one wonders why he’s fat even though he does calisthenics with the others every morning; perhaps he has a gland problem. The girl one wonders why she doesn’t get her own personality trait, just a pink bow.