An arrow flashed off of the bow, its pink body shimmering in the sunlight as it flew. The arrow’s owner sat up and dusted himself off.
“Stupid bird! You just had to crash into me right as I was taking my shot.” He picked up his bow and quiver. He flew over to the edge of the building setting himself precariously on the edge. He put on his dark sunglasses.
“Wonder where that went.” He looked around for his arrow, hoping to find that it had hit a building or tree. Soon he noticed through the special glasses that there was a man that was not his target in love with the woman who was his target. Oh great, he thought. Not again! I hope the other cupids or control doesn’t find out. I’ll never be a protector then.
He dropped off of the building, slapped his right wristlet and sped over to where the two people were. As he approached he began to see more information about them through the glasses.
Name: Ryan Junior
Occupation: Martial Arts instructor
Birthday: June 3
Name: Faith Slaughter
Occupation: Middle school teacher
Birthday: February 15
Ryan looked bright pink through his special glasses. Geez, he thought. Must have hit him square in the heart. The two of them were just chatting. He flew right up to them positioning himself in between them. He lifted up his glasses to get a good look at the situation. Normally a floating angel boy in a toga with wings would catch a person’s attention, but thanks to the new wristlet he could not be seen by them.
“Is there any chance that your name is Destiny?”
“Because I think you’re my destiny.” Like that one’s new! Try an original line sir, he thought.
“Actually my name is Faith.”
“I’m Ryan. You doing anything later today? Wanna grab some coffee?” No, he thought. It’s supposed to be with someone else. Down the street walking away from Faith and Ryan was a well-dressed man with a violin case. He slipped the glasses back down and they gave him the man’s information.
Name: Brandon Piper
Occupation: Accompanist and violinist
Birthday: December 19
Him! He slipped his glasses up onto his head, grabbed his bow, moved to the side, queued up an exceptionally strong red arrow, aimed and shot. It hit Brandon in the back and exploded in a cloud of red mist that smelled like a rose garden on a misty morning. Brandon turned around to see what had hit him and in the process noticed Faith. Cupid dropped his glasses back onto his face and the sensors flared up. Brandon’s shape changed color from a gray to a bright red.
“Bingo.” Done and done.
“Did you hear anything?”
“No and well, I need to be heading right now. I’ll see you later then. R–” Brandon walked up to Ryan and Faith.
“I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m Brandon. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
I don’t believe we’ve met.
It’s a pleasure to meet you.
“What a wonderful name.” Suddenly a blaring female voice came out of his left wristlet.
“Cupid Archer! Cupid Archer!” He quickly slapped his left wristlet. Why did Ahav have to know everything that is going on? he thought.
“Now I know I heard something!” shouted Ryan while searching all around for what had made that noise.
“Cupid Archer!” He flew away as fast as a bullet train down a nearby alley leaving them to talk.
“Control, mission accomplished.”
“What in heaven are you doing?”
“We don’t need any of your jokes right now Archer. We saw that you miss shot today and we saw that you tried to cover it up.”
“Did you like the show? I think the men are both chatting to the girl right now. Fun to watch isn’t?”
“Can you just listen for once?”
“Yes of course I can.” He didn’t have to see Cupid Ahav in order to feel her deadly glare.
“That man you hit was supposed to fall in love with someone else. Once…”
“Funny how love works that way.”
“Please stop talking.”
“You said listen for once and you said once.”
“Uhh. I know you hate your job.”
“Glad you realize that. Not many people do.”
“Can you just… uhh. But this is really important. Brandon Piper was supposed to fall in love with Faith Slaughter.”
“And they did.”
“But along the way Ryan Junior fell in love with her too. Ryan was supposed to fall in love with a woman named Emilee Brown. Who now, by the way, will wind up falling in love with a Johnathan Browne!”
“Not much of a name change, huh.” She let out an exasperated sigh.
“You don’t get it. Now everyone connected to that will fall in love with someone else. We are sending in the stars to uncross them.” The stars? Was this match really that big of a deal? An idea dawned on him.
“No! I can handle this.” Yes, he thought. Finally I have a chance to prove that I can be a protector.
“Really? You can take care of this?”
“Yes! Yes, I can.”
“Where are Faith, Brandon and Ryan now?”
“Talking everything out. Why?” He turned to look where he was talking about. “Dear heaven’s control room! They’ve left.”
“Well sounds like you’ve got some work to do there. I don’t know how you are going to get yourself out of this one. If you don’t have them uncrossed by sundown the stars will come and do it.”
“Rub it in my face will you, Head Cupid Ahav.” She started to say something but he shut off the wristlet and started to fly as fast as he could to track down the lovers. He flew down the street, glasses on looking for the lovers. Colored shapes flew past him. Couples in red, white and pink. Children and friends in yellow. Names whisking past as he flew down the street.
“There!” Ryan and Faith had walked down the street together and were sitting in a coffee shop. Geez. Do you think he will leave her alone? What to do, he thought. What to do? Suddenly the idea dawned on him. If he could shoot her while she was looking at Brandon then all would be solved!
“Now if only I could find him.” But in a city as big as New York he could be anywhere. He decided that the best place to start was where he last saw him. Archer sped back, retracing his steps until he found where he had started. A familiar voice filled his ears.
“Brandon’s over in that building. Rehearsal.” Of all the people control would send to help me, he thought.
“It had to be you.” A female cupid with black hair flew down to the same spot that he was at.
“Yes of course. I’m the only one in control that doesn’t hate you.”
“They hate me? That’s ironic since we are supposed to be spreading love. And they never asked about my disposition to you.”
“Archer, I know you hate me, I just think your failures are hilarious.”
“So. Control thought that I would need the assignment’s poster child to help me?”
“No. Not to help you. To do it for you.”
“Yua, I’ve got this.”
“That’s funny, Archer. Because that’s exactly what you said last time before the whole Mel–”
“Don’t you even begin!”
“Just sayin’. You need help.”
“Suppose I do let you help me. What’s your plan?”
“I got none, Archer. It’s all you. Brandon’s in rehearsal right now. People can go in if they want to watch.”
“Perfect. If Faith can go in I can shoot her when she looks at Brandon. Mission accomplished, job done.”
“Not exactly. Ryan is still there.”
“He’ll get over it.”
“Guys in love triangles never get over it. They always want the girl to change their mind. At least according to every romance story out there.”
“So I have to make Ryan fall for someone else?”
“Exactly.” Who was it again that Ahav had said?
“Emilee Brown, for your information.” Emilee Brown? She could be anywhere.
“Oh, ya and she plays the harp with Brandon over there.” Immediately he hatched a crazy plan involving a banana, a barista, a hot cup of coffee, knocking Faith out and Yua just gawking.
“Yes! I have a plan. You gonna help?”
“Nah. I want to see you crash and burn.”
“Gee thanks.” He flew off quickly. If I can get Faith and Ryan to go to the Brandon’s and Emilee’s rehearsal then everything can work out. He made it to the coffee shop in no time flat and realized he was being followed.
“You’re following me?”
“I just want to watch.” Yua laughed like she had said something funny. He flew into the coffee shop and spotted one of the male workers head into the bathroom. He flashed into the bathroom and before the worker even knew it he was knocked out. Archer took a small gold colored clip with a circle on it out of his right wristlet, clicked the circle and clipped it to the worker’s clothes. He pressed a button on his right wristlet making himself look exactly like the worker.
Archer washed his hands to give the semblance that he really had been in the restroom and left. He immediately started walking to the table where Faith and Ryan were sitting, when suddenly Ryan grabbed Faith and kissed her.
“No!” Everyone, but the couple, stared at Archer. He could see Yua behind the glass laughing at the whole thing. He ran back into the bathroom, clicked a button on his right wristlet, changed back to himself and pressed his right wristlet again to turn invisible.
“Oh, when I get my hands on them!” He slung on his quiver and grabbed his bow. He reached behind him and grabbed a two arrows, one red and one pink. He used the red one to slash the pink one. All the sweet smelling perfume in it drained out and the arrow became black. He left the bathroom unnoticed. He queued up his black arrow aimed and something slammed into him from the side. He let go of the arrow. It flew and barely missed Faith. Then, whatever had slammed into him dragged him out the back of the coffee shop.
“What in heaven are you doing? Using a black arrow? Don’t you know that we are not allowed to make people hate each other?”
“Well what else am I supposed to do? They just sealed their affections.” Suddenly the back door of the coffee shop slammed into their backs and Faith came out and went running back to the street.
“See. This isn’t a Hollywood movie, Archer. She didn’t love him.”
“Go talk to her.” That is all he needed. He was off pressing buttons on his wristlet, changed into the worker again and ran after her.
“Hey.” He tapped her on her shoulder.
“Could you just leave me alone?” She turned around. “You’re not Ryan.”
“Oh so you don’t know.”
“So Ryan was the guy in there?”
“Yes. That was his name. He walked up to me on the street, asked me on a date and wouldn’t let me say no.”
“That’s horrible. Would you like to meet a really nice guy?”
“No, I’m done with love for today.” Think, Archer. Think. What could you say?
“You know there’s a music practice down the street a little ways. When I’m sad I like music.”
“Thank you, sir. But I don’t really want to go. Especially with someone I don’t really know.” You’re losing her Archer! What could you say?
“Your future husband is down there.” I could hear Yua slap her face from down the alley way.
“Your future husband is down there.”
I could hear Yua slap her face
from down the alley way.
“What? My future husband. How would you know such a thing? Who are you?”
“I’m cupid.” An arrow flew and hit Archer right above the ear. “Owch!” Yua flew up stood right beside Faith and glared at him with an eyebrow raised. The sort of glare that makes you feel absolute and complete shame even if you have done nothing wrong and makes you want to fix what just happened that instant.
“You’re cupid? Thanks, but no. I’ll just have to pass on this one.”
“All right but you’ll miss him.” Archer sunk a little and walked back down the alley way.
“You idiot! You revealed yourself?”
“Wait. Let’s watch a bit.” Archer changed back to himself and turned invisible.
“What are you waiting–”
“Shh!” Faith started to walk in the away from the coffee shop the opposite direction Archer had told her to go but then she hesitated. She turned around and started walking off to where Brandon was spending his afternoon.
“Yes!” Yua just stared. “Let’s follow her.” He flew off after Faith. He followed her all the way up to the rehearsal room. She hesitated opening the door.
“Ok. You’ve got five minutes. Then you leave.”
“Well that won’t be long enough to hear a song.” She heard footsteps come up behind her she turned to see who it was. It was Brandon.
“Excuse me. Can I get past you? I really need to slip back into rehearsal.” Now’s my chance, Archer thought. He queued up his arrow, a white one for innocent love. He lined himself up for the perfect shot and just a millisecond after Brandon had passed Faith enough to have a clear shot, he hit her in the heart. It exploded in a cloud that smelled lightly like vanilla. She turned and watched him walk into the room then followed after. She lingered a bit by the door and then went and sat down in the front row of chairs on the side of the room opposite where the orchestra was rehearsing.
“Ok. One song.” No sooner had she sat down than Ryan came bursting into the room. He quickly stopped, slumped over and quietly almost tiptoed over to Faith and sat down in the seat right next to her. She looked at him out of the corner of her eye and slowly scooted down one seat. He turned and looked at her and he moved down too. As soon as he sat down she quickly moved over one more. Finally, what was going on dawned on him. She didn’t like him. Ryan slumped down in his seat. They stayed in the same spots for the entire song. After that song the conductor ended rehearsal. Ryan got up and started heading towards the door. As he was just about to exit the room out an arrow whizzed over his head and landed square on the girl going to get a sip of water next to him.
“I haven’t seen you in here before.”
“It’s my first time. It sounds good.”
“Thanks.” She said while trying to not blush. He tried to exit the conversation but something hit Ryan in the back and a cloud that smelled like roses engulfed him. He turned back to the tall, blonde haired harpist.
“I’m Ryan. What’s your name?”
“Emilee.” Archer put on his glasses. Ryan looked red and Emilee looked pink. He had done it. Ryan and Emilee liked each other. He looked over at Brandon and Faith. Brandon was red and Faith was white. Mission accomplished, Archer thought. Yua was speechless. They flew out of the rehearsal room trying not to bump into people’s heads along the way. They went outside and traveled to the roof top where Archer had started this match. He pressed a button on his left wristlet and spoke into it.
“Head Cupid Ahav, mission accomplished.” Even to himself he sounded a little too happy.
“How did you even… uh. Alright. Return requested.” Yua still said nothing but instead grabbed Archer’s hand and pressed the pendant of her necklace. They instantly appeared back at the Valentine’s Day colored control room. Yua turned to Archer.
“By the way, how did you know that Faith would listen to you? And how did you know Ryan would follow her?”
“I didn’t.” He walked through the glass doors out of the return room and into the control room. Yua stayed behind wondering.
The happy couples lived on and had a good life. Archer got back to the control room to what he thought would be a
celebration that everything worked out but instead got one of Cupid Ahav’s famous “stern talking to’s”. Yua kept being the poster child for the assignment but Archer realized something that day. He didn’t hate his assignment as much as he had thought.