|9of21 Jasper Hodges|
|Internal Series||◀ Brains, #9 ▶|
Age 5: "I wish I had a puppy. Or a cat, or hamster, or anything. Just something to play with and be my friend. But Mother says animals are too messy."
Age 5: "Fat little froggy, don't jump away! He's slimy, cold and bumpy. Into the bucket you go... I'll put this piece of plastic on top so you won't jump out. There, now I have a pet!"
Age 6: "Did Mother invite any children to my birthday party at all? I'm so bored. It's so lonely at our house."
Age 7: "How do they get the butterflies to stay so still? They're so perfect when they're not moving."
Age 7: "Why do animals always try to run away from me? I just want to be friends with them."
Age 8: "If the fly has no wings, does it still count as a fly?"
Age 8: "There's never anyone around to play with... I wish I had a friend who would always be around."
Age 9: "I need more practice - I didn't mean to squish them. I wonder how it works with the butterflies. Fly blood is so sticky."
Age 10: "Mother was so disgusted with me this morning when she saw my wet sheets. I'm so ashamed!"
Age 10: "I've never seen a bat up close before. Look at its little ears - he looks just like a rat, but he flies! He's way more interesting to look at than house flies. I'm going to show Mother!"
Age 11: "I can't talk to anyone. No one understands me. Everyone just thinks I'm a freak. At least when I'm out here in nature, I can be myself."
Age 12: "Amber mounts the horses with such ease, it's almost like she can speak to them or something. She just becomes one with them. Such affinity for nature - I feel like she's a kindred spirit."
Age 13: "This bat isn't looking so good. There must be a way to preserve these things better."
Age 13: "She spoke to me! I think she did, anyway. She smiled when she brushed my shoulder and said, 'excuse me.'"
Age 14: "Formaldehyde. Huh, why didn't I think of that?"
Age 14: "She's crying in the bathroom. I can hear her through the door. I wonder what happened to her. Poor Amber, we're so alike!"
Age 14: "This portable will be a perfect place to work - I can't very well do it at home anymore after Mother's reaction to that bat I found. And no one comes near this place at all anymore."
Age 15: "One of the girls started crying when the teacher told us we were dissecting frogs today. I don't know why. What's there to be scared of? They're already dead. Girls."
Age 15: "I wonder what Amber would think of my collections? I think she would appreciate them. She's probably the only girl in the whole school - in the whole world - who would."
Age 16: "My traps in the forest are paying off! Yesterday I snagged a rabbit, and today a porcupine! How am I going to cut into a porcupine? I'm going to need thicker gloves."
Age 16: "There is so much peace to be found on these hikes into the forest. If only I had someone to share them with."
Age 17: "Oh my god - will that cat never shut up? How am I supposed to get a full day's work in tomorrow if I can't get any sleep? Hey, wait a second, I think I have an idea..."
Age 17: "This cat looks so funny in this pose... I need to put a caption under it."
Age 17: "This is the third class she's sat next to me in this semester! Yesterday, she asked to borrow my pen. I want to ask her out so badly, but I'm so afraid. What could she ever see in me?"
Age 18: "Amber. Her hair is such a unique shade of auburn. Like autumn leaves. And her eyes are almost turquoise. She's a perfect specimen, I could do no better."
Age 18: "Today's the day - I'm going to do it! I'm going to speak to Amber Ellacot and tell her how I feel. I have it all planned out, right down to the timing. It's going to be perfect."
Age 18: "... loud voices screaming at me to get down on my knees and put my hands over my head. What happened? I have the right to remain silent? Of course I do, what a strange thing to say..."
Age 19: "Attempted murder? It wasn't murder... It was preservation. My collections aren't about death, they're about life! My specimens live forever."
Age 20: "I guess I'll never see her again. I thought she would have at least come to visit. Maybe I was wrong about her all along."
Age 21: "I'm so confused. I thought I understood life and nature and my place in it - how could I be so wrong? You're not wrong, Jasper, you just didn't see the big picture. Nature is cruel just as often as it is kind."
Age 21: "My lungs feel like they're on fire, every time I breathe. It must be the air in this rotten place. It's never fresh, and I only get an hour of outdoors time a day. A human being can't live in these conditions."
Age 22: "What do they mean my parents have refused treatment? How can they do that? I'm their son!"
Age 22: "I guess the esteemed Dr. Hodges is too ashamed of his own son to keep him alive... Not like Father ever loved me anyhow."
Age 22: "So, that's what they're planning, is it? It's like they finally understand me. But of course, I have a brilliant brain so why shouldn't it be preserved too?"
Age 22: "All I ever wanted was something to love."