Breathe Little Greel

by George Nikolopoulos

Breathe, little greel. Carbon trioxide is good for you.

Love your pasha and your misha, but spare a thought for your grusha, too. I'll tell you this – well, your misha thinks you're still a hatchling and too young to know about such things, but we know better than that, don't we? – the pasha provides the sperm, the misha lays the egg, but it's me that took up your egg and carried it inside me for six months. Oh, and you'll be a great grusha yourself one day, when the time comes.

Don't ask me about the right time to become a grusha. When you were inside your egg, after I'd laid it in my turn, didn't you just know it was exactly the right time to break the shell and get out into the open air? That's how you'll know.

How does it feel, being a grusha? One day you will carry an egg of your own and then you'll understand. And when you lay your egg, love her and cherish her like I do you.

Once again, my single most important advice is this: don't forget to breathe. Yes, for bovils and gurils it’s just a reflex action, but greels always have to work harder. It is a fact that many little greels pass away because they get lazy or distracted and they neglect to breathe. You just keep breathing and one day you'll grow up and everything will be fine. And then one day, you will meet a nice young bovil and a nice young guril and you'll become a nice triplet.

Bovils and gurils mature earlier; they are attracted to one another and they are very excitable. You'll see them floating in the air, even in the school yard, oblivious to everything. They'll already be a couple when you meet them, by they can't really do anything without a greel. How will you know the right couple for you? Well, you'll know them when you see them pulsing together with a light of a certain colour you can't even give a name to, but you know it's just the right shade of the right colour. When I saw your misha and pasha they looked like…oh, but I've told you that story too many times already.

So you'll choose your couple and then you'll claim them: they will be yours and you'll be theirs. A bovil and a guril are nothing without a greel. You are the anchor. You are the most important part of the triplet. It may not seem so at first, but they need you more than you need them. Love your bovil and love your guril and the light of Illou will shine upon you all.

What about me, you ask. Why I don't speak with your misha and your pasha any more. Well, things don't always turn out the way you expect them to. But I have you and I'm happy.

Life is a great adventure with many obstacles, but your grusha will always be there for you. And even when I'm gone my star will be shining in the sky, watching over you. Be optimistic, be strong, and dark thoughts will be brighter.

Just an extra piece of advice – I know I shouldn't say such things but it's true: choose a couple that doesn't pulse exactly as one, as your misha and your pasha used to, because one day you may find out that they prefer each other's company to being the two parts of a triplet. But if that's what happens in the end, don't be bitter. It's their right, after all.

Why I never tried to find another couple myself? I don't need another couple; I have you. You are my bright little greel.

Yes, and I have Sinarrìs too. We live in a changing world, little one. A greel can love another greel. It's only natural, whatever they may say. Never judge others based on preconceptions and prejudice. Be tolerant.

Live, love and be happy, little greel. Breathe.

George Nikolopoulos is a speculative fiction writer from Athens, Greece. His short stories have been published in Gruff Variations, Mad Scientist Journal, QuarterReads, SFComet, Bards & Sages Quarterly, SciPhi Journal, Up and Coming, Scarlet Leaf Review, Stella's Literary Bistro, Diasporic Literature Spot, as well as many magazines and anthologies in Greece. @g_nikolop

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