“Lettuce! Again!” Ted the tortoise shouted. “We had this shit for breakfast!”
“At least she sprinkled in some turtle chow on it this time,” Alvin said through a mouthful.
Ted stared at the wilted leaves and shook his head. “I can’t take this, bro. The fence is closing in around me.”
Alvin looked up. As far as he could tell the fence hadn’t moved. “You okay, dude?”
Ted turned and trudged to the chain link fence. “No, man. I’m not okay. And I haven’t been okay for a very long time.”
Alvin trudged after him. “Ted? Where you going, Ted? It’s lunchtime! TED!”
Ted the tortoise reached the edge of the yard and started to climb the fence. “I’m out of here, man. I’m going over the edge.”
“But you can’t just go, dude! That’s like a whole other yard! There things on that side that’ll fuck with your mind!”
“Maybe my mind needs a bit of that, dude. I have to go.” Ted was halfway up the fence by now.
“But what do you expect to find out there?”
Ted stopped and stared at the birds flying overhead. “I expect to find something better than this! A place where people don’t care if you’re different and even strangers will accept you, unconditionally. I want a place where people don’t care about money or material possessions and just love and share with each other without expecting anything in return. I’m looking for a place where every day is a new adventure and the people you meet will stick by you no matter what; a place with hopes and wisdom and dreams and laughter and even some tears, but the tears don’t hurt because you know that no matter what you will never be alone again.”
Alvin stared looked up at Ted. “Can I come?”
“No. You stay here.” He started climbing again and reached the top of the fence. For a moment he balanced precariously on the edge of the world. Then, he tipped forward and tumbled into the neighbor’s yard, landing on his shell. Ted tried to flip himself over but he was stuck on his back, legs wriggling toward the heavens.
“I made it! I made it!” Ted cried. “This is freedom! Oh sweet horrible, horrible freedom!”