The Elders don't understand the younger Migrates. To them, Migrates are a nuisance, and a pain-in-the-ass that they will never understand (especially as to why they had Migrates in the first place). They were cute as babies (apart from the screaming, crying and pooping--but all babies do that), but now as teenagers, devious and thinking, (somewhat) intelligent and quick on their feet, they're not that cute anymore.

They're dangerous.

And they want money.

That is the most damnable thing about teenage Migrates—though money is always going to be an issue with children, it seems to prevail most predominantly when the years of puberty rears its ugly head. Puberty darlings want money.

They want it now. They want a lot of it, and they don't want to be asked questions.

All things that make the Elders very nervous.

In this small town, they're heard of "Starbucks." Like Wal-Mart, they know what it is, but in all honest truth they really don't care about it. Elders, unlike their youngsters, have grown out of the "buy-expensive-coffee" phase and have moved on to more important things—namely taxes, marriage, divorce and the damn dog next door that never shuts up.

Naturally, then, when a young female Migrate asks to go to Starbucks (she is a freshman, ladies and gentlemen), her parent Elder pauses at the kitchen counter and raises an eyebrow.

"Starbucks is here?" the Elder asks, uncomprehending.

Young Migrate nods rapidly. "Yeah. They've been here for about a week now…"

Elder understands what the pause, the quiet question at the end of the Migrate's statement means. He knows very well that the young Migrate is quite literally telling the Elder, "Okay, Pops, fork it over," and he knows that if he does not submit, he will get an earful.

Men hate confrontation with women.

Especially their daughters.

So Elder gives a resigned sigh and stands up from cleaning, straightening out his back. "Do you want a ride, then?"

Another rapid, whiplash-inducing nod. The Elder bites his lip to keep from saying something he'll regret—"you're what? Fourteen? Can't you ride your bike two miles to get some coffee?"—and turns to throw the rag in the sink.

"Do you have money?" he asks.

Teenage Migrate pauses, then quickly–as if some type of mercury like-liquid–her face melts into a look of pathetic sadness. The puppy face.

Elders hate the puppy face.

"No," she says pitifully. "I–I haven't gotten my allowance yet."

"What happened to the allowance last week?"

Mercury-Face--always transforming and not solid at room temperature--morphs into unjustified teenage defensive-mode.

"Does it matter?"

Elder's pride has been bruised. Children do not speak to their Elders like that.

"I beg your pardon?"

Migrate/Mercury Face reigns back, squishing into teenage innocence.

"I'm sorry, Dad." she says, quietly.

Long pause. When Elder says nothing, Mercury Face realizes that she has to make the move to get her game rolling. She turns to her father and cranks up the teenage-I'm-cute-and-your-daughter-and-you-know-that-I'll-be-devastated-if-I-don't-get-Starbucks smile.

"I'll pay you back," she coos.

Elder glances around.

Where's his female counterpart when he needs her?


A/N: Hmmm. I expected a more enthralled audience, but that apparently wasn't the case.

I understand here and now that I have focused largely on the effects of Styrofoamed Happiness on the male population...but I think for most of us, much of the female population--if anything--loves Starbucks with a passion that could almost solicit an affair in a marriage. This being said, I need new ideas. I no longer have my cup of chai (damn), and thus have lost my muse. Any advice for continuing my little vignettes would be so sorely appreciated.

Thanks a lot for reading. .