Glass People

JP Vallières

All the glass in the world vanished! We think it had something to do with the glass people that invaded earth a few months ago. I mean, they’re gone, too, of course, being glassy and all.

At first we considered robbing some stores, stores that have big windows. Stores that have stuff worth selling, but for some reason we haven’t. No one has robbed anyone. We mainly look into our neighbors’ houses and ask them how they’re doing.

“Wassup?” we say.

“How’s it out there on the sidewalks?” they ask.

“It’s like we’re breathing the same air!”

When the glass people first appeared we were like, Whoa, who are these guys? But then we got used to them. The way they chimed and whistled when walking in the wind. They loved our trees. I don’t think they had trees where they came from. All they ever did was climb trees and whistle songs. I thought their songs sounded sad. In those days I couldn’t get enough of a sad song. I drank sad songs for breakfast.

But the glass people acted as if they didn’t understand sadness.

“How is sad?” they asked.

“Haven’t you ever cried?”

“How is cry?”

“God,” we said. “We can see straight through you.”

Truth is everyone heard their own song. My stepdad said their songs sounded dangerous. He’d try to get us to put our hands over our ears.

“How frightening!” he’d say. “We’ll never survive!”

Ma said she heard a groovy tune, like a psychedelic sixties album on repeat. “I remember Hendrix at Woodstock,” she’d say, blowing smoke out her nostrils. “Believe me, Jimi would dig these glassy tunes.”


After all the glass vanished everyone changed.

Ma cut off her dreadlocks and stopped smoking weed.

“You don’t even look high,” I said.

“I haven’t seen you cry in ages,” she said.

It’s true, even if I try to remember the sadness all I feel is contentment, sometimes


My step dad got into zip lining. He’d travel everywhere looking for longer zip lines, bigger thrills. He built one that extended from the master bedroom to the apartment complex on the other side of our fence. Without windows it was easy to fly right into other people’s living rooms. No one minded. By this point everyone’s home was everyone’s home. Dad (I started calling him Dad) would invite the town over and they’d drink margaritas and zip line all night long. Once, he wore a kilt and waved a samurai sword as he glided over the fence, shouting, “Kumbaya!”

These days we spend most our time outside: building hen houses, planting flowers, throwing the Frisbee, and singing around a campfire. On Thursday nights we ride the slow bus that ambles down Main Street. The bus driver honks the horn every time he sees a friend. We stick our bodies half way out the windows and hold hands. When we close our eyes we pretend we’re birds migrating to the warm country.

JP Vallières is from the Village of Adams. His work has appeared in North American Review, Grey Magazine, and Santa Monica Review. He lives with Kimmy and their four sons in northern Idaho.