Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Crossing: Waiting for the bus

She watched him approach the fiery girl from the safety of a nearby roof.

He said on the bench next to the fiery girl:

"Cooler today," he said.

The temperature was the same as it had always been.  Older people made no sense.  Must be that once you hit thirteen or fourteen your brain warped.

"Yeah," the fiery girl said.

"Still pretty warm though," he said.

When she realized what they must be talking about she felt stupid.  She tried to shift, but it was harder without the threat of someone dying spurring her on.  She mentally repeated what he had told her, "Clear your mind and then focus on them.  Try not to think about them, just give your attention over to them and let them wash over you."  She focused on the fiery girl.

It took a moment, she missed what the fiery girl said as a result, but the world shifted.  No longer a partly cloudy unremarkable day, the sky was a mix of flame and smoke, the the buildings smoldered, but did not burn, all was charred.  The roof she was perched on was very, very hot, and she had to exert her own will, against this different world, to convince her hands not to burn and blister.

It was cooler though.  She shifted back.  The world was the same again.

"You gonna be ok?" he asked the fiery girl.

"I don't know," she said to him.  "I'm hopeful though.

He nodded, then asked, "Where will you go?"

"Therapy, I think," was her response.

"That's good.  I approve of therapy," he said.  "I've never been there myself, but I'm told it can work wonders."

"Will I really make it out?" the fiery girl asked.

"This bus route has been running since buses first transported people between towns," he said. "No bus on this route has ever had so much as a flat tire.  It'll get you where you need to go safely."

"That's good," the fiery girl said.

"If the crossing meant to keep you, it wouldn't let you be sitting here waiting for the bus, since it doesn't that means it approves of you going and will ensure your safe passage," he said.  "But, don't think you're charmed.  Once you get where you're going you'll be on your own.  So look both ways when crossing streets."

The fiery girl almost laughed, in the end she only smiled.

"Do you see everyone off?" the fiery girl asked.

"No, I actually came to thank you," he said.

The fiery girl asked, "Thank me?" with a tone that indicated near complete confusion.

"For saving my life."

"All I did was bring some of my heat," the fiery girl said; "you should thank your sidekick."

"Oh, I did, but without your help she wouldn't have been able to save me, so you saved me too," He said.  "I was dying enough that there's thanks to go around."

"Where is she now?" the fiery girl asked.

"On the roof over there," he said, pointing right at her.

How the Hell did he know?

"She wanted to see you safely off too, I think, but wasn't up for actual conversation," he said.  "Or something like that."

She was fuming --though, she mentally amended, not literally-- at what she saw as an attempt to psychoanalyze her motivations.  That's when the bus showed up.

The fiery girl got on, three people got off.

She looked into their worlds.

Frigid wastes, one of shadows, and one that seemed immaculately clean, high tech, and was complete with a population of hyper-masculine and hyper-feminine people all on their phones, tablets, and PDAs.  This would be interesting.



For the record, "he" is the one who describes the backstory in the backstory post, "she" (the observer, not the fiery girl) is the one he describes it to, and I have not come up with names yet.

1 comment:

  1. I like the "I was dying enough to that there's thanks to go around" line.