Sunday, June 22, 2014

Wanderlust and a Chronicler - An Idea

Yesterday, after helping a friend move into her new life, I saw something that made me pause and wonder. As I stopped at a traffic light, I turned to my left and saw a young woman dressed in flared and worn jeans, a dark green sleeveless shirt and a backpack. I had no idea about her shoes. She stood there in the middle of all the traffic and held a simple cardboard sign that I was not able to read. As I stared at this woman, my mind began to roam with thoughts: who was she? Why was she standing there holding a cardboard sign? At one point, she raced over to a truck to receive some money; I saw her lips move as she thanked them for whatever they gave her. She then made her way back to the concrete and continued to hold her sign in silence. The light changed to green and I drove towards home, yet she remained etched in my mind. I wanted to turn around and give her money as well as give her something to eat, yet I could not and did not.

So, here it is, a day later, and she is still on my mind. Rather than buzz my brain with questions that will never be answered, I decided instead to write about her. Perhaps this will make up for what I did not do.

The sun blazed overhead, causing Zaira to squint and shield her eyes with her tanned hand, knowing all the while that it did no good under the overpowering rays. She wanted to find a place to sit down and cool off, yet knew that she had to move on. After all, she had a job to do. Zaira allowed her hand to fall limply by her side then looked around at her latest surroundings: another city, another place filled with people who refused to look at her, much less acknowledge her. To them, she was nothing more than another piece of paper that someone had thrown out their window on the way to their next meeting or on the way home. Zaira grinned in spite of herself; she checked the straps on her trusty backpack, making sure that it was nowhere near falling apart on her. With one more glance up towards the sun, she set off. Although she had been in the city for three days, she had recorded enough and was more than ready to unload it all at the next Threshold. Zaira was a Chronicler, one of the highest titles given to those who became afflicted with Wanderlust. To the rest of the world, wanderlust meant nothing more than traveling to a tourist drenched place, enjoying expensive drinks and spending money for souvenirs, only to return home and resume their stress filled lives. However, there were others, those who had been born already afflicted with something that set them apart, who would be overcome with Wanderlust and it changed them, causing them to evolve in ways that others never dreamt of.
These people were infused with magick and were driven to areas known as a Threshold, a city of sorts that existed beyond the sight of the rest of the world. In these places, people from all backgrounds, gender and even species would barter, trade, live, educate and, like Zaira, study extensively to become a Chronicler. The Chroniclers were forever travelers, off in search of knowledge not gained by normal means. Their bodies, due to their training, caused them to survive and thrive in every possible weather condition and then some. They traveled in search of words, phrases and anything that they could sell to the highest bidder who resided in a Threshold, rest and recharge for several days then strike back out into the world. They could never stay in one city for too long; their bodies were designed that way. Zaira was tired of her current city and was ready to get to the next Threshold to rest. She made her way down one of the main streets that led the way of the city, ignoring the cars that whizzed by her and the occasional cat calls and honking horns. Her bag sagged a bit with phrases, notes taken, photographs, dreams sampled and tasted and her growing collection of notebooks.
She ran her fingers through her hair, hoping like hell it wouldn't knot up. The next Threshold and her latest destination known as Cintar, was only a day's walk from here. She reached for a rubber band from her jeans pocket then pulled back her thick purple and red streaked hair into a ponytail and hoped for the best. She looked at her suntanned arms, brown and reminding her of cinnamon, and tried to remember what her skin had looked like only a month ago when she traveled through one of the many portals that led to a snow covered world. Being a Chronicler did not limit her excursions to just Earth; sadly, the majority of the world had no clue that Earth was not the only inhabited planet or realm. Through her years of being a Chronicler, she discovered many places that were the remains of dreams thrown away and nightmares that had yet to begin - one of the many reasons why she carried a spelled knife as well. One never knew what one had to do in order to get what she needed.
Just then, she noticed out of the corner of her eye a car slowing down next to her. The driver rolled down the windows and yelled something at her. At first, Zaira wanted to ignore the person, hoping like hell they would just drive off. However, they continued to try to get her attention. She removed the inner block, therefore allowing the sounds to return to a normal level to her ears, when she heard the words, "Are you hungry?" Zaira stopped and looked at the driver, who turned out to be a woman with a slight grin on her face. She stared at the woman in her car, not sure of what to do next.
"Look, I can get you some food. Are you hungry? Do you speak English?" Zaira nodded while trying hard not to laugh at the naïve yet well-meaning woman; she knew over 1000 languages and at least 50 dialects.
"Yes . . . . ," she said as she moved a little closer towards the car. "I am hungry." Her deep and melodic voice tinged with spices and sand caused Julie’s eyes to widen slightly. Clearly, she had never heard such a voice, one that commanded power with barely any effort.
"Look, there's a place right up here. I'll buy you some food, okay?" Zaira nodded and the woman drove up and into the parking lot of a fast food place. She got out of the car and waited for Zaira to make her way across the parking lot in a slow and unhurried manner. She noticed that the driver wore simple jeans rolled up, a white shirt that showed off her arms and her long and thick black hair that framed her very beautiful face and deep brown eyes. Zaira enhanced her senses and smelled her lotion, clean and like linen, realized that she was on her menstrual cycle and that she was a bit tired. Once Zaira walked up to her, the woman stuck out her hand.
"I'm Julie."
"Zaira." They shook hands, with Julie wincing at Zaira's strength. Julie then made her way inside the place with Zaira following her with a guarded yet fascinated tone. This woman is not afraid of me, she thought as the air conditioning hit her warm skin, causing steam to faintly rise. The two women walked up to the counter and to the sleepy young girl dressed in a brown and yellow uniform. Julie turned to Zaira, awaiting her order. She ordered a simple hamburger with lots of tomatoes and onions, plus the largest French fries they had and a large cup of water. Julie ordered the same and then leaned against the counter as she handed Zaira a cup. Ten minutes later, their food was ready and Julie took the tray to an out of the way table and sat down. Zaira filled up her cup with ice and water, knowing that she had to make it last for a while. She then sauntered over to Julie and took her food from her.
"I thank you, Julie."
"No need to thank me. I don't normally do this, but you . . . well." She looked away.
"What?" Zaira but into her hamburger and chewed thoughtfully. It felt good going down her throat. Julie turned to face Zaira’s eyes and dared to speak the truth.
"Well, call me crazy, but I just felt that you were different. You weren't like other homeless people."
"You think me to be homeless?" Zaira arched an eyebrow.
Julie blushed. "God, I'm so sorry. That's what I get for putting my foot in my mouth. Damn. I guess you're traveling, right?"
"You could say that." Julie bit into her hamburger, her appetite now returned from making such a fool of herself. "I'm on my way somewhere."
"A town. Hardly noticeable. A matter of selling items."
The two then continued eating in silence.


So, that is all I am going to do right now. If you like what you have read, PLEASE let me know.

This story will be continued. 

1 comment:

Katalina Leon said...

I love it! I hope you will continue Zaira's story. I would love to know why she is a chronicler.