Saturday, November 28, 2015


She awoke huddling next to a dumpster in an alleyway. With a start her green eyes blinked open and her long wavy black hair shifted as she put a hand on a cobble in the alley to steady herself. Overhead the sky could be seen turning a lighter shade of blue as night disappeared as the sun rose. Glancing at her mottled green and white tunic, dark blue pants and sandled feet she slowly shifted to get herself upright. Her right hand slid down to the belt around her waist, and felt that under the wide belt there was another beneath it and the slim knife in its sheath there under the wider belt. On the other side her left hand felt the leather of large pouch and she glanced down to look at it.

"That's a holster..." she said and slid a well worn piece of leather up through its hasp to allow her to see what was inside. Her right hand moved to take out a revolver and she looked at it as she turned it to first one side and then the other. "It wasn't made here," she whispered and then turned it to look at the letters along the barrel, "Webley. Who or what is Webley?"

She brought her hand up and let the cylinder move to the side and turned the gun to check the chambers, and then pressed the release to eject the cartridges into her other hand. She inspected them one-by-one and looked at the last one in her hand which was spent. Carefully she put in in a pocket of her tunic and reached over to a pouch on the right hip and took out a case that held ten cartridges. She picked one out and put it in the cylinder and pushed it back into place, carefully moving it to make sure it had properly aligned and the cylinders registered at firing stops.

She shifted the revolver back to the holster and secured it again.

"Why am I armed?" she said in a whisper and shook her head. Carefully she looked towards her right which ended in a brick wall built into a hillside. Stepping out to the edge of the dumpster she could see a road beyond the two buildings. A small car drove by, and then another, followed by a third. She heard voices, a man saying something to a woman and then he appeared walking from the right hand building across the alley and then to the road.

"Excuse me," she said walking towards the man. He didn't stop his pace and disappeared from view. She hurried to the end of the alley and looked where he had went, and he was still walking down the sidewalk. She hastened to walk towards him. "Excuse me, sir?" she said as he went around a silver toned car and got in the driver's side and shut the door. As she reached the car he had started it and started to drive off.

"Please! Don't go!"

A woman dressed in a brown outfit with a name tag and a small store logo walked briskly towards her.

"Miss?" she asked as the woman came closer. She stepped out to get in front of her.

"Miss, can you help me?"

The woman continued walking and took out her cellphone, dialing a number as she walked. As she came closer she shifted slightly to pass by the side of the woman.

"Please, Miss! Can you help me?"

The woman's call connected and she started talking to her friend.

"Can't you hear me?" the woman asked softly, "Can't you hear me? All I want to know is where I am..."

She trailed off and looked at the ground.

"Who I am. Who am I?"

Looking up to the sky she saw a plane pass over head.

"I'm supposed to be... someplace, I think. I don't know where."

Turning she ran down the sidewalk after the girl but she had gotten on a bus that was now pulling away from the curb. She saw others walking towards her and tried to stop them to ask them for help. None responded, and no matter what she did they avoided her, stayed out of reach, and she was not ill-inclined towards any of them and was unwilling to even touch them until she could figure out what was going on.

"Am I a ghost?" she asked quietly. Then, smiling she shook her head. "Ghosts don't get hungry. Or need to use the lavatory. Let me see if I can find someplace where I can get something to eat."

With that set in her mind she started walking towards what she was sure must be a more commercial area.

Along the way she passed ground floor apartments and in one there was a dog leashed up on the patio. She didn't notice it, but the dog, with its head on its paws, shifted its eyes to follow her passage. Normally it would get up and bark at anyone getting too close to the fence between the apartment and the patio, but it didn't do that with her. While its owner slowly got going in the apartment, the dog knew that this was not really his property. Nor was the dog going to contest territory with someone who had all of the land around it under her. While the dog didn't know her name, it knew who she was. This was her land and all those in it were merely passing through it. And you never, ever barked at someone like that. It just wasn't done.

No comments: