Looking around I saw nothing but ocean and sand. The darkness made it hard to see from far away. I did my best to stand but I felt shaky. No, I felt wobbly. Walking, it seemed to be a natural thought and action. However it wasn’t happening. I emerged my hands into the crumbly ground and crawled to the first thing in my sight. A rock, or rocks that seemed to align toward the ocean like a wall.
I clawed upon one and pulled myself up, leaning against it. I looked down at the small piece of wet black cloth that draped around my waist and another piece that was snuggly pinned against my breast. My fingers immediately fluttered up to my temples, massaging them before I even realized that my head was aching. Then I heard a sound.
I jumped up off the rock, standing on my own two feet. It required no thought and I didn’t feel the trembling that had been there just seconds ago. The rumbling sound echoed again, only I realized it was coming from inside my stomach causing me to hold myself as if it would help. I stepped up to the rippling water that was washing up against the sand that I had awoken in. It was warm. My instincts told me that walking into the ocean would bring me no answers.
Instead I turned around and with conviction walked straight ahead. After passing through sand I walked through tall grass that went up to my knees until it led to this black ground. It was a pathway that someone had built. It looked sturdy but I didn’t know which way to go. It went in two different directions. I stood there for a while, unmoving. The wind felt nice as it caressed my tangled hair. I decided to walk toward it. Maybe it was coming from somewhere that could give me answers.
I was yet not surprised when the wind stopped. I was alone again until I saw a blinking light in the distance. I continued to walk. This curiosity of the blinking light was causing me to do nothing otherwise. As I got closer the landscape began to change. What was once empty grass and road was now filled with tall buildings of various heights and colors. I saw the sign ahead so I kept walking. It said diner. Something wonderful was surrounding me. It smelled so tasteful that my mouth began to salivate. I stumbled into the diner and had to shield my eyes from the blinding white light that I was entering.
It took a while to adjust. Everything was full of color: different purples, turquoise, and a pale yellow. There were a few people around me. Two scrawny men wearing a lot of jewelry and baggy clothes were gawking at me. I turned away and saw a counter behind a wall. I walked into the back and just as I was about to grab something that made my mouth water a hand grabbed at my wrist.
“Hey, stop!” He insisted. “Ever since that casino opened I’ve been getting nothing but scoundrels like you working the streets. I won’t let you dirty thieves steal from my hard-earned money.”
I squinted my eyes at him upset that this smelly man was keeping me from fulfilling the pain in my stomach. Without a thought I grabbed his wrist and flipped the man over on to his back. Taking a few morsels running for the door, till he snatched my ankle causing me to drop everything on the ground. He grabbed a large glinting knife and held it in the air. Instinctively I kicked him the face with my free leg and managed to get up and run out of there as fast as possible. I could still hear him screaming in the background.
I started to slow down when I felt like I had outrun the crazy man. I was cold, so cold. I heard someone walking behind me. Two people. So I ran again only this time I didn’t follow the road. I turned behind a building to a smaller path. Only I had to stop when I couldn’t find a way out. I was trapped between several walls. I heard the footsteps getting louder. Two dark shadows rose into view. I kept thinking I should be scared right now. I should scream.
“Calm down!” One of the guys shouted out. “We just came bearing gifts.”
They were the men from the diner. The one who was speaking had some sort of brown bag hanging in his hand. I wondered what was in there. I slowly walked up to them. Meeting them in the middle. Carelessly I grabbed for the bag.
“Wow. No one said you wouldn’t have to earn it.” He chuckled.
I was confused. What could he want from me. I clearly had nothing to give. When he reached out to grab the pin on my top I snapped his hand back hearing a loud crack and high-pitched wail from his gaping mouth. The other boy jumped back and reached for a wooden crate on the ground breaking it. I let go of the skinny guy who fell against the floor. The taller one lunged at me with a splintered piece of wood. I swerved out of his way and tripped him with my foot. The skinny one came at me with his good hand holding a razor blade.
I began a back handspring and used both of my feet to twist his arm till his good hand dropped the blade and I flipped back toward him. As he went to reach for the blade again I lifted my fist up above my shoulder catching the jaw of the taller man. Then turned around just long enough to wrap my arms around his neck as the skinny one jabbed the razor into the mans gut while aiming for me.
“What the–” The skinny man pulled out the blade as he stepped back wide-eyed in panic.
I dropped his friend then as the skinny guy came at me with the same blade. I turned and took three steps up the wall then flipped in a 360 turn only to land behind the guy as I drop kicked him. He landed on the ground hitting the floor. I was pretty sure they were both just mildly hurt.
I stood up and grabbed the bag. Part of a sandwich. I found my first answer to my problem as I took a bite.