Purposeful Travel

The blue sky stretched out from them, further than should have been possible.  It was like the someone had redrawn the horizon line a few miles back just for fun.  There wasn’t a cloud to be seen which made the blue seem that much bluer and the horizon that much further.  The little group of people were arranged haphazardly around the campground, all absorbed in their own tasks.  No one noticed the small child wander off.  She left the peopled area and headed west, following the creature that had also gone unnoticed by the others.  While the creature moved in a zig zagging, unpredictable manner, the child followed a straight line, due west.  They were clearly going the same way, headed for the same place, just with very different modes of travel.

It didn’t take long for them to leave the sounds of the populated campground behind, and soon they were alone.  The creature slowed down and settled down, matching its pace to that of the child’s.  They continued forward together and silent.  The trees and grasses began to give way to pavement and, as the scenery changed, so did the creature.  Where it had used all four legs in the woods, now it traveled upright on two legs.  Where it had been covered in thick, matted fur, now it had brown skin that glinted under a sheen of sweat and beneath a thick head of curls.  Now it had clothing, too, and shoes.  The child changed as well, stretching taller and getting thicker until it presented as an adult.  The two continued heading west, now holding hands, with eyes only for the horizon.

After about an hour of travel they came upon a small town that branched off on the north side of the road.  No conversation was needed for them to turn in that direction.  The first building they came to was something like a general store, and they entered together.  The shelves were filled with basic need type items, nothing fancy or ornate.  Toothpaste, notebooks, shaving tools, cereal, tampons, air freshener, and lots of junk food.  The creature-turned-man picked up a few things they’d need, and the child-turned-woman chose some food and drinks.  They approached the counter together and deposited their items while waiting for the cashier to take notice of them.  This took some moments – the cashier was an older woman, sitting because her weight was too much for standing, who was far more interested in the little television behind the counter than any aspect of her job.  When she did finally look up to see her waiting customers, she pulled back a bit, issuing a sharp and audible intake of breath at the sight of these non-regular customers before her.  Crescent didn’t get a lot of visitor traffic at any point and these two would have been shocking even if they did.  She gave her head a little shake and started ringing them up without her usual customer chatter.  Pulling her focus away from the register, she turned to the child-turned-woman and said “28.73, please.”

A slow smile appeared on both travelers’ faces.  The cashier had, just barely, passed.  The child-turned-woman placed a hand into the pocket on her skirt that had just materialized and paused, waiting for the needed bills to fill up her hand.  Once they did she pulled her hand out of the pocket and handed the correct amount to the cashier.  The rest of the transaction only took a moment, and then the two were on their way back to the main road, back towards their westward goal.

They visited three more towns without incident.  The sun was getting heavy in the sky and the blue was changing.  They found a new town to explore on the south side of the road and, after altering their presentation once more, wandered through the streets until they found their destination.  This town was different – tall buildings close together, people hurrying from point A to point B without interacting with each other.  When the creature-turned-white teen found the store they needed and turned to the child-turned-Asian woman, it was clear that they both noticed the difference.  Upon entering the store, they didn’t even have a chance to choose from the shelves before the clerk stopped them with a “and what are YOU doing here?”

Another glance passed between the travelers before the child-turned-Asian-woman raised her head and her hand to do what needed to be done.

**All 30-minute musing posts are fiction**

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *