Chapter 4: The Newcomer
There weren’t many people who understood him. It wasn’t that they didn’t like him. Most people did. He was just...different.
His wafty, dirty blond hair sat comfortably underneath a backwards hat. The brim was straight. Most kids nowadays wore them like that. The fad had stayed alive since the late nineties.
His parents were relatively free spirited with their social views. They didn’t mind his “rebellious punk ass,” as so many of his early childhood friends were referred to. They let him be him. Which meant more to him than some stupid backwards hat anyway.
The young man, about twenty one years old, sat at a park bench. He was flipping through a journal. The cover was black and white like a cow and his pointer finger scanned down the page with each line he read. He was searching for something. An entry that he’d written a few years ago. It had to be there.
But as he continued to read through the passages, his early childhood adventures turned into awkward adolescence rants, then into full-blown teenage rampages and escapes, and then---quite abruptly---to the mundane entry from just a few days ago. The sun sank towards the horizon faster than he had anticipated. He hadn’t found what he was looking for. It had to be there. He snapped the journal shut and opened it to the first page once more.
Time to start over.
The market was full of people. He hated people. Well, if they kept to themselves they were okay. Today seemed to be one of those days. He was glad for it. He didn’t go food shopping often and he liked his trips to be quick and precise.
Taking a right down the aisle, he perused through the vegetables. A raw veggie would probably be a good snack; he grabbed a handful of celery and dropped it into his cart. He’d wash them later. Continuing down towards the seafood, the young man hadn’t noticed that he’d started arguing silently with himself.That relic isn’t going anywhere. Why shouldn’t I go check it out?
But shopping is tedious.
You need food.
I need that relic.
You won’t get that relic unless you’re fed. In other words, alive.
You shut up!
The young man shook his head. He’d walked past both the eggs and the milk in his daze, and he needed both. Time to back track.
He turned and drove his shoulder into someone’s face.
“Jesus! I’m so sorry!” he said quickly.
The young woman was covering her face. Her dark, short hair stuck out around her slender palms. She peeked one chocolate eye through her fingers.
“It’s no big deal,” she said, rubbing her nose.
When her hands fell away from her face, the young man felt an overwhelming urge to sigh. She was beautiful.
“Do you... Can I help you with anything?” he asked. “I feel awful.”
“I’m good. Don’t worry about it,” she replied. She opened the freezer to her left and reached in for a package of sliced cheese.
The young man felt heat rise in his cheeks. He didn’t want to stare, but when she leaned over there wasn’t anything else in the world that held his attention. He felt the heat rise past his cheeks to the tips of his ears. He hadn’t been this distracted in a very long time.
And distracted was just too mild.
Five Hours Later
The house was huge. In all honesty, he thought it was pretty sweet. If he could buy a house like that someday, he’d be golden. It had the turret he’d use for his spell room, the garden he could do without but it was a nice touch, the view was awesome, and there was an iron fence around the yard to keep the neighbors away. Perfect.
All he had to do now was find the relic. Did anyone live there?
He stood on his toes to peer through the fence. There wasn’t a car in the driveway and the lights were out. It was broad daylight. Maybe they were in the basement. Was there a basement?
Okay, focus. You’re here for one thing. Don’t go on a tangent now.