May 20, 2013

The Zone

       Once upon a time there was a hermit. But this was no ordinary hermit. She lived out on a prairie covered with corn and soybeans and could count seven houses and a highway from her front yard. She smiled and laughed with neighbors and family when they came to call, ran her siblings in a wagon along a driveway so old the rocks had snuggled into each other and grown rims of fluffy moss and clover like old ladies' hair.
        But mostly, she listened.
        To people. To their sorrows, their joys. To birds and wind and water, and the precise sound the motorcycles made when they rumbled past the house on a soft spring evening.
        Then, she described.
        To herself, in her mind. Or jotted down carefully in one of a dozen notebooks. Or murmured like a charm when there was no one else to hear. Tapped out on the keys of her precious, battered laptop, or shared with her mother, who understood those things.
        But never had she gone out.
        She had heard of others who had. Scattered across the many thousands of miles of her land, others of her kind had emerged here and there every so often in a flurry of crazed activity - cicadas, making a lot of noise and a lot of bustle for a few weeks before everything quieted down to normal again.
        That's nice, she thought, watching them from a distance. Maybe I'll go when I'm ready.
        But it came too soon.
        Realm Makers.

         Those two words were enough to strike dread and fierce exhilaration into her little hermit heart. Her own people, gathering, this summer, less than two hours away. Imagine the opportunity. The enlightenment. The fellowship.
         "They're having a costume dinner," she whimpered.
         But her quiet, devious brain whispered doubts to her quiet, timid heart. What if they don't like you? What if you embarrass yourself? What if you can't think of anything to say?
          "What if your head explodes," her mother said practically. "If you want to go, go."
         "But -"
          She woke up early one morning two weeks later with those two words pounding around in her head.
         Realm Makers. Realm Makers.
         She looked at her calendar.
          Less than two weeks left to sign her life away.
         Or at least, two terrifying days of it.
         She scribbled out her thoughts in frustration, alone in the half-light but for the birds and her purple pencil and her trusty thesaurus. Because even now, she wanted to get the words right.
         She laid down her paper and stared up at the ceiling. Her sister rolled over and threw an arm over her. She smiled. She was happy here.
         But weren't people always saying to get out of the zone?
         Your comfort zone?
         She wondered what it was like out there.
         She clutched her thesaurus to her heart and whispered, "What should I do?"



Kat Heckenbach said...

She should listen to her mother. :)

Ophelia - Marie Flowers said...

;) She should go and have a wonderful time. <3

Emily Rachelle said...

She should enjoy this opportunity before it passes and turns into a regret :)

Sandra said...

She should most Definitely go! And have one of the best times of her life. ;)

Elizabeth Kirkwood said...

She should definitely go, and make the event even more epic. ;) :D