No Context: May Edition

No Context” is a purposeless, whimsical, and unpredictable addition to the blog feed of Charming Undómiel. This unique content is published once every other month.

Please voice your thoughts below in the comments after reading the May edition of “No Context in which

“Next!”

The guard at the TSA checks calls. I shuffle to the counter as he takes out my backpack of carryon’s and languidly watch him unzip and pull out the contents. A water bottle. My phone and tablet charger.  My toothpaste and brush.

I blink wearily as I cross my arms over my stomach, willing the heaviness to depart from my eyelids. I cannot wait to get back to my own modern condo, and sink into a steamy bath of fragrant bubbles and later, my own bed, with a relaxing show to lull me to sleep …

The security guard is rummaging around the inside of my pack and removes a book. That’s weird, I think, coming back from my reveries, I don’t remember bringing a book…

The guard gives it a quick glance over and replaces it along with my other things and gives me my bag.

 “Next!” He calls. The passenger behind me shifts in his stance.

I look down into the contents, confusion wrapping round my tired brain.

“I think you’re mistaken,” I begin, reaching in my pack and pulling out the book, which has a thick, dark leather binding and a red velvet bookmark sticking out. HOLY BIBLE reads the front.

“This doesn’t belong to me.” I look back at the TSA agent, who returns my gaze questioningly.

“It was in your bag, wasn’t it?” He says dryly. I feel the gaze of the next passenger, a youngish man in a dark hoodie, eyeing me askance.

“Well, yes, but–”

 “Then it’s yours, move along.” Then with no further comment, he calls out, “Next!”

I stuff the book back in my backpack, eye the guard disdainfully and move on. Now that I think about it, my sister probably slipped it in when I wasn’t looking.  

Slinging one of the straps of my backpack over my shoulder bitterly, I follow the crowd to the exit and move toward a shuttle bus.

It’s drizzling in Los Angeles. The sky is a solid grey, no color anywhere save for the white belly of a plane taking off. But even that is almost immediately swallowed into the morbid sky.

I join the line of people getting on the transport.

Why does Brier have to be so persistent with shoving her belief down my throat? I feel a little knot of frustration begin in my stomach as I remember the bible in my bag. Someone shuffles into line behind me, and coughs disinterestedly.

It’s not like I condemn my sister for following her faith, I find myself seething. But why can’t she just accept the fact that I’m not gonna fall for it as she did?  Why can’t she accept that what she believes is just a fantasy to give people hope that they go on existing after they die?

The person in front of me steps up and in to the bus. Before I can move I feel a yank on my backpack from behind that nearly rips my shoulder out of joint. Something between a gasp and a scream escapes my mouth. My hand instinctively wraps around the slipping shoulder strap as I feel another wrench that jerks me around to face the passenger in the hoodie.

“Hey!!” I yell, tugging back with all my might. The tension only increases and I am being dragged across the pavement. I feel the eyes of everybody in the awning fall on the scene. why doesn’t anybody help?!  I think desperately. The thought makes me furious.

“Let, GO!!” I scream between clenched teeth, digging my heels in. I feel the strap cutting into my hands like fire, feel it slipping thru my fingers…

Suddenly a guy from out of nowhere hits the man from the side, taking both of us so completely by surprise I find myself reeling back, the backpack flying from my hand as I hit the cement walkway straight on my butt, while the two men hit the side of the bus with a dull thud.

A sharp tingle up my spine bristles and shoots throughout my body. My brain feels like the fizz that bubbles over when you shake a can of soda.

 I see out of the corner of my eye my attacker roll quickly to his feet and give the other guy a hard kick to the face, then sprint into the gathering crowd, no one attempting to stop him as he disappears into the grey.

I pull my knees slowly under me, fighting the urge to laugh and cry at the sensational pain in my tailbone. A pair of denim covered knees bends into my line of vision, and a gnarled hand supports me as I shakily regain my feet. I spot my bag a few feet away and quickly retrieve it, wincing as I straighten up.

“Are you hurt?” A gruff but kindly voice asks.

I turn to face my savoir. It’s a wizened old man with whitish hair who is leaning heavily on a cane.

“I’m alright, thank you.” I manage to smile, wondering how on earth he managed to knock my attacker down.

He chuckles.  “Don’t thank me; thank the fella who blindsided your mugger.”  He points in the direction of the parking lot. I turn painfully, the words of gratefulness already on my tongue, but all I see of my defender is a distant silhouette…

1 thought on “No Context: May Edition”

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