Archive for April 30, 2012
It was late; almost ten, but Wren couldn’t stand the thought of being alone in the apartment. She’d never gone walking alone so late even in her most reckless moments of depression, but in light of her newfound abilities she judged she might be safer, or at least more aware of danger, than she had been in the past.
She left, debating whether to take a different route this time. The empty, lonely fields of the prison farm lay south of Bath but she’d never thought before of exploring them. No; better to stick to her familiar route… at least until the mud of spring dried up. As she walked she tried to keep her awareness constrained to a few hundred feet around her.
Again the play park beckoned to her. This time, however, she headed straight for the bench at the rear of the play structure. She had never gone back there before due to the thick brush that lay behind it where anyone or anything could hide in the dark. Now she wanted the lack of light there, to be out of the direct glow from the streetlights and out of the notice of anyone walking past. She expanded her awareness gradually outward.
It was much like the night before. Animals, awake and sleeping, people going about their business in their homes that bordered the park and across the street. One mind felt familiar to her and after a moment she concluded it was the person who had watched her the last time she’d visited the park. He was angry; arguing with someone. She hesitated, then focused on him a bit more. He was in defensive mode, shame and fury and guilt suffusing him. He was fighting with his father. Wren shifted her focus and felt the older man’s frustration and disappointment as he argued.
She pulled back, made uncomfortable by what they felt. It was difficult to separate their emotions from her own mind. She touched their consciousnesses just enough so that she could listen but not experience them so intimately. The fight ended abruptly, though, the younger of the two retreating outside quickly to have a smoke on the deck stairs.
Wren sat quietly, wondering if the more dim area she sat in was enough to hide her from his gaze. He was fuming as he pulled out a cigarette and lit it, breathing hard and fast in anger. She maintained a careful awareness of his feelings, unwilling to feel much more of his private mind than she had to. Her physical being seemed impervious to hurt or tiredness but her inner self was as vulnerable as it had always been.
She must have shifted or moved involuntarily because his focus snapped entirely onto her with the quickness of a striking snake She managed not to flinch. His anger remained but he was distracted by her. He was confused: he hadn’t expected to see her there so late.