Get To Know Me
"Create A Hero"
Imagenation is not Reality
The bus rattled and wheezed up to the stop where over twenty teenagers swarmed. Voices clashed in the end-of-summer air. One girl sat on the bench, reading a thin book. Her right leg was crossed over her left, making a flat triangle. One hand held the book while the other was draped over the back of the seat.
"Hey Bookworm" a voice said next to her ear. The girl jumped, turning to see her friend, Emily, sitting on her knees beside her.
"Em's!" the girl exclaimed, closing her book, "You scare a body half to death when you pop out of the woodwork like that"
"Ok, Lyne, you gotta stop reading those dusty old books - you're starting to sound like my grandmother and Lord knows that is not a good thing" Emily grinned at Lyne.
"'Lord knows'? Now who is sounding like a grandmother there dear?" Lyne looked up, "The bus is here, come on"
"Don't need to tell me twice" Emily retorted, hosting her bag over her shoulder.
The bus open up it's salt rusty doors and the throng funneled in slowly, each passenger letting the sliver coins fall into the hungry token collector.
Boarding the stuffed bus, the two girls found a cracked blue plastic seat to sit on. Closing the doors with a soft thump the driver pulled away form the curb. With a groan the old tin can on wheels merged into traffic once more.
"Our last day of this. Tomorrow we'll be headed back to school," Emily said sadly, looking back at the stop.
"Don't remind me" Lyne moaned, and slouched down in her seat, leg stretched out in front of her. Running her fingers over the scalp of her head she looked at Emily.
"What?" she asked.
"Where are we going today?" Lyne inquired politely.
"J'ne sai pas, toi?" the French phrase rolling off Emily's tongue with practiced ease.
"Load of help you are, show-off" Lyne accused her friend, then sighed, "I have to go down Main Street to that pond shop"
"What for?" Emily asked, still speaking in French.
Lyne glared at her friend and opened the canvas bag she was using as a summer purse. Reaching in, she pulled out a small brass bowl. It wasn't round, more like an oval and it looked like a swan. It had a long neck steaming form the fornt and the back dipped in a lip to pour things form it. Small enough to sit in Lyne's hand it could have stood a bit of polish.
"This is a small incense burner my Mom had form when she was young" Lyne explained to Emily.
"So?" Emily said changing abruptly to English.
"Since we found out that incense is the think that is making everyone sick, Mom asked me to get rid of it for her. She said that if she saw it she would have the urge to light a stick in it" Lyne explained, her fingers skimming over the worn bottom. This small goose bowl had been a part of her childhood as well. Every since she could remember there had always been the smell of burning charcoal and roses in the house. She had imagined that she would drop it off at the pond shop and walk away with the few dollars she made off of it. The bowl would go through so many hands and be a number of things - a planter, a candy dish, a figurer gathering dust on a shelf. Then when she found the perfect someone, they would go into a pond shop and she would see the bowl. Lyne knew that her lover would see how she wanted it and give it to her on there wedding night.
"Why don't we go and get some ice cream and just walk around?" Emily asked, her voice braking into Lyne's happy daydream.
"Well, there's this fencing thing down at the store. They're getting all of these people in to talk about sword fighting and care of weapons. I think that one of the guest speakers is that guy that did the stunts for those Lord of the Rings movies they made in 2000 or something" Lyne suggested.
"That sounds ok, if anything else I love going to Knight Time!" Emily gushed.
"I have no idea why you like going to the store so much. It's just a store. Über cool, hell yeah, but it's not worth that kind of gushiness" Lyne pressed the green ribbons plastered to the side of the car. A light went on with a small ding above the driver's head.
"You're just used to it 'cause you work there" Emily accused.
"Maybe, you could get a job there too if you wanted" Lyne suggested as the bus pulled out of traffic with three long beeps.
"No way man, none of my pay check would make it out of the store if I did!" With a small chuckle the two girls stood up and walked to the sparkling sidewalk.
The store, Knight Time, looked small form the view on the sidewalk. It was part of a shopping strip, tucked in between a sleazy tanning parlor and a new age vegetarian restaurant. A cool breeze blew form the sea, cutting the greasy fast food smell with clean salt and brine. Dogging the speedy traffic with tentative leaps Lyne pulled open the dour gray door and walked inside.
The smell of incense assaulted the nose of Lyne, with a newer fragrance on top - oil and cold steel. Dim lighting reveled shelves filled with books, boxes, and games. Crystal chimes hung form the high ceiling beams sending small rainbows on the faded flyers papering the walls. A wiry young man with the grace of a cat stood behind the glass counter punching product numbers into the computer that still ran on DOS for a costumer. His shoulder leanth black hair was pulled into a ponytail with a neon pink hair tie. Lyne heard Emily take in a sharp breath at the sight of him.
"Do you know his name yet?" Lyne asked, teasingly.
"Of course I do!" Emily exclaimed in a defensive whisper, "It's ah "
"His name is Isaac. Remember that when you go to talk to him" Lyne supplied, helpfully sarcastic.
"Right, you don't mind do you Lyne?" she said, torn between her friend and the "love of her life"
"Nope, in fact - watch me fade" Lyne turned and walked to the back of the store slowly, looking at all the fantasy treasures. Even though she worked at the store nearly every day, she was still caught by the life-like figurines, complex knots, and deadly blades. Glancing back at the front of the store, Lyne sighed. Emily was pretending to look at the multi-colored dice, watching Isaac form under her long bangs. The child was never going to get a boyfriend at this rate!
Shaking her head slowly, Lyne decided against helping her; it would only be taken the wrong way. Instead, she put down the carved box she was holding and walked quickly to the games room at the back.
Lyne had played this moment over and over in her head. She would be split form Emily, for have gone alone. Wandering throw the store proper, she imaged she would become curious of the sounds coming form the back room. Lyne had it pictured perfectly, when she walked threw the red and gold rice and bead curtain she would see the two fencers alone in a large room, fighting with swords so well that it looked like a dance. She would itch to join them and stand in the wings of the room for hours until one of the fighting angels noticed her. They would stop and come over, Lyne knew that they would and they would teach her. Then, after many hours of working two-on-one after school and work they would both fall madly in love with her and want to fight for her hand. But she won't let them. Instead, she will insist that they fight her, and she, being a natural at the sport will beat one, but the other young man will over power her by locking the foil sword hilts and bringing her into an earth-shattering kiss. Hardly able to wait, Lyne nearly ran to the back room and through the beads at top speed.
The room was packed and Lyne stopped in her tracks. The smell of cleaning oil hung heavy in the air and no one was fighting gracefully. People sat in hundreds of hard folding chairs and many more sat on the floor or stood. Two people were standing in the middle of the room, both old and fat. One held up various long, skinny swords while the other droned on about the weapons used in the old Lord of the Rings movies made a few years ago. The audience was the same - old, fat, and boring. Groaning board at the first five minutes she heard, Lyne turned around and headed back to find her friend.
"Lyne!" a female voice said, making the girl look up. She saw Emily heading torwds her, walking fast.
"Hey 'Ms, the fencing thing was horribly boring. I felt like I was in school again listening to these old geezers talk about the care and keeping of swords. I bet they don't even know how to use the damn things!" Lyne whined
"Well so was Isaac, my Lord could he be a bigger geek?" Emily said, throwing her hands around for emphasize.
"That bad?" Lyne sympathized; she had talked to Isaac herself a couple times when she was working at the same time as him.
"Yeah and he is so cute!" Emily glanced back at the confused looking boy and sighed, "Plus he doesn't know a thing about girls"
"I know, come on," Lyne said, talking Emily's hand, "Let's get some ice cream"
"He's probably gay anyway," Emily rambled on, allowing herself to be pulled by Lyne, "Why would a straight guy have hair that long? How would he know what to do with it?"
Lyne smiled grimly at Emily's talkative manner, pulling the 100 odd pounds of fellow student out of the store and into the late summer sunshine.