Timorba City glimmered underneath the twilight. Skyscrapers soared over the clouds, while some sat just under them. From the cliff I stood on, the view reminded me of the pictures from the tour guide, which I kept in my nearly empty backpack.
Solana motioned me back towards the path, “Come on, let’s get to work.”
I nodded, “Right.”
Still, the alluring view thrilled me. This was the first time I would ever leave Old Tenebris behind. If the Sands left the city, my goodbye would be as refreshing as Timorba’s skyline.
The hill down to the city was steep, but luckily, it was paved. It was leveled enough for cars to ascend and descend with ease. Stabilizing my momentum became a chore, but we finally reached the city border, which was signified by a row of booths. I assumed it was some sort of checkpoint, blocking the cars until they were verified for entry.
Maybe Solana knew what it was, “Hey, what are all those booths?”
“You don’t know?” she giggled, “That’s a toll road.”
I looked at her in silence, awaiting her explanation.
Solana sighed, “When you reach the checkpoint, you have to pay a fee to enter the city. Don’t worry, only cars have to go through it. We can frolic around it and go about our business.”
“People have to pay to enter cities with a car?”
“Wow, you really never have been out of Old Tenebris.”
Old Tenebris was my place of origin, youth, and adolescence. I always urged my parents to take Wyatt and I to other cities in Creput, but they never did. Before they disappeared, they promised to take me to a beautiful beach in Ora, a tourist magnet a few towns south of Old Tenebris. The catch was that I needed to pass my social studies class, which, at that point, I was getting a rough D.
“Have you ever been to Ora?” I asked Solana.
She shook her head and pursed her lips, “No actually. My parents did, and they hated it. Too many tourists crowding the beach, and it was an adventure just to return to their hotel room. Then again, my parents were never big fans of hotter climates.”
The Solar Convergence truly is a scientific enigma. Even though the sun and moon eclipsed permanently, we still have the tides, and temperature varies from region to region. The science always fascinated, until it began making my head spin in high school.
After snapping back from my musings of the Convergence, I realized Solana and I were in the center of the metropolis. Hundreds of people ambled through the streets, all at a considerable pace. Why was everyone in such a hurry?
“Ok, stick by me,” Solana commanded. “Because we haven’t finished your training, you’ll struggle to find me again, and I will make your training worse tomorrow if I have to scour this giant city for you. Are we clear?”
I gulped at the thought of a harsher regiment, “C-crystal.”
“Good. Now, I know a good place to find you clothes for cheap. It’s pretty close by if you want to head there first. To be honest, I don’t think anyone will want to waste their time with someone in their Halloween costume.”
“Anything to get out of this raggedy tunic and loose pants.”