I stepped into a light jog and hustled back to campfire where the players had set up their little wagon which seemed to serve as living quarters too. Dodging as many people as I could, I didn’t want to be questioned further about my story that evening. I reached the wagon and knocked on the thin wooden doors. Geraldo answered, wrapped in a wooly blanket made from many different fabrics.
“May I have a word?” I asked.
“Considering you’ve already had five I’ll give you twenty more.” He said.
“Charming.” I commented.
“You use them quickly.” He retorted.
“I hear you’re going to Romania, why?”
“There is a festival we wish to win so we may perform for the royals. I hear there is good money to be had.”
“What occasion?” I asked.
“The usual mid-winter festival, though I hear something a little special is going on in regards with Russia if you know what I mean.” He gave a secretive wink.
I nodded understandingly, I knew more than he about his subject.
“I may I travel with you?” I asked.
“So you can win the festival instead of us, no thanks get there on your own feet.”
“I won’t steal your prize.” I promised.
“Then why are you going there?” He countered.
To reunite this beautiful woman with this horrendous man so they may marry and return to Russia where they will be tested every day until this silly revolution plays out and so I can return home—or go elsewhere.
I realized I couldn’t tell him the truth.
“Let us go as part of your band then. I will write you stories and my wife is wonderful with costumes, she did this mask I’m wearing.” I pointed to the bluebird mask I wore.
“Let me see it.”
I untied my mask and handed it to him; he examined it unable to keep his fascination with it.
“We leave at dawn, don’t slow us up.” He handed back the mask grudgingly.
“We’re no trouble.” I turned and headed back to my tent.
When I entered Electron was sleeping peacefully, breathing softly into the people her face was like a bust of prefect beauty. It was amazing how much her sad eyes could dampen this beauty. She’d removed her false belly to retrieve the hidden blanker, and the pack now lay beside her.
I shuffled silently across the bearskin carpet to the other side of the tent. I took off my cloak and began unwrapping the cloth from my feet. I took up a blanket and lay down. I tried to sleep but my mind would not whine down, when my mind came close to sleep I was shaken awake by the image of my death, the haunting image of that locket. I rolled over onto my side and looked over at Electron, she was still sleeping. I pulled the blanket off myself and walked quietly over to her side of the tent. I grabbed the pack at her side and began to dig through it but I couldn’t find the locket.
I looked around the tent curiously, and that’s when I noticed Electrons right hand. It was tucked under her pillow. I reached out and touched Electrons check. When she didn’t move I withdrew my hand and slide it under her pillow. As gently as I could I lifted her head, using the pillow. With my other hand I pulled her right hand out from under the pillow. Sure enough, there was the locket, the thick silver object was clutched in her hand.
As softly as I could I placed her head back on the ground. I waited to make sure she wasn’t waking up, when she showed no signs of being disturbed I continued. Taking my index finger I slid it between her fingers and the locket loosening her grip. I slipped the locket from her hand and snuck across the room with my catch. I settled down in my rough bed and flipped the locket open. I don’t know what I was hoping to see. Maybe I wished I would just see my reflection looking back at me proving how stupid I’d been for ever letting such a small object frighten me. But as I looked past the odd little workings of the locket and into the reflection I was greeted again with that horrible image of myself.
I sighed, realizing I’d forgotten, in my anticipation, to breathe . I looked sadly at myself in the locket, my chai colored skin was oddly vacant and a sullen sort of teal color. My brown eyes were so out of focused they were foggy, but they seemed to be staring so hard at something I couldn’t see. And then there was that horrible wound, that gapping absence of flesh that allowed my blood to stain the blinding white snow under me. Why had I even picked up this locket? It had not made things any better. I sighed, closing the locket and turned around to return the locket. But the image that met me now was equally as disturbing as the one in the locket. Lady Electron was sitting up, her legs and arms crossed as she watched me across the room. Had she seen what I’d seen, did she know how I died? I suddenly felt like I’d committed a horrible offence. Like I’d touched something tabooed.
“Curious locket isn’t it?” Electron simply asked.