Izzy stood under a burnt out street lamp shivering in the cold rain. She'd been walking for hours. She fled her home and all that she knew two nights earlier. She though briefly of her mother and of her father. As cruel as the man was she still felt some connection to him, a sadness that she couldn't explain. The rain woke her up, she'd been dreaming of Icarus. He came to her, said she must keep moving because the Queen was looking for her. She opened her backpack and checked that the book stayed dry. Along the way, she found several plastic shopping bags and wrapped her prize away. Just seeing its shape and feeling the weight comforted her. Images of symbols and words in a long dead language floated before her open eyes. She though about the night she left, still not fully understanding what happened or how she did it. What power did she have? Why did the Queen want it back so badly? Surely, a mortal like her posed no real threat to an immortal queen.
The city looked very different at night as she walked alone on the near empty streets. Flickering street lamps cast unnatural shadows along the worn brick walls. Unfamiliar noises came from dark alleyways echoed through the brick lined jungle. Ahead she spotted a restaurant with a bright glowing sign flashing "open 24 hours." The smell of greasy food drifted to her, but she had no money. What could she do? I could pretend I’m lost, she thought. Lost and hungry, the thought of it was more real than she wanted to admit. She took a breath and pushed the door open.
She squinted from the florescent lights overhead. The glass door closed behind her and a small bell rang. She looked back at her own reflection, I look like a wet cat, she thought. Her bangs plastered to her head and her coat dripped into a puddle just as the waitress walked up.
"Oh my, you're soaked!"
She looked up at the woman, not sure what to say. She followed the curve of her face and studied the color of her wild multicolored hair. Jessica, the name came to her. Her name is Jessica. She's 23 years old and will die when she' 44 in a car accident. Izzy wasn't sure why she knew this but she did.
"I…I was walking in the rain."
She nodded. "Do you want something warm to eat?"
She picked up a menu from behind her and walked into the dining room with Izzy a step behind. Several patrons looked up at her but gave little notice as she walked by. Every face she looked into she felt she knew them, she felt a connection, something that she couldn't describe but felt so natural.
"Izzy", someone whispered. She looked around the cafe but no one looked at her. "Outside", the voice came again. Across the street from the café, a shadow moved between buildings. The figure stopped in mid stride and looked her way then disappeared as it rounded the corner.
The figure "felt" friendly. The girl stopped and she sat down and took the menu from her. She wasn't sure how she would pay and she was too hungry to think about it now.
"Do you need a little time?"
She shook her head, "Grilled cheese and a milk please."
The girl nodded and walked away with the menu.
Izzy looked out the window searching for the figure again but saw nothing out of the ordinary.
Her back grew warm and she remembered the book. She reached into her bag, and caressed its cover, traced her fingers over the designs. She felt comforted, relaxed, safe. She closed her eyes. Energy flowed around her forming arcs of light and…
"Is everything ok?" the multicolored hair girl asked.
"Is everything ok? You've not touched your food."
Her grilled cheese and milk sat on the table. She bit into the sandwich, it was cold but she ate it anyway. It was the best she'd ever tasted. The girl shook her head and walked away.