Everyone leaves, the door yawning behind them. Jordan is left alone, dirty dishes the only evidence remaining of her friends. Riley's words still echo in her mind, filling the empty space her friends left behind.
"'Just because you're older doesn't mean you can't enjoy a little magic.' I wonder what she meant by that... and why do I feel like I've heard that before?"
She paces around the trailer, picking up plates as she goes.
"I wish they didn't have to see me like that. I'm sure they have so many questions... hell, I can't even answer my own questions. How am I going to answer theirs?"
Water splashes in the sink as she scrubs furiously.
"I wonder if I had one of those... oh, what are they called? Psychotic breaks? No, that can't be right. I'm totally fine, right? Just had a bad day, like Sidney said. Or was it Noah? I can't remember."
Stains are washed away and the plates are dried. Stacks of clean plates grow as they're put back into their places in the cabinets with doors that barely close. Where all these plates came from, no one really knows. Maybe from the junkyard, maybe from friends. Either way, it's not long until the trailer is almost sparkling. Counters are shining and faucets are no longer dripping.
"Anything to keep me busy," She mutters to herself, taking out the trash. Finally, after of hours of work, there's nothing left to do. Sitting down on the couch, she thinks again about what Riley told her.
"Just because you're older doesn't mean you can't enjoy a little magic."
Then, her legs move with a mind of their own. The radio stutters and begins to play a song as she wanders to her bed.
"No matter what happens, I can make it better."
Kneeling at the foot of her bed, she lifts up the edges of the blankets.
"I can hold you tighter."
She peers into the unfamiliar darkness.
"I don't know who's hurt you."
Reaching for the edge of a box with no label, she pauses as the radio sings.
"But can I hold your hand?"
There's no label on the box.
"I'll right those wrongs. I can make it right."
She lifts the lid.
"I'll give you back the morning light."
"I'll give you back that magic you lost."
A small stuffed elephant looks back at her.
"I remember you," She says, her hands hovering above the once soft fabric. "You were... my friend. My father made you for me one day. I don't know when. You... I named you..."
Before she can continue this reunion, there's a knock at the door. Panicking, she slams the lid on the box and shoves it back into the darkness from where it came. Getting up, she races to the door but then stops at the sight of the doorknob.
"Who'd be knocking at this time?" She asks aloud, almost afraid to touch the door.
A voice from the other side answers her.
"Jordan Castaldi. Open the door."
Her body begs her to run, but instead, she forces herself to approach the door, step by step. Finally, in a surge of courage, her hand touches the knob. Electricity seems to flood her body as she turns it and opens the door. A shadow is standing on the other side, its hand on its weapon.
"Yes, officer?" She says fearfully, unconsciously standing on the tips of her toes in an attempt to appear taller.
"You are in violation of law 134340."
The officer sighs and explains, "You are behind on your taxes. I am here to collect money."
"I thought taxes weren't due until the end of the month."
"They're due when Onim says they're due, and that's now. Hand over the money."
"I don't have it!" Jordan protests as the officer shoves past her into the trailer. "You can look all you want, but I don't have the money. I haven't sold enough things yet."
"Give me the money." The officer repeats in an emotionless voice, void of mercy.
"I don't have it!"
"Give. Me. The. Money." Every word matches its steps as it walks closer to her. "Don't make me repeat myself again."
"I already told you," Jordan yells, exasperated. "I don't have the money. If you'd just give me a little time I could-"
The officer slaps her, cutting her off. Colors flood Jordan's vision as she falls to the floor.
"Where is the money?"
"Please, I don't-" Jordan pleads as it kicks her in the face and then in the chest.
"Where is the money?" The shadow roars, reaching for his gun.
"Don't hurt me!" She sobs in pain, the trailer blurred by tears.
"That's not the answer I wanted. Now, tell me or I'll make you tell me. Where is the money?"
She doesn't answer, unable to catch her breath and form words. Frustrated, the officer kicks her again, this time in the side. Her ribs explode in pain, every breath excruciating.
"Please," She spits, her vision swimming.
"Where is the money?"
This is the last thing Jordan hears as the world around her goes black.
YOU ARE READING
Meet the first wanderer, Jordan. She's the lost one, the one with no home, nowhere to go back to. Just an old, dusty trailer and a trash heap- quite literally. Keeping her head down and her earbuds in, she lives her life alone, just the way she like...