The stranger pulled off the hood of his cloak to reveal curly black hair, a cleft on his chin, and a quizzical expression on his handsome face. “I think we have a lot to discuss, my friend. Are you willing?”
He held out his hand. Nora clasped it like a woman drowning, even though she hadn’t known she’d been sinking.
“Yes,” she replied. (Are You Willing?)
- She was willing to explore the woods in the deep of night when even the owls nodded off.
- She was willing to pretend she was a normal human during the day when she taught college psychology, even though no psychologist could figure her out.
- She was willing to visit psychics to figure out why she was the only human who needed no sleep.
But Nora wasn’t sure she was willing to explore the answers about who, or what, she really was with this dark-haired stranger who gave her the shivers.
Nothing gave her the shivers. Until now. So she vacillated, shaking her head no.
“I didn’t think so,” the man pouted.
“You didn’t think so what?” Nora asked, moving closer to the man, waiting to see if he moved backwards.
“What do we possibly need to discuss in this dusty old historical library?” Nora finally asked.
“I know where you come from. I can take you back there,” he replied, his black eyes boring into hers, unblinking.
Nora’s heart sank to the pit of her stomach. “So I’m not …. from around here?”
The man’s head tilted back as he roared with laughter, which made her so mad she stomped her foot. On his toes.
His laugh became a chuckle. “Ouch. Shall we start again? My name is Ezekiel, but my friends call me Zeke.”
“You have friends?” Nora stood her ground, which at this point become more difficult since Zeke had leaned closer to her. She could smell his clove and cinnamon breath, see the tiny whiskers on his face as if he hadn’t shaved in a day, watch the tiny dimple on his chin become more pronounced as he smiled.
Zeke stepped back and moved to the corner of the room, the old wooden-planked floor squeaking with his steps. As if he had all the time in the world, he settled comfortably on the faded calico armchair, placed his elbows on his knees and tilted his hands together with fingertips touching.
“I have many friends from where you come from,” Zeke finally responded. “You’ve been searching for your ancestors, and friends, in the wrong place.”
“You mean, my parents didn’t come from Massachusetts?” Nora asked despite herself. She slowly walked over to where Zeke sat, feeling more in control because she could look down at him.
“Who you call your ‘parents’ were not your originators,” the man said. “Close your eyes,” he continued, “If you dare. I’ll give you a glimpse.”
Nora was willing now. So she stood tall and solid, feet on the ground, eyes closed in suspicion but also hope. Wild wind suddenly swirled around the room. The noise distracted her from the sensation of soaring.
But none of that mattered when she opened her eyes to an unrecognizable land. A land that undulated like a metronome with a violet sky filled with four fuchsia moons. The countryside was dotted with creatures that sprouted wings and beings who looked human yet smiled at her as if she was one of them. Puffy flowers grew high into the sky, and wispy beings floated with the wind.
“Home,” Zeke whispered.
Love me, love me, love me, love me
Say you do
Let me fly away
For my love is like
And wild is the wind
Wild is the wind
Like a leaf clings
To the tree
Oh my darling,
Cling to me
For we’re like creatures
Of the wind
Wild is the wind
Wild is the wind