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Messenger Girl: It Begins

     The rain poured outside, beating against the windows, pounding on the roof. The sky, it seemed, was angry . . . or sad . . . and every drop of water was an expression of its emotion.

     I could relate and, as with the sky, I couldn’t tell if I was angry or sad.

     The message was no longer safe.


     Wind shook the house and the limbs of trees outside. Leaves spun crazily on their branches, twirling until the wind forced them off and tossed them into the air.

     I was like one of those leaves now, tossed into the world, made victim to its whims.


     I had no choice.


     With the rain pounding above me, I crossed the floor to the other side of the room, the slap of my feet on the wood echoing in my ears.

     Silently, I removed a panel from the wall unveiling the knobs of a handmade combination lock. With several spins, I had the safe open. Solemn and careful, I lifted its bottom and removed a yellowed scroll of paper. Sliding it into the bag on my hip, I closed the safe and returned the panel to its place. Then, crossing back to the room’s center, I lifted the trap door in the floor and climbed out onto the ladder secured to the tree’s trunk.

     Holding onto the ladder with one arm, I reached for the rope hanging from a nearby branch. Swinging myself onto it, I crossed my heels and began lowering myself to the ground.

     As soon as my feet met the earth, I was running.


     The message was no longer safe.


     The ground was wet, squishy and as I ran, it got softer and softer, making movement increasingly difficult. My foot slipped in a patch of mud and I fell to the ground, mud and rain splashing into my face.


     There was only one thing to do.


     And this thought drove me as I got back up and began to run again.

     The wind rushed into my face, hard and strong, too strong, almost pushing me backwards. The rain poured down faster, faster than I’d ever before witnessed. I pressed on, squinting my eyes into slivers and taking measured, rhythmic breaths.


      I had to deliver it.


      I slipped again, this time catching myself before I’d fallen the whole way, hardly pausing my run. Wiping my hands off on my shorts, I kept running, my mind focused on one thing and one thing only. A safe place.


      I had to deliver the message to a safe place.