Site icon Alexander Hammil

Not Like Swords to Rust in Idleness

Seventeen when the wanderlust hit her so hard that it pulled her, shivering and sweaty, out to stand on the side of the road, jeans and a sweater pulled jerkily over pyjamas, longish hair tucked behind her ears, thumb up, not going anywhere but going.

“What’s your name, kiddo?” says the lantern-jawed salesman that stops for her.

“Simon,” she says, she has just that much sense, and then she’s long-necked and gangly, light blonde hair and no tits to speak of, body a plank, voice uncertainly middle-pitched, low-voiced for her real name and a trifle too high for a Simon but plausible either way. Androgynous, and so he accepts it and they head south.

South it was warmer but the people were colder and it’s a thin time for her, no money, food where she can find it in dumpsters or stolen from late-night diners that aren’t aggressive about chasing after a long-legged piece of the wind powered by super salty roast beef and twelve cups of coffee.

Years she stays away, and goes by Simon, or Jules, or Leslie, or Micah, borderline names, guy names, and never develops though sometimes she worries when a dog follows stiff legged behind her, sniffing and sniffing. Does it know?

When she comes home again, dirty and experienced, the house is dark and there’s a For Sale sign on the lawn. No furniture behind the windows. She could maybe find out where they went, her parents, but really it’s something of a relief so she shrugs and heads back out on to the road. It’s a hard life but she’s happy.

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