Shadows and Echoes – Part II

Edith wandered the city aimlessly. She felt so disconnected from this world. To top it all off, there was no guiding presence nor could she draw from experience to show her the way. Gabriel volunteered nothing that could have helped her to chart a course nor were there any clues offered when asked.

At least she found some clothes from that shop adjacent to her landing site. It was a bit formal for her tastes, a long flowing evening gown and overcoat, but it was warm and fit in well with her surroundings.

Edith had been pleasantly surprised by this neighbourhood, the home of a vibrant community nestled within a historical industrial park. She might have felt right at home in better times, but for now, all it did was remind of her absence from Angela and that weighed heavily on her heart.

Her high heeled stilettos echoed in the empty streets. The shoe’s leather had not stretched so they pinched her toes, and in time, would make walking difficult. Odd how all of these quirks and annoyances were so easily forgotten in the afterlife. Pain, cold, discomfort and hunger had all been a thing of the past, but now she struggled to remember enough of her training to cope.

It was one thing to think back over her countless lessons back at the Tower. Academic knowledge was easy to recollect, but that did little to remedy the problem at hand. She needed to bring forth all of that experience and push it to the forefront of her conscious mind. People said that one never forgets how to ride a bicycle, but Edith knew that was a gross oversimplification. The concepts remained, but muscle memory and the ability to balance faded over time.

On her travels, Edith passed a couple of bulls handcuffing a man over the truck’s hood. Whatever his crimes, she wondered what would happen to the vehicle. Unfortunately, Edith missed the answer by turning away. Moments later, the truck slipped into the ether, which sent the driver to the ground with a heavy thump.

Eventually, Edith came across a store and despite the crescent moon being high in the sky, it was still open. A quick look through the windows showed rows of items, ranging from confections to household goods.

A wry smile came across her face, as this was exactly the type of distraction she sought. Edith opened the door and was greeted by an electronic chime. The sound was hollow and artificial, and she immediately disliked it.

To her left, there was a young woman behind the till. The clerk, dressed in filthy oversized clothes, was furiously tapping away on a glass and metal device. The woman appeared mesmerised by this contraption, so much so that it took several attempts to rouse this woman from her stupor.

“Yeah?” the clerk asked annoyed.

Edith kept smiling, despite the urge to slap the girl. She could not put a finger on where that desire stemmed from, although it might have been related to the complete lack of civility.

“Where can I find some munitions?” Edith asked.

“Huh?” the clerk asked.

The look this girl’s face was a combination of confusion mixed with the certainly that Edith was all kinds of idiot. The desire to slap some sense into this girl gained momentum, but Edith did her best to keep smiling. A shame that did nothing to disarm the other.

“Powder, rouge, and lipstick?” Edith clarified.

The clerk sighed as though she were being asked to give up her life for king and country. To be fair, she did point out an area in the far corner of the store.

“Thank you,” Edith said.

“Whatevs,” the clerk replied.

By then, the temptation was very much front and centre, but a naughty little though brought forth an alternate solution. She headed towards the back of the store and found a cache of cosmetics. A quick glance at the glamour shots did a lot to point out how fashion changed, so much that it made finding the shade of lipstick she wanted difficult.

“Why was carmine dye no longer a thing?” Edith wondered.

Nonetheless, she picked up powder, rouge, and lipstick that suited her style. Perhaps she would look out of place with a cupid’s bow. So what? She swiped the items and moved farther back towards the rest rooms.

“Figures,” Edith said upon discovering that the door was locked.

She tightened her grip around the knob until her fingers deformed the metal and twisted with enough strength to shear the mechanism. With the door open, it was time to put her face on.

Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!


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