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"What did you say?"

The woman looked at him closely. "I said, 'that was amazing'."

The dust was beginning to settle around them. He could taste it on his tongue, a sort of old lumber musk. He thought hazily of the flyer that he'd dropped back inside his apartment, just before coming over here.

"DO SOMETHING AMAZING TODAY!"

"BE SOMETHING AMAZING TODAY!"

"Bupkis," he whispered to himself. He was aware that the woman's eyes were on him, not leaving. He grunted something unintelligible and then pivoted quickly on his heel, attempting to rocket himself back towards home.

"Wait!" the woman called out after him. "Don't go! Not without at least telling me your name! How will I be able to thank you?"

Her voice gave him pause and he stopped abruptly in his tracks. He looked at the sky, then down at his shoes, worn from his nightly travels across town.

"Travesty," he replied. "My name is Travesty. But no one believes me so they just call me Travis."

And then he kept walking, the chaotic scene enveloping around him.

* * * * *

He meditated it on it that night. He didn't know if he'd intended to meditate, really, but he supposed that's what had ended up happening. His belly still empty, growling with hunger, he'd set himself down in the middle of his living room floor. Cross-legged and in the dark.

He figured that ought to work.

He didn't know what question he needed to have answered.

He didn't know if he even wanted to know the answer.

He sat there for hours, the light changing around him as the night turned to day and then to afternoon. He slept at some point, but he vaguely recalled it or how long it had been. Sometime during his time there on the living room floor, though, a light breeze had kicked up. It had blown the advertisement back towards him.

In fact, it had blown it right to his feet.

"DO SOMETHING AMAZING TODAY!"

"BE SOMETHING AMAZING TODAY!"

The thing was, though - he already had done something amazing today. The woman had confirmed it. Hell, she'd even said it.

Therefore, there was nothing stopping him from completing his primary objective.

His resolve returned, he stood from his spot on the floor and stretched. It wasn't long before he was ready to step out the door. When he did, though, another flyer fluttered in after him.

"DO SOMETHING AMAZING EVERYDAY!" this one screamed at him. He smirked.

"Too late," he said to the flyer, kicking it into his apartment.

* * * * *

It wasn't hard to find someone by the first name of Travesty in the city. It wasn't exactly common. There was a business center at the motel her husband was staying at, but the name gave it more credit than it deserved. There was one very ancient desktop computer and she'd been surprised to find out that not only did it have internet access, but that dialup still existed in some parts of the country. After waiting for the pages to load, Google had eventually given her the information she'd been looking for.

She saw him leave his apartment the next day, as the afternoon light was fading to the glow of a summer's twilight. She debated following him, but thought twice of it. Instead, she sat in her sedan and watched him until he faded from sight.

She wasn't sure why she hadn't been able to stop thinking about him. Sure, he'd pushed out of the way of harm, but there was something else. Something stronger.

Her knuckles were white as she gripped the steering wheel in front of her.

Like she'd known him before.

But before what or when or who...well, that was the question, now wasn't it?




Need more background on The Guy and the Train? This season, I'm going back to my roots as a writer and tackling the land of fiction. This season of LJ Idol, for me, is an exercise in that: In stretching my creative legs to build characters and moments and places off of a single flash of inspiration found in a tent in the middle of Oregon. If you'd like more context, check out my previous entries. Above all, though, enjoy the ride.
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