The Wanderer- Part One

Sharon Niedringhaus, Writer

This is the first part of what will be an ongoing story. A new part will come out each week.  Its genre will be fantasy and it will follow the main character Jenna through her adventures.  

Jenna woke with her head spinning. The dream that caused her to awaken so suddenly was already fading from a distinct memory to a vague impression of emotion. From what she could still remember, the dream had been one of those half-nightmares that was so vivid it made her wonder if she was living a separate life in another world that only materialized itself when she slept. The feeling of unease the dream left behind would follow her around for a while, but it hadn’t scared her enough that she wouldn’t be able to sleep the following nights. However, she was certain she wouldn’t be able to get any more sleep now.

Once her mind evened itself out, Jenna looked over at the clock beside her bed. It was only about fifteen minutes before her alarm would go off, so she decided she would go ahead and start getting ready for school. As she dragged herself out of bed, Jenna realized how tired she was and was tempted to climb back in. Both of her parents had already left for work. She could say she felt sick and no one would care if she just spent the rest of the day in her bed. Jenna shook this thought from her head. Even if she did stay, she wouldn’t get anymore sleep. It would be better for her to go to school.

She got dressed and walked down to the kitchen. Looking out the window, she could see that it would be one of those dreary, overcast days that are common in early spring. If they were lucky, the sky would decide to actually rain. Jenna poured herself a bowl of cereal, not even bothering to add milk to it. Once she finished her dry and rather unsatisfying breakfast, she set her bowl in the sink, threw a couple granola bars in her backpack, and walked out the front door, making sure to lock it after her.

The humidity of the impending rain hit her as soon as she walked outside. It was a little too cold to be outside without a jacket, but it wasn’t terribly uncomfortable either. On any other day, Jenna would have waited another fifteen minutes before starting her walk to school, but today she needed some fresh air to clear her head. She wished she could remember more about her dream. It probably wouldn’t make her feel any better, but at least she would be able to think about it. As it was now, all her thoughts were uselessly pursuing the dream that had been placed firmly out of their reach from the moment she woke up.

Awakening from the thoughts of her dream, Jenna looked at all the neat houses with darkened windows she was walking past in the neighborhood. Although she walked this way everyday, this was the first time she realized how peaceful the world was in the morning before anyone was running around trying to get whatever they thought was so important done. It crossed her mind that maybe she should leave for school this early everyday. She would get to school earlier than she needed to, but the feeling of peacefulness would make it worthwhile.

A short time later, Jenna was standing in front of her school. Other students were already walking through the front doors into the brightly lit front hallway. A few voices that would grow to a low roar once more students arrived floated through the doors as they were opened. Jenna had some explainable feeling that something was wrong even though nothing she was seeing could support it. A faint glimmering of deja vu was growing at the back of her mind from a source she was unaware of. She suspected it was from the dream she couldn’t remember. She couldn’t make herself move closer to the building, but she also didn’t want to turn back. She had never skipped school before and didn’t want to start now. However, the uncomfortable feeling coming from the building told her something bad would happen if she entered the school. After a few moments of hesitation, Jenna turned around and left the school, along with her feelings of unease, behind.


By mid-morning, Jenna was sitting on a bench in a nearby park staring into the middle distance. Anyone who happened to walk by would have thought she was waiting for something. They would be right, but not even Jenna knew what she was waiting for. She only knew that she was skipping school for the first time and didn’t particularly like the feeling.

As if reflecting Jenna’s mood, large raindrops began to fall from the sky, fulfilling the promise the threatening clouds had made. What began as a light drizzle was slowly gearing up to a torrential downpour. Jenna was about to stand up to walk home, when she heard someone humming from down the path in front of her bench. The source of the voice came into sight from over the small hill soon after her voice was first heard. The girl looked like she was only a few years older than Jenna and she walked with steps that made her look as if she were skipping. Her skin and hair were dark, but a certain light emanated from her being as if the sun was shining through the clouds specifically around her.

She sat down next to Jenna on the bench and asked, “Don’t you just love the rain?” her speaking voice sounded almost like she was singing and her smile lit up her face with a seemingly endless joy. Her eyes contained this same joy, but there was a strange depth and wiseness to them.

“It’s not my favorite,” Jenna replied, slightly put off by this strange person who had sat beside her. She couldn’t remember ever seeing her before, but there was something vaguely familiar all the same.

“That’s alright,” the stranger said brightly, “Not everyone can enjoy everything.” With that, the girl got up and walked away in the same direction she came from. Jenna glanced at the empty spot on the bench next to her and noticed an envelope. She looked up to tell the girl, but she was already gone. Jenna picked up the envelope and turned it over. A feeling of dread fell over her when she saw her own name glaring back.