Extended CWA: Avicia’s Story

My friends, I loved the Cooking With Anger prompt so much, that I decided to tell you more of my own story here! I can be wordy, and I had to cut it down a great deal to fit the requirements of that exercise.  I am glad to tell you more of my backstory. Please click on the linked words, they will enhance your experience of my story.

I looked out the window as my coach surged forward through the swirling vortex outside the window, a seemingly nonstop stream of tears trickling down my cheeks. This was uncharted territory. I was leaving my home world, going to “Earth.” leaving my friends, my housemates, and my family behind for an unforeseeable period of time. Grief welled up in me as I pondered what might be waiting for me, as the coach pulled out of the whirling ether and into the transport station. I was leaving my home world to travel to Earth and meet up with the other alchemists.

“Avicia Znevffn.” I heard the robotic voice address me, as the conductor suddenly blipped into existence in the doorway of my coach.

I looked up.

“Your departure point approaches. Gather your luggage.”

The robot remained stationed in front of the door of my coach, as I collected my possessions and let my mind wander.

I thought about home. In the last week, I had come to appreciate the little things that I knew I would miss, as I encountered them for the last time. I went home to say goodbye to my family, and wandered into my mother’s garden. The sky was a warm orange color, signifying of the height of the day, and the snow pea flowers were in bloom. I felt a surge of tenderness as I looked intently at their delicate white and purple blooms. I felt tears fill my eyes at the memory. I didn’t know how long I’d be away, but surely I wouldn’t experience anything like my mother’s garden for a long time.

As the coach slowly stopped whirling, the robot blipped away with a final, tinny, “Goodbye,” and the coach doors slid open, I was surprised to see a long, bright hallway in front of me. No other coaches were left at this stop. I was told that I would meet other alchemists on this journey, but I seemed to be alone at this stage. I was further surprised to see the no-nonsense departure route ahead of me. No more contact with the outside world of this planet, straight to the transport down to Earth. There would be no sugar-coating this journey.

I drew a deep breath and stepped into the hallway, hearing my soft footsteps echo down in the empty hallway around me. It was a long hall, but with each step I saw the entrance to the waiting room. I knew what would approach when I stepped beyond those doors.

Technicians would await me with a dose of the medicine that would put me out as I transported through time and space to my destination. My housemate, Knida, had told me it would be cherry flavored. At the time, I had snorted at the idea. Was I a child, that needed candy-flavoring to make a trip? But the anticipation had built up, and I felt a strange surge of bliss at the thought of a sweet treat, to soften the journey.

I took a breath and pressed my hand to the cold metal of the door. It reacted immediately.

“Avicia Znevffn,” a robotic announcement rang out. The doors opened, and a technician greeted me.  

“How was your trip?” the technician was not what I had expected. She was a kindly looking woman, who reminded me vaguely of my own mother. I wondered briefly at her story, before snapping myself back to reality.

“Tense,” I replied.

“First time away from home?” The woman’s eyes showed concern, and I felt something like adoration as an image of my mother flashed again through my mind.

“It is.”

“Well dear, it’ll be perfectly fine. Missions like this are what we’re made for.”

I nodded. I knew.  We were meant to leave our world, to travel to others, to interact with any and all beings willing to collaborate cultures and learn.

“What’s the transport like?” I asked, ready to snap to business.

“Quick. The serum will remind you of cherry ice cream. A cold feeling, a taste of sweetness, and you’ll be there.”

“I’m ready.”

With one more warm smile she took my hand, “Right this way.”

She led me through the maze of hallways and I glimpsed others, like me, preparing for their respective journeys. I caught the eye of a boy, he looked younger than me. He looked how I felt– nervous. I hoped I masked it better.

Then, we were there. I saw my transport pod in front of me, and there was another technician. He smiled at me and led me to the pod, hooked me up to Life and Transport Support, and briefly told me how I would feel during the trip and mentioned a name that would be present when I awoke.

“Look for two alchemists called M. Prophetissima and Rebeg Maestro. They’ll be guiding you and the others through your mission.”

“M. Prophetissima and Rebeg Maestro,” I repeated.

“Don’t be afraid,” the woman implored me. “It’s all going to be okay.”

I nodded thankfully, and said again, “I’m ready.”

They stepped back as the pod door descended into its locked position. I heard a soft whirr, and suddenly felt cold.

I tasted cherries.

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