Today I want to introduce you to somebody new, her name is Calamity. She will tell you about another world. Her world. I hope you will enjoy her stories, transporting you to a realm where you can decide for yourself which part is true and which part is fiction.
Calamity’s Luck (1)
The sun was barely up and Calamity felt cold and alone, thinking about what to do next. Her stomach stopped grumbling days ago and she wasn’t sure that was supposed to be a good thing or not. Surely it was a blessing in disguise when one stopped feeling hungry? She never gotten into what real hunger looked like, seeing as the images mostly horrified her, but experiencing it now firsthand certainly filled the gaps in her knowledge. Well yeeey, she didn’t really relish that. But hey, no use in pitying herself today, she hardly had any energy left, she wouldn’t want to let the remnants go to waste. Fortunately there was enough water to be had. Even if it was the only thing filling her belly for the last couple of days, it was fresh, sweet water and one had to count their blessings. Right?
Stranded, that was how Calamity felt. Really, how in the world could her parents ever given her this blasted name? It almost seemed like they turned their first parenting class of choosing the right name into ‘how to curse your kid’. Her parents assumed sentiment for historically famous – read: adventurous – women, had been the cause of this questionable ‘honor’. You’d think they’d wonderfully passed that class with flying colors, looking at her life today. Oh, she hadn’t always been this unfortunate, there had been marvelous times too, but thinking about those days didn’t really cheer her up right now. Though they sometimes helped to regain some measure of strength and hope – good times could be right around the corner! – this just wasn’t one of those days.
Waking up as far as her tired and underfed body allowed, she had to face facts: she was well and truly stuck. Well, for the moment anyways, but thinking about what next step to take kept her going in circles. How to even take a next step when you were out of options? Her car was her pitiful home, but with hardly any coin left, driving was out of the question, except to get to the next parking spot where she could hopefully blend in with the crowd. Not that there was enough fuel to be had these days anyways. Thank God – in the truest way possible – she had the relative safe shelter of her car, to sleep or at least rest in and there was safety in numbers, or so she hoped. Having to walk around, sometimes for hours on end to get to that aforementioned water, in the heat of the day, left her exhausted. It made her feel like sleeping, walking and sleeping again, were the only things she filled her last couple of days with.
Oh yeah, and getting sunburnt of course. Her skin had never been this dark before, never mind it had gotten so bad she could peel off the upper layer for the third time now, making her think about the serious damage skin cancer could inflict on her. Calamity was almost hysterically laughing out loud now, recalling how happy she was when she thought she found a bottle of sunscreen on the beach, since she ran out of the stuff weeks ago and didn’t wish to spend any money on it. Somebody somewhere was laughing even harder, because that definitely wasn’t sunscreen in that bottle. At least not entirely, maybe it was mixed with water, boy she hoped it had been just water. Her skin kept getting burned anyways, so she stopped using it. Looking in the mirror of one of the public toilets, she hardly recognized herself anymore. How the mighty have fallen, sheesh. Not that she’d been mighty, ever. But better, definitely better.
Public toilets-slash-bathrooms. Most of them were icky and would close for the night, but at least the opportunity was there. She just had to make sure she’d visited before nightfall, or things would get awkward. Calamity had been there, done that and didn’t like it very much. Funny how one could get really appreciative of the most basic things in life. It didn’t take her long to get over the fact those bathrooms were too dirty for any normal human being, but enough about that. One couldn’t be too picky. It was either that or find some bushes, preferably in the shade and one never knew what was hiding there. Safety was warring with nourishment on the priority list and it wasn’t easy seeing as how the world in general had changed. Parking lots were preferred, but after the night when a couple of guys started knocking loudly on her window, while screaming in a language she did not understand, she knew her outlook on life had to be reviewed.
She was asked if she was in possession of any drugs and had to hand over her ID. Apparently they were guards of some sort, dressed in uniforms and acting aggressively, since she was parked on a hotspot for dealers. Not that she had been aware. The only thing Calamity could think of at that moment, was if these people were who they said they were and if she would get her ID back. She couldn’t be sure and stranger things had happened. They gave her the scare of her life, coming out of nowhere in the pitch dark of the night. She had never been more aware of how vulnerable she was. Fortunately they left her alone after she answered their questions and got her ID back, but she left that place as soon as they were out of sight, heart pounding and palms sweating. Yeah she could laugh about it now, she’d gotten more street smart after that for sure.
Her weight had gone down drastically too. As was to be expected when actual food became an exception instead of a regular part of one’s, well, diet. She was almost as skinny as when she was a teenager and her family used to joke about how a strong wind would surely blow her over. When she found a scale at a local health center, she’d spend precious coin to discover they were about right. Her clothes, and there wasn’t much left in that department either, made her feel she was back in the late 80’s, reliving the popular oversized look. Oh but she’d loved the 80’s as well as the 90’s, her youth had been quite easy and happy, compared to what she was dealing with now. Still, it had been her own choice to come here. Leave everything behind and follow the ‘call of her heart’. Had she been crazy to do so? No. No, she had thought it over, through and though, again and again. Up until the point she just couldn’t ignore that tug at her heart anymore. She knew she would always regret it if she did not surrender to it now and honestly, wasn’t she too late already?
Was it just her imagination, or did the lack of food indeed made her head and spirit feel clearer than it had been in a long time? Those stories about how fasting would ‘cleanse your inside’, might have carried some measure of truth somehow. Of course they did, she’d fasted before, how did she forget? Sure, her body did not really agree – or should she say, really did not agree – with that train of thought. Though Calamity wasn’t exaggerating when she confessed to herself she couldn’t feel the hunger any longer, there were moments she felt as if her senses were sharper, more attuned to what was going on around her. Not on a natural level, no, it sometimes seems like she could look straight into another dimension, sensing things she couldn’t before. Oh, how to describe it accurately.. It was like dreaming while awake, but knowing and accepting whatever was happening to be true. It felt like she was floating through life, though the lack of sustenance could very well be the cause of that light headiness of course.
Calamity felt hypersensitive and while her lack of energy would explain that, it was in stark contrast to her body shutting down. Come on, she wasn’t that old yet to succumb to body failure! And she still had to get to the next well to refill her water bottles. Temperatures today were easily going to rise above 30 degrees Celsius before noon, so she’d better start walking early. As in, right now. Maybe a quick dip in the ocean would wake her from her lethargy, but the current seemed particularly strong today and she wasn’t sure she would survive it. Though the thought of giving up was truly tempting, this wasn’t her time yet, nu-uh. So Calamity did what she did every morning, read her devotionals, took some time to let them soak into her being, gathered her strength and went on her way. It didn’t take long before she was reminded of why she was doing all this, why she was here, but her goal just seemed so unattainable…
Her goal? Her goal…man she’d been so full of fire, so full of dreams and ideals. All of them so much easier to maintain when circumstances were working for you, instead against you. Still all the signs she got were directing her path to…here. Calamity’s choices weren’t guided by being smart, but by her heart, which definitely created enough room for failure. Then again, the successes were all the sweeter. Not that she would take much credit for them, her heart was, after all, guided by a force much larger and stronger than she would ever own. Oh Calamity wasn’t a stranger to moving in another realm, seeing through her spirits eyes, things that weren’t visible for the human eye. Vibes. Once such a popular, hip word. Calamity sensed vibes most people around her wouldn’t catch if they swam in it. And she learned early on, not all of those spiritual vibes were sent by benevolent sources. Nope, some of them were down right evil and it took the right spirit and courage to go against them. Well, to be honest, going against them wouldn’t solve anything, one had to defeat them. Calamity was no slave, but she did serve a Master and He could defeat them all. Had defeated them all.
Following the directions to the nearest well, her reason for coming here materialized before her eyes. There they were, alongside the roads and sidewalks, the beggars, the wanderers, the homeless. So many of them, sometimes whole families would just sit, hoping and waiting for somebody to throw them some coin or food, to survive yet another gruesome day. Some might have been in this situation already, but things had gotten so much worse for all those who were still alive after ‘The Big Change’. A mind-blowing event that happened a couple of weeks after Calamity arrived – just her luck – and still excruciatingly painful to think about. Slackers like herself became stragglers and as much as Calamity could berate herself daily for not taking matters seriously in the past, the fact she was, actually, left behind, was undeniable proof she failed somehow. Hah, talking about feeling like she was looking into another dimension! It seemed earth was simply swallowed by it, altering reality forever. She should have read the signs, really, there were so many signs for those who would have just opened their eyes to face them. Calamity recognized them, oh she did, she just failed to follow them.
The fact she wasn’t the only one was of little comfort, but she took it. These days she took every morsel of comfort she could get her hands and mind on, happiness was hard to find let alone joy. One of the things that hadn’t changed, was Calamity’s urge to share whatever cheer she found with the people who she met along the way. She’d always been convinced happiness was best enjoyed while sharing, multiplying the feeling, encouraging and getting encouraged in return. So her goal, her ultimate push to come here, was to act on that conviction, by actually meeting people’s needs. Basic needs. Obviously food was on the top of that list. After the Change, world economy had collapsed only to be ‘revived’ in a way that made it impossible for a lot of people to trade. Most common products were out of reach for all the people who felt the same way as Calamity: Sorry, so very sorry, they didn’t take the way up, but detoured…taking the road that lead them nowhere but…here.
When Calamity first arrived and circumstances were better, providing food for the hungry had been a joy. Now, things had gotten so bad, she could hardly take care of herself anymore. One could go without food for a little while, and though she’d heard of people who survived on water alone, her body did not gave her any indication she was to be one of them. She loved food, she loved to eat, ugh. But everything was scarce these days, it wasn’t uncommon for people to start a fight over a slice of bread, even if it didn’t look like bread anymore… Calamity could remember so very well the smell of freshly baked bread, one of the best smells ever. As a matter of fact, she smelled it right now. Wait, how far gone was she really, that her mind started playing tricks on her? Fortunately she was close to the well because it seemed she definitely needed water more than she anticipated, if she was starting to hallucinate.
Getting her bottles ready to be filled, Calamity couldn’t shake the thought of freshly baked bread. Was she imagining the smell got stronger with every step she took? Convinced she was losing her mind, she passed a restaurant, closed at the moment, though it seemed to be still open for business. And right there, on one of the patio tables, she saw it. A big basket filled to the brim with steaming hot buns. Calamity’s mind went blank, the hunger suddenly awakened with a vengeance and roaring inside her, overruling every other thought. She looked left, then right, checked again, then snatched the bag right of the table and started to run, forgetting all about filling her bottles. She ran and ran without thinking, back to her car. Out of breath, she took a last sprint, opened the car door and dove inside, closing the door with a loud bang. It took her a couple of minutes to calm down and to start breathing normally again. At the same time her sanity seem to return and Calamity realized, she just turned into someone else. Someone she’d never thought to be.
To Be Continued…
Wishing y’all a Happy Weekend
& don’t hesitate to share your opinion about Calamity below! ❤