Now a Stranger

On a whim she decided to cut through the old neighborhood on her way home. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but as she approached she felt put off by the old familiarity she once had but seemed to be lacking lately. She pulled her hat down further over her eyes and beckoned her coat closer.

As she ambled she passed the old familiar things: the doc’s place on the corner, with the modestly proud League symbol by the door; a line of laundry on the Mistress’s balcony, momentarily neglected while she served her muse; the old coffee shop across the way, where she and a knot of friends would go to chat, relax, and swap ideas. Back then they were regulars. But that felt so long ago.

She passed several small groups and vendors on the street, keeping her head down. Normally she would’ve stopped to take note of their wares, offering her familiar commentary in exchange for the pleasure of beholding the work. But now she felt like a stranger among her peers, out of place among the business as usual.

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