Badly Drawn Lines
by Leenna Naidoo
Hurtling on East-West tracks crossing North-South dunes, stuck beside a nesting backpacker with halitosis.
Fairly good luck considering I could have been seated next to a green lizard guy, like the girl over on the left. Or...well, I could have been seated alongside me.
Hurtling across North-South dunes along East-West tracks could be fun. But not today--not with three point five minutes left.
I refused to contemplate it. I stared at Lizard Guy instead.
He stared back--for a full three minutes. Another minute and we'd fall in love, maybe.
Beanie adjusted, with a whole thirty seconds to spare, I headed down the swaying coach, intent on the restroom.
The restroom indicator switched from red to green. I was ready. So was Perseus.
He erupted out of the restroom, broken mirror held high.
Lucky I was looking down at his sandalled feet, with blue-black nailed toes. Lucky, too, his movement was limited in the confined space. A kick to his knee, and throw into the corridor wall; problem solved--if only...
Athena's sword slashed my sleeve. I stepped back, stumbling over Perseus; no choice but to roll far back into the coach aisle.
Human shouts of alarm and frantic movement contrasted oddly with Lizard Guy's calm. No more observation time with both Perseus and Athena rushing me.
I itched to remove my beanie, my hair already wriggling for escape, and turn my adversaries into stone; but I couldn't risk it--not with so many innocents in danger.
I dropped into a crouch, wishing for my own sword, and that the two rows alongside me didn't hold panicky Seniors.
Perseus advanced, eyes gleaming with the realization that my hair was hidden. Then I noticed Lizard Guy nodding at me and to the coach in general. All humans were stock-still. Only us so-called gods had movement. Lizard Guy glanced casually away.
I whipped off my beanie. My hair exploded, snaking out, turning Perseus and Athena into stone.
Sighing with relief and gratitude, I glanced at Lizard Guy. He was intently watching the dunes roll away. I shrugged, enjoying the freedom of my loose hair.
I rolled Athena back in the restroom, unsure how long Lizard Guy's stasis would last.
East-West tracks laid along North South dunes...
Traveling at speed during the right constellation alignments makes opening a portal into any realm easy--perfect for Olympians staging a coup on Earth; perfect for Annuki traveling back home. A headache for Medusa, one of many protectors of the balance in realms.
Quickly, I kicked Athena and Perseus back home, then shut their portal. I resumed my seat, tucking my hair back into my beanie.
I stared at Lizard Guy as the coach stirred with confused passengers. He stared back with half a smile. We weren't friends, not by a long ways. Nor were we enemies, not yet.
A nod and a half-smile back at him. Satisfied, I watched the last of the North-South dunes slide by.