There were times when I really doubted my situation; times when I believed it wasn't real. It was those times when I actually imagined my demise, in situations unfavourable, ways I could be killed. It wasn't a very good way of thinking, but that was what ran through my mind as Sakura pulled me after her.

It was the strangest feeling, the feeling of almost flying, almost, then THUMP! I started falling. I cranked my head towards Sakura in panic.

"Erh… Help?" a whisper came out of my mouth.

"Don't you worry, it's all good" She kicked her boots and the air around my slowed. I realised now that we were gradually descending, rather than quickly.

We touched the ground. It was a dirt ground, surrounded my scrubs around my height. We were in the area of the township.

"This is it, now, time to get you out of those clothes." She spoke paying little attention to me as she dragged me along.

*

Moments later we entered the town, it wasn't a futuristic town, with flying vehicles and high rise buildings, rather the opposite. A lot of buildings were stone and wood built, and many lifestyle methods were done, like ancient times. Only one thing was different. There were items that littered the place that were not "ancient". It looked to me as if light poles, service machines, computers, the usual technology. I asked Sakura about the items. The town was brightly lit at places by fires and light poles.

"Um, hey, what are those things? I mean, they don't seem to fit this kind of 'town'".

"These? Oh, these are communication devices used to make contact with people from the city. They are also used to transport supplies. Look there, its activating right now"

I glanced over to my right. There was a rather largish circle mounted onto a stone wall. The wall seemed old and worn, but the circle seemed to be so new, it looked as if it was just made. The circle sounded and its lights lit up around the edges. Seconds later, the centre turned a liquid form and out came a vehicle I had never seen.

"That's a transport ship. It carries this town's needs" People came running out, aware of its arrival. The driver climbed out of the ship and dropped to the ground. He started talking with a local man. I studied their clothing. It was very different. The town's people wore clothing of less "prestige" then the man from the city. The town's people wore simple cloth shirts, pants and dresses.

They say the world revolves around some very important people. Well, in this case, I have to say it is very much so.

Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one's own person is its ultimate reward.

The delivery man seemed to be of much higher status than the town's people and he was constantly appraised by the town person. The delivery man talked to the other man so wrongly I felt I had just to hit him across the face. It was annoying to see basically the lack of human rights.

"Let's go, this way, or you'll get lost!" Sakura's voice broke my train of thought.

*
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don't give up.

Never lose hope.

We entered the centre of the township. Immediately I began turning heads. People from all over the place turned and stared at my presence. They gazed with their eyes, like vultures smelling prey. The accompaniment of the shadows produced by the lights, brought an uneasy memory as I remembered a story from my childhood.

"The lesser evil

As usual, cats and children noticed him first. A fuzzy black, brown cat, lazing on a sun-warmed stone wall screeched, pulled back its ears and broke away as he approached. A young boy, picking around with ants, crawling around in the hot sun looked up to meet a scary looking face. He startled and ran away, fearing for his life."

Sakura pulled me up onto a passing cart, as it rode slowly, without trying to overtake the hay cart just ahead of it. A laden donkey trotted beside our cart as its sad eyes looked up to me. It felt weird, as if something wasn't quite right about this town. I whispered to Sakura.

"Um, can't we go any faster? People are looking at me like some sort of monster"

She only chuckled. "You do look like one in this state. Your face is so pale."

The hay cart finally turned down a side-street leading towards what looked to me as some sort of granary. That led off to a habour from which a sea-breeze blew, having seagulls nesting around the place. Our cart sped up, and I took the opportunity to clear the mess in my head"

"May I ask you some questions?"

"Sure, we have time"

"Where are we going?"

"Oh! To my place of course."

"Okay… second question, why is the cart pulled only by an animal, and no driver?"

"That's because all these animals a trained"

"Alright… Last question, what's that?" I pointed over to the town center, where a large open area was filled with people, fires and stands. There were people dancing, playing, and performing.

"That, is the night festival. The Myst Festival"

"Myst?"


We move further away from the festival.

"Hey, don't look down, we'll be attending it later, it's not even hymn time yet" Sakura chimed as a grin crossed her face.

As we walked further and further away from the center, the area became quieter and darker. To my left I spotted an expanse of rubbish, a rubbish tip. Not ones for general rubbish, but one for materials, household items, toys, machinery.

I spotted a man and his son. A middle-aged man wandered around piles of garbage, holding his young son's hand. As they walked, they looked silently at old washing machines, broken wooden chairs, grimy sinks and damaged cupboards. Amidst the rubbish lied other various futuristic material. Lamps, devices of some importance, long ago diminished. In front of them, ashes cover the burnt ground. A few book covers have survived and some good words here and there found their way out between the flames. Nothing is eternal, not even thoughts. They looked to be out of place, rather cast out. I imagined their sadness.

A bit further on, there was a heap of fast-food packaging, used and unused, piling up like a monument, scraps of fallen empires. Spread in front of it was a large collection of broken television sets. Somehow, along the way, those objects became what they used to broadcast: junk for broken souls. The two people trodded through the piles and disappeared from view. I snapped out of my daze and hurried with Sakura.

"Ah.. are we there yet?" I asked, in my most polite way.

"Yep, we're here"

I looked towards where she was pointing. It was a stone house, just like the others, this one with smoother walls. It was a fantastic building, one of intriguing design, its construction I would have never seen before. It was similar to modern houses, only it was made a little more ruffle and the walls were stone. She led me into the house.

"I think you should take a shower first, I'll find you a set of clothes and then I'll answer some of your questions. The bathroom's that way" She pointed straight then to the left.

I looked around the house from the entrance. It was just like any normal house. I walked down the main corridor. Kitchen, which led to the dining room on the first left; living room on the right. I entered the bathroom. It was a simple bathroom but its technology came at a surprise. It was very different from the bathrooms at home.

*

The toilet and wash sink were the same as home but the taps... there were no taps. I undressed and looked over to the shower. There was no taps either. Weird. I called out to Sakura.

"Sakura! How does these things work? There isn't any taps!" I shouted near the door.

"Taps? There isn't any taps here, they're pressure sensors and screen buttons" A childish voice spoke from behind the door.

What? Child?