Taken: Breaking the Darkness Book 1(3)

By: Felicia Starr

Although, I always considered myself fairly average--well, maybe a bit above average, but who's counting? When I was school age, I tried to go as unnoticed as possible. Not so much because I thought there was anything wrong with the way I looked, but it helped prevent anyone from getting close enough to know me, or my family. I wasn't fond of coming up with an explanation for why I lived with my grandmother. Not that we ever really lived anywhere long enough for it to matter anyway.

As a young adult, I began to come into my own and enhance my natural essence. I still kept my red hair long and, when time allowed, I would set it in rollers or take a curling iron to it for soft curls. There were times as a teen when I considered coloring my hair to blend in more, but what fun would that be? My fiery red hair made me feel unique and special, the way Gram always insisted I was. Besides, it was a perfect, unexpected compliment to my bluish-grey eyes.

I was actually quite surprised at my own composure. Fear undoubtedly has a way of bringing out a part of ourselves that we might not expect to ever find. I was very glad to find out that I was, so far, able to keep a clear head. Perhaps I was just so bored with the utter nothingness of the situation that I hadn't allowed myself to get worked up about the "what ifs" of what could be going on.

I wondered if I would get back to my apartment. I only just started to move in and still hadn't decided on paint colors. I was leaning toward a rustic mustard color and painting all the trim either a shade darker or brown. It would work well with all the antiques I hunted down at The Flea. I loved walking through the market early in the morning with a cup of organic black lightning in hand to help fight off the early morning chill.

I relished the opportunity to browse through belongings once adored so much by others. Each item had a story behind it and some vendors couldn't stop themselves from sharing their tales. More often than not, the best items and stories had the most years behind them. I preferred to purchase those articles worth talking about. If, by chance, I ever had guests, I would always have something to chat about.

Although there seemed to be many new vendors each time I went, a few were there every Sunday morning. I'd gotten to know some of them by name. I couldn't really say I'd made friends with many, but it was always nice to see a familiar face. I always looked forward to one couple in particular. They must have been close to seventy. I wondered how they managed to lug all their things to the market to sell each week. I had a suspicion they kept the back of their Volkswagen bus loaded with the same artifacts and added a few odds and ends each week to replace any sold items.

They were small people. Axel was a bit shorter than me, about five feet seven inches, and his bride Patience was maybe five feet tall. Although she was quite compact, she didn't give off any sign of frailty. She certainly wore the pants in that relationship.

Axel kept what was left of his hair buzzed down to almost nothing. He always had on brown dungarees and a guayabera short-sleeved button-up shirt, like they wear in South America. Patience wore her hair as she must have in the forties. The front was scooped up away from her face in some sort of a poof or roll and the back was always in a bun or twist. She always looked perfect--never a hair out of place, makeup just right, and if market day fell on a holiday, she wore red lipstick and a flower in her hair to match her attire.

They often bantered playfully, pausing with two giant smiles when a potential customer approached their stand. Something about them reminded me of the old couple that lived in the tree in the movie The Princess Bride. Of course my new buddies were way better looking.

One of my last flea market purchases was an item from Axel and Patience--a beautiful bookshelf made of reclaimed wood with stone shelves. Axel told me the gentleman from whom they obtained the bookshelf claimed the stone shelves originally came from ruins in Palenque, Mexico. The wood was reclaimed floor planks from an old schoolhouse. How incredible was that? Even if it wasn't totally cool-looking, the history of the materials sold me.

Before I was even able to let them know I'd pay their price, Axel proceeded to tell me about one of the Mayan civilizations that lived in Palenque. He rattled off a small history lesson about their civilization, existing from two hundred-something AD to one thousand-something BC. Somehow he even knew they occasionally had women rulers, again, a pretty cool element to this piece. After twenty minutes of wars, kings, and hieroglyphs, finally he wrapped it up with how the jungle consumed the abandoned community. His stories always involved some kind of history lesson. Patience just smiled and winked at me.

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