The Wandering Crowd

‘Well everybody’s running, But you don’t know where,Time is running thin, Everybody’s looking for somebody to love, But we’re scared to let them in, And I say oh oh oh, Are there any survivors?, Am I here alone?, I say Oh Oh Oh, Are there any survivors? Am I here alone? Am I on my own?’ Survivors by Passenger

Memory is a funny thing. It comes and goes taking you deeper into the past or closer to the present. You have no control over where it leads, or how far you are willing to go to keep it sacred. All you know is that you must keep those memories alive. If for no other reason than the stories that offer hope in darker times. 

We are all in darker times now. Some would even say the darkest of times. It has been days since I have seen my friends. I don’t know if any of them are still alive. When we took on this quest, we had no idea … wait I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning. 

The Sacrifice

It has been years since the dark-haired, dark-eyed woman made the ultimate sacrifice. Some of us have grown up on the stories of her brave journey into the other realm. We have heard the tales of the white horse, the battle of the valley, the meadow of peace, and the safe place. But to many of us that is all it is … stories. 

We have had a hard time believing any of it is true. My name is Sasha and I am one of The Wanderers. There are two groups in this world; The Wanderers and The Keepers. There are the ones who seek to destroy and take us to the bad place. The place that we don’t like to think about or name. 

It is a complicated story to try to share. Maybe this is how she felt. If she actually existed and is not just a story shared to give The Wanderers hope and delusion of a safe place. 

I will start by explaining why these groups exist in the first place, and what happened in our world to make it this way.

The Keepers

Some time ago in the time of the dark-haired lady there were people who searched for the broken and wounded. They took them to a place called the spiritual emergency room. It was meant to be a place of refuge in the minds of the holy. I reckon that is what the plan was in the start. It was a way to keep the broken from being broken. It was a way to heal the wounded souls who had been through so much darkness. 

Maybe that is how it all started. Maybe the spiritual emergency room was just that … a refuge. A place for all the ones who were tired, broken, lost, and in need of some kind of faith boosters. 

It all changed at some point. The Keepers are the ones who take souls. They take souls from the ones who are called The Wanderers. The Keepers report any activity of the sort to the ones who hunt us down like dogs. They keep a watchful eye on every corner, under every window, and in every alley waiting to snatch us. 

The way it is done is we are taken to that place. The spiritual emergency room where we are told we are going to get a spiritual surgery. We are told we will get some kind of spiritual awakening. All I can tell you is every wanderer who has ever been taken has never been seen or heard from again. 

The Keepers are the ones who have been deemed worthy of life, love, and souls. They are allowed to live in peace within the world I have always known. They can do what they like. They are not hunted or afraid of anything. 

The Wanderer

The Wanderers are the ones that this world has decided is no longer worthy of life, love, or souls. They have out used or lived their purpose in this realm. This is decided by the fact they are deemed suicidal, rebellious, depressed, or just sad too much of the time. 

It had been decided before I was born to outlaw suicide. It seemed like a good idea at the time since there was so much of it going around. There was so much death and chaos happening in the world. Those who had planned to take their lives were taken to the spiritual emergency room. The stories go that the souls of the suicidal were taken out of the body and placed in one of The Keepers. The Keepers were given whatever life The Wanderer was so obsessed with throwing away. 

That worked for a little while since there was less suicide. I mean no one wanted to have their soul sucked out of their body. Then the hunters got keen to the fact that people were rebelling against the system. There was a huge uprising that started with the dark-haired lady if you believe the stories. 

Us wanderers became more than just alleged suicidal cases, but it expanded to depressed, sad, lost, and people that The Keepers didn’t like. 

My name is Sasha. This is the story of how my friends, and I tried to stop them from committing the worst kind of sins. The ones in which you take souls and sell them to the highest bidder for extra chance at life. The ones where the broken get kicked and tossed around for not being perfect. 

This is our story …

The Uprising

My friends Felix, Justice, Autumn, and I broke free from The Keepers and those who would hunt us down. We ran away from the ‘orphan factory’ that is the place they keep the ones ready for the spiritual emergency room. 

You may wonder how they can tell who is broken and who is not? Like I said, they have spies who do their dirty work for them. They have people who go out and dig up and dirty they can find on others. The idea of humanity I read about in old books found in abandoned libraries is a magical concept now. There is no such thing as humanity now. It is all about surviving. 

I am shaking as I write all of this down, and I am listening to an old song from the before times to calm me. I like listening to that music from the stories. It makes me feel like I am not so alone. I am trying to get this down just in case they find me. I want to make sure there is record of what happened before … there I go again. I am sorry I am just on edge. You would be too if you knew most of your loved ones had been lost to the bad place. 

The Uprising came as a blessing to many in the old days. No one ever thought that any soul would stand up to the hunters. There was one in question who was considered the most brutal of all hunters. The man with the ice-cold blue eyes. The story tells it like this, the uprising began shortly after the message went out over the realms about the dark-haired lady’s sacrifice. She knew that they would take her soul. She was our version of Joan of Arc or Wonder Woman or Superwoman. She was one of us. One of The Wanderers. Not only did she find a way to get out of this world, but she figured out a way to the safe place. 

The stories about her would be told in such immense joy and deep sadness for we lost her. We lost the one who was willing to stand up and fight the ultimate battle. The fight of the ones who would hunt us down and steal our souls. The fight of all those who thought we were not worthy of love, life, or the safe place. 

When her message went to all The Wanderers it was like the greatest message ever heard. It sent a shock wave throughout all of the broken. It was a burning fire of hope, peace, and unconditional love that made them fight. 

The Uprising lasted for many months and there were a lot of deaths on both sides. There was a lot of fear on both sides for the first time ever. The Keepers got what they deserved for a little while. It all started to look up as though maybe, just maybe we would find our way out of this darkness. 

However, that is all just a story. I and my friends never really believed it. We spent a good part of our lives in the ‘orphanage factory’ just trying to stay alive. I guess I would be lying if I didn’t tell you how much those stories kept me going. I would pretend I was the dark-haired lady sometimes. I would pick up my homemade sword and pretend I was battling The Keepers on my noble white horse. It was a good story. 

The Plan

The time had come for us to be chosen for the next batch of sacrifices. The Keepers were getting worried about running low on The Wanderers. It had gotten to be dark times for all I guess. We were almost 21 now. When you become an adult, you phase out of the ‘orphanage factory’ and they take you to someplace far more sinister, or so I am told. I can’t imagine any place worse than this. It is like hell decided they had run out of room and threw up the worst of the worst. 

Felix had the idea at first to take one of the vehicles and get out as fast as we could. It would take a long time, but we knew we could do it. We wanted to get as far away from this place as we could. Justice was obsessed with finding out if the story was true and trying to get to the safe place. Autumn and I just wanted to keep our souls. We were in it just to stay alive. 

It would take a lot to get the vehicle and trick the guards. Felix was better at that since he had a stutter. He would keep the guards there for a while as we found a vehicle with keys still inside. They wouldn’t check us after the final calling, since they have never had anyone try to escape since the mass uprising. 

I think we needed supplies as well. We didn’t know how far or where the quest would take us. I knew where they kept all of the good stuff. I would gather all the supplies. Felix would distract the guards. Justice would find a vehicle with keys. Autumn would be the backup if Felix’s stutter went into a nervous breakdown and hid. 

Somehow, we managed to get out of the ‘orphanage factory’ and I am still trying to figure out how. Everything about the plan went wrong. I mean everything about the plan. It is almost like someone or something was watching for us. Like someone wanted us on the quest. 

I hear someone coming …. I need to hide. I will try to write more later. If you any of The Wanderers find what I have written so far take heart. I have seen the truth. I will share it with you when it is safe. 

Hello everyone! My name is Jasmine and I'm a Freelance Writer. I spent many years working for community newspapers, and trying to change a small part of the world. Now I am casting out a much larger net, and trying to reach as many souls as I can. You can follow my work on Jasmine's Corner at www.willisrecord.org and find out how one story can impact a community. As for my free time, I really enjoy adventures with family and friends. These adventures come in forms of road trips mostly. I love photography, journaling, and creating art!

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