RPG Blog hop, part 1

Elena pulled her thin jacket tighter around her and turned into the wind. She hated every step she took. She hated freezing her ass off because her boss told her that the customers liked to think of her as sexy all the time. She hated the dirty feeling she had every other Friday when she did what she had to do to keep him from turning her mother in as undocumented. She hated the way he said “undocumented,” the way she heard “illegal,” the way she knew that it didn’t matter what she did – to some people, her whole family would always be dirty. She hated that instead of hanging out in the dorms at some Ivy League university, as anyone else with her GPA would have been doing, she was wearing skimpy uniforms and preening for tips from businessmen too cheap or cowardly to go hire an escort and give them what they really wanted. She hated this city, these people, and the knowledge that brilliant little Elena Morales had no future ahead of her except a descent down a morality ladder she’d already seen so much of.

She hated on such a palpable level that she always wondered how people didn’t see it. It felt like it should be shining out of her eyes, her fingers, every strand of hair. But a smile and a low-cut top did wonders to make men ignore the reality in front of them, and the women she knew were in their own hells and knew better than to comment.

Every click or clack of her utterly-inappropriate-for-daily-life heels punctuated the anger she fought to keep contained, at least until she got home. At home, she hated, but she could hate alone. A mile, three deadbolts, and two chains later, and she was finally safe. Elena stripped off her whore’s clothes (as she always thought of them), showered off what she could of her biweekly copulation-for-safety with her boss, put on a long t-shirt, and climbed into bed, ignoring the tears that rolled down her face the whole time. In bed, the cracks in the dam that had been building all day finally gave way entirely, and she wept uncontrollably. It wasn’t the first time she’d passed out from the exhaustion of wracking sobs, and she knew it wouldn’t be the last.

Than night, she dreamed of fire.

Morning came quietly, a sharp contrast to the night before. There were salt tracks on her cheeks, but the sun shining through the window spoke of a cleanliness that superseded small details. Elena grabbed her phone and thought about checking Twitter, but decided against it. She was in no mood for the real world today.

Instead, she checked the weather, then called up the train schedules. Today would be a perfect day for getting out. Getting out of the city, getting out of her life, getting out of her head. She washed her face and started getting dressed in what she thought of as her armor – jeans, flannel, and sturdy hiking boots. Elena knew men could be assholes even when she was dressed as unalluringly as possible, but this way, she at least felt like she could tell them to go to hell. She grabbed her phone, her backpack, and a water bottle and headed down to the deli a couple of blocks away for provisions for the day. ‘Provisions.’ Heh. She felt so alive, going on an adventure, that for a while she started to imagine that it was more than just a stolen day off.

On the train upstate, Elena called her boss and told him that, yes, she knows Saturday is the biggest day of the week, but she’d eaten something the night before that was making her sick (which was technically true), and if she came in today, she’d just puke on the customers. Yes, if she felt better she’d come in. Right. Like that was going to happen. She needed this trip, and nothing – not even threats from that douchebag – was going to stop her. And then she put her phone away and stared out the window at the changing countryside.

As the city changed to suburbs and then forest, she thought mostly of the hate that so often consumed her. It wasn’t doing her very much good to hate, but she couldn’t ignore it. It was too big. A day in the woods wouldn’t get rid of the hate, but she hoped maybe she would start to see a way out. That’s what she wanted most of all – a way to a life that she didn’t hate. Maybe back to school. Maybe to a real job, one where she didn’t have to shake her ass and put out just to keep the wolves at bay. Maybe make some friends, maybe even a special friend. But it all seemed so daunting when she was just barely keeping a roof over her head and her mom out of the hands of ICE.

The train stopped at the end of the line, and Elena got out. She was headed towards an unincorporated area – what she thought of as wilderness – with seven hours before she had to catch the train back to the city. She set the alarm on her phone for half of that, so that she’d know to turn around at some point, and headed out. She walked through the little town at the end of the line, then headed out of town in some direction along what looked like some side road. She didn’t have a plan for where she’d go, but she had food, good boots, and enough on her mind to keep her occupied. At some point, she left the road and began making her way along some long-forgotten path through the trees.

In the first hour of walking, she had to fight to keep herself from turning around half a dozen times. She was never going to make her life better tromping through some trees. She was never going to get away from her awful job and her awful boss and her awful life, and thinking she would was only going to make it harder to get through each day. She could still go back, earn a night’s pay, and not have to eat ramen for a week to make up for this ‘adventure.’ But she kept walking, determined to ignore those voices of failure. In the second hour, she found her rhythm and began seeing the life around her. There was more to the world than a grungy city and a seedy bar. And at the end of the second hour, she didn’t notice when she crossed over from one world into another.

3 Responses to “RPG Blog hop, part 1”

  1. Nice! I like it! Elena is such a compelling character, granted these days I have an empathy for characters who hate deeply, but this set up feels perfect for a really amazing adventure! The frustration, the need to get out, the guilt for doing so all ring very true to me. Just, wow!

  2. […] see drmagoo’s contribution to this adventure, and keep an eye out for the #TeamRPG […]

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