Archived: Heeding the Call by Jarred Mendenhall

“…and that is how I ended up in a room with 4 guys and a video camera.” Gil boasted.

“Oh…” Fiona replied.

Both women strolled through the sea of people that coursed over the sidewalk of the city they had found themselves in. Gil’s way of dressing got several looks from people, but despite that, they soon turned their gazes elsewhere. Fiona towered a couple feet above the populace, most of them staring up at her as they passed. She didn’t notice though as she rummaged through her person for a particular item, a pancake-sized cookie wrapped in plastic. She smiled as she pulled it out and considered enjoying her treat in the nearby park. Her stomach growled, which was decision enough. Her large fingers started peeling apart the plastic containing the cookie.

As Fiona raised the cookie towards her delicate mouth Gil spoke, “Ooh that looks delicious. Where’d you get that?”

She groaned. “I bought it with some of the money my sister gave me.”

Gil nodded, “I’ll have to grab something when I get done with this job. Hopefully it won’t take too long. Will you be okay waiting out here? There’s steps you could sit on.” She gestured to the sprawling steps that led up to the white pillared building next to them.

Fiona found a particular stair to sit on and was soon waving at those who gave her a passing stare. It wasn’t long before her stomach decided to growl again, though she heard a sound like crying. Her brow furrowed and she glanced around but didn’t find anyone. At first. She focused on the plaintive sound, which caused her to gaze across the busy sidewalk and street. Fiona rose and parted the sea of people with her presence before approaching the edge of the street.

The grass parted around her toes as she stepped on the verdant ground of the city park and approached a small girl next to one of the park’s many trees. Fiona leaned down a little before “Is something wrong sweetie?”

The girl hiccuped, “M-My cat is stuck…in the tree!” and uncovered her eyes which widened at the sight of the towering woman.

Fiona moved closer to the tree and leaned into the branches to look for the cat. A moment later she smiled and reached through the leaves before pulling back with a calico cat displayed in her great hand. The girl continued to stare at Fiona in shock but blinked and seemed to come to her senses when she was offered the cat back.

“Thank you…miss!” she said taking the cat into her arms.

“You’re welcome.”

“C’mon Lulu, let’s go home!” she said waving at Fiona before breaking into a run.

Fiona smiled and went to retrieve her cookie, but a yelp split the air just then. She looked in the direction of the wail just in time to see someone on a bike hurtling down a paved path from atop a hill.

“No brakes! Get out of the way! I can’t stop!” the rider screamed at the top of his lungs.

She moved onto the path to intercept him and his bike before hoisting them both into the air. It took him a moment to realize what had happened and by then she had already set him down.

“O-Oh, thank you…uh, miss.”

“Be more careful next time,” she advised.

People were starting to notice her more, whispering among themselves as she looked for the right grass patch to sit on. She chanced a glance at the white building Gil had gone into when she saw a young boy emerge from the throng of people on the sidewalk and into the path of an oncoming truck.

She dashed towards him even as the driver registered the boy and slammed on the brakes. She slid to a stop between the two throwing up her arm. There was a resounding boom and crunch of metal as the truck stopped. The rear-end raising up from the momentum and landing with almost as much noise.

“Goodness.” Fiona said with a smile as she looked from the shocked but unharmed truck driver to the boy. “That was close. Your mom looks really scared, go give her a hug.”

“Ma’am are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine. I’m sorry about your truck,” she replied.

The driver started to shake his head when a series of explosions ripped through the air from somewhere deeper in the city. Fiona straightened in response, staring at the smoke already starting to rise. Without another word she leapt in the direction of this new disaster, her shaggy russet hair parting from her eyes.

Later Gil found Fiona sitting where she’d left her, scrunching up a plastic cookie wrapper.

“What happened to you?”

Fiona gave a soot covered smile. “Nothing really.”