By Cate Foy, TIWP Student
Althea is a peculiar girl. She is not peculiar in an objectively bad way, but she is peculiar in the sense that she is an enigma: puzzling, mysterious, and almost paradoxical. Her pale skin does not match the tan that any other desert inhabitant would develop over the period of ten years. When she speaks, she is loud and yet, she has a quiet soul. She radiates confidence but within her she carries an anger so strong it could metaphorically lift a bull.
Currently she’s driving down the same road she drives down everyday. But today something is different. For a reason that is clear to neither Althea nor I, she stops the car. The rode is desolate. In the small span of the surrounding forty acres, there are only thirty people. There is no one to witness Althea’s lapse of motion, and no one is there to see her getting out of the car. No one is there when she runs. And when she runs, she runs with no direction, as if she is breaking out of a prison, or racing an old friend in elementary school. But she is not being chased by any form of law enforcement, and she is all alone.
As previously stated, Althea is an enigma. But she is not crazy. So there must be a reason why she runs, similar to how there must be a reason why—after running for two hours in the heat of the desert without any water—she does not turn back to her car, or to the town she dwells in. And yet, she does not keep running. She starts walking in the opposite direction of her town and her car and her home. She walks into nowhere and—as someone who has studied every map and visited every known town in the particular desert she is in—I can confidently tell you that she is facing nowhere. And yet, she arrives. She arrives in a town neither she nor I nor any of the people I have ever asked have heard of, a town with an eye-catching sign that goes impossibly unnoticed. The sign, in all its mesmerizing glory, reads simply Santa Luna.