#100DaysofFiction: On Day 23, we start with Jax.

It’s a temporary thing.

Jax repeated over and over, until he believed it.

It was time he showed his father what he was made of, and even though this little assignment wouldn’t afford him the freedom he craved – like having no boss overhead – it guaranteed his independence at least, which was something.

The train sounds were lulling him to sleep even though he wasn’t tired. His mind rewound back to his last conversation with his father over and over, even though it was the last thing he wanted. It made him crumple up the documents he was supposed to sign prior to arrival at the place, which… now that he thought of it, didn’t know much about. He just knew it was a college of some sorts and that he would be a Teacher’s Aid there. Ironic seeing as he was a terrible student himself.

It’s a temporary thing.

Jax repeated one more time, to make a point.

This wasn’t his life, not as he wanted it, but grownups made compromises, and this was his compromise – to spend some time in a private school in the middle of nowhere because it paid well. To save enough cash to start his own musical career, maybe even become an agent and run a business. He used to dream of the music as something pure that nobody could touch, but after being in a couple of bands it was clear that it was all business and the dream was all gone.

What a shame it was when dreams died in this pitiful way. But then, he thought, maybe they never die, but just transform into something different.

Like how the air was different this far deep into the province. Jax had only ever been into the big city, where he could pick from many things to do at any time of the day. He had to wonder if he would grow bored in this new environment. He could already feel how strange and silent it was, creeping up all around him.

Except for the voice. That voice he knew too well and not at all.

A final whistle announced the train’s terminal stop, which awoke Jax from his reverie. Still dazed from it, he realized there was nobody there. Nobody had spoken and he hadn’t heard another human being since the conductor tore his ticket at the start of his journey. It was a bit strange how silent the train was…

But Jax put it out of his mind and descended, his backpack in hand. He seemed to be the only one exiting his compartment and before he could look back to check whether he was the sole passenger, somebody broke the silence.

“Mr. Walker!” It was male and shrill. “Please step this way, and let me take that for you.” As if he was falling in another daze, he let the strange man take his backpack and lead him into some sort of carriage. Later he could only recall pieces like the man’s crooked teeth and the smell of trees, but not the entire picture.

There was the sensation of paper rustling and handling a pen.

Then Jax seemed to have been ushered into a magnificent castle, but he was certain that he made that part up. No college could have been this magnificent. It was probably derelict but his mind was making it into something it wasn’t because he hadn’t eaten all day. Yeah, that was it. You’re not yourself when you are hungry.

Once he was settled into his “living quarters,” he realized he wouldn’t be able to recognize the man or the vehicle that brought him there. The only thing Jax could do was to splash his face and repeat once again,

It’s a temporary thing...

Violeta Nedkova

Violeta Nedkova is a multipassionate marketer who loves helping people. She talks and writes about marketing with purpose and personality because it's so much better than traditional marketing.