by Orangeblossom Took
A rainy summer day in the
The red streetcar was bright against the grey day and ran quietly along
the track, paralleling the massive brown river on the other side of the
levee. The only sound that could be heard was the occasional crack of
thunder. The summer storms scattered in the sky made the light soft and
filtered and a gentle rain was falling on the old market, the
cathedral, and misting the windows of the streetcar.
The lone occupant of the streetcar’s wooden benches was a small
brunette woman leaning on the frame of an open window. She was
contemplating change. She was about to undergo a change in employment
and a change in housing. Now, one of her safe havens was changing as
well. Would these changes, any of them, be for the better? Only time
These were the thoughts falling on her heart like rain when the
streetcar came to its next stop. Another passenger got on. A tall man
garbed in green. His ensemble was eccentric, even by the standards of
the City That Care Forgot. With a start, she sat up straighter in her
seat. She knew this man; at least she knew her mental picture of him.
That was all her mind had time to grasp before he sat next to her.
In a hushed, tentative voice she said his name like a question,
“Faramir?” She did not know what made her so bold. It could be the fact
that he sat next to her or it could be how the bruised silver and
violet quality of the light and the sound of the rain made everything
seem like a dream.
He gave her a slight smile and said, “Yes. I was in the woods of
Ithilien and I suddenly found myself in this strange city. It was night
in the forest. I stepped into an errant moonbeam and was here. It is
far from what I know but I feel as if I know this place and you.”
The woman blushes and says, “Well, I have written about you. My name is
Orangeblossom. I have lost my job, my messageboards, and my way.
Actually, I am leaving the job for a new and quite different one and
the messageboards are being replaced with new ones as well. I worry
about making the transition and this not being a huge mistake. Change
has always frightened me.”
“Ah,” he said, “Change is something we all must face. It can indeed be
frightening but it is as inevitable as the tides or the phases of the
moon. Do not fear. Even if these changes are for the worse, you will
have the strength to face that. I could not tell you why I know that
but that is what I feel is true.” He paused, gave her a quizzical
glance, and asked, “What is a messageboard?”
She gave a little laugh and said, “If we had time, I could show you.”
She chewed her bottom lip and fear again appeared in her eyes and she
continued, “I thank you for the kind words but what if I fail at this
job? Even if I don’t, it is only temporary. It is in my field, though.
What if the boards are never the same?”
He leaned forward, brushed the hair back from her face, and said, “Fear
does no good. Remember, the far green country awaits us all in the end
and that, at least, is unchangeable.”
She yawned and said, “I beg your pardon, I feel exhausted all of a
sudden. You are very kind but I knew that about you.”
Her eyes closed and she slumped in her seat. She thought she felt his
lips brush her forehead before she lost consciousness.
She woke up to the cry of, “Last stop.” The riverfront streetcar had
completed its route. The silver-violet sky had deepened to a midnight
blue and lamplight glistened on the rain-slicked pavement. She was
again alone as she left her seat and exited the streetcar.