Copyright © 2023 Saymore Barauta

Published by Saymore





I placed the spear under the bed, it’s new home for the mean time and went in search of…whatever his name was. How does someone allow a person in their home and they don’t even know your name? The smell of food greeted me the moment I walked out of the bedroom. I used the walls to keep my balance. Though I must admit, the legs were working much better. Now it was just my vocal cords that needed to come to the party. I should have practiced before leaving the guest bedroom.

      He was busy dishing the food when I walked in. For a moment, I stood there and watched. I was trying to figure out how to explain to him that I didn’t want him to contact the police. The time for me to find my family would come but it was not today. Then I was diverted by that smooth fluidity in the way he moved, not just in his manner of walking but with everything. There was something surreal about him…mesmerizing, as if he could easily draw a person to him. What was it about him? Reaching out to him in spirit, I tried to read him. 

      He turned with impressive swiftness and looked at me. 

      I blinked. 

      Something flashed in his eyes that lasted only a second. I didn’t quite catch it but whatever it was, put me in a cautious mode. 

      “Come eat,” he ordered with quiet authority motioning to the chairs by the breakfast bar.   

      From where I stood to the kitchen area, there was nothing for me to hold on to. Taking a deep breath, I willed my legs to walk properly. They didn’t disappoint. He sat on the opposite side. Thanks to all goodness, I was still able to use a fork and knife, just out of practice but not bad. We ate in silence and then… 

      “Ethren, my name is Ethren.” 

      Lifting my eyes, I looked at him and nodded. As I was about to continue eating, I decided to try speaking again. “Thank you, Ethren.” My voice came in a strangled whisper. 

      An eyebrow arched and the corner of his mouth went up in a slight smile of encouragement. 

      Pressing on, since it seemed speech was planning on making an appearance after all, “I am Shira.” Then I stopped because my throat was starting to grate from forcing speech.

      His nostrils and chest expanded on an indrawn breath, his eyes getting hard. Casting his gaze onto his plate of food, “Pleased to meet you, Shira.” There was no missing the undercurrent meandering in that purr…lifting his face, he looked at me.

      My brow pleated, my eyes on my plate of food. What was that? I squashed down a shiver as that strange sensation crawled on my skin again. 

      We continued in silence. When we had finished, he ordered me to go sit by the couches and he left the room. I think he was a domineering man. He came across as someone who was used to having his orders obeyed without question. When he came back, he had a slick laptop in hand and a phone. The laptops I remembered were heavier than what he was holding.

      “You are struggling with speech, so you will type your answers,” he stated. “I will need your full name and address,” he looked at me then. Maybe to check if I had a home to go to. 

      I shook my head.

      “No home?” he said in question. 

      I looked at the laptop. He opened it, set it up then placed it on my lap.

      I typed, ‘I can go to a shelter if you know any. And don’t worry about calling the police.’

      Deep in thought, his brow creased while he stared at me. He got up, sauntered to the glass wall rubbing the back of his neck with one hand as the other went into a pocket. He stood by the glass wall, quiet for a while. 

      With his back to me, he finally spoke, “I will look for a shelter for you. In the meantime, you stay here while you recover your speech. You can stay for as long as you need.” 

      What? I was sure my eyes bulged. Was he offering me a place to stay?

      He turned to face me, “But I would like to know where you are coming from. I noticed you were struggling to walk, though it’s getting better and your speech is coming slowly. What happened to you?” His shrewd and assessing gaze on me. 

      Oh, by the depths. This…I was afraid of…having to explain. I couldn’t talk about it. I didn’t want to and wasn’t allowed to and besides he wouldn’t understand. What to do? I just sat there looking at the screen of the laptop wondering what to type. Well, it’s not like he was going to force me. No lie came to mind so I just shook my head. 

      “Did someone hurt you?” 

      I shook my head. Oh, I really didn’t want to talk about this. I typed, ‘Thank you for helping me and offering for me stay until I can get to a shelter. But are you sure you want me to stay?’ To be honest, staying would actually make it easier while I figured out how to find the person I was looking for. 

      Black fire ignited in his eyes. “I wouldn’t have offered.” It was said in a clipped tone. Not sure if I had offended him by asking or evading his question. 

      Well, it was my business and none of his. “Thank you,” is all I said and a silence descended upon us. 

      “You can watch television if you want, I will be in my office.”

      I looked at the television. The television I remember looked nothing like the slick gadget I was looking at.

      “You do know how to operate one?”

      My eyes were cast down as I shook my head. If I had to see the degrading stares he had been giving me one more time, I was certain I was going to use my spear on him.

      For a while he watched me as my gaze remained on my lap. And I was feeling uneasy again because I was sure he was trying to see past the exterior. “I will show you how the electricals work, so when I am not around, you will be able to get on.” 

      He spent the good part of the day teaching me to use the electrical appliances, operating television. He showed me a few things on the internet and I was very glad for it. I now had a way of searching for what I needed. When he was done, he gave me a laptop that I could use. I spent the rest of the day in the guest room, reacquainting myself with the internet and the world through the News. He was ensconced in his home office, which he’d shown me it’s location in the penthouse. Occasionally, I would hear his voice when he was on the phone. At one point his tone was clipped and I was glad that I wasn’t the one displeasing him. I had been given freedom to peruse the contents of his fridge and get whatever I wanted when I needed to eat. We had a quiet supper together. I had a most restful night and dreamt of the waters… 


By the time I woke up the next day, he was gone…to work, I assumed. 

      It felt strange to be here, I thought sauntering towards the glass wall to look at the marvelous view. The ocean had been my home for so long that it felt odd to be out of it. The glittering splendor that had my attention was even more magnificent in the deepest places most didn’t know existed. It was with shame that I now admit, I would actually miss it. Though I had wanted to be back on land more than live in the ocean, it was not a bad place. Life was simpler in that world. My grievance was that I had not been given a choice. But my life in the ocean had been easy flowing and brimming with abundance. 

      In this world, that I had been born into, it felt like I was in the thick of an emotional battle. I sensed everything swirling in the air. The world had accepted this life of pain, anger, hate, greed, well…it was a mess. Yes, Helpers were there, we existed…but how much could we do? And yet we still hoped; yes, there was hope because we still believed the world could become a better place. 

      Sighing, I turned away from the glass wall. I had expected to sense the person I was looking for and his location by just being in the same area. Or dream of him and hopefully get a clue of where to find him and what he looked like. But nothing had come up yet. This was hinting at being difficult and maybe taking more time than I had expected. What was I going to do? Had they made a mistake? But there was no way they could have been wrong. They were never wrong, infact. Meaning, I had to figure out how to locate the threat and neutralize it. It was a concern that I wasn’t able to go out and search. And I wouldn’t even know where to start. 

      After my breakfast, I went back to the guest bedroom and got on the internet. I searched for occurrences that couldn’t be explained, death tolls and the causes. Everything seemed abnormal to me. But, what was ordinary or abnormal to people? Maybe what I deemed strange was actually not. I didn’t know anymore. And there was a good explanation for everything I found on the internet. Not even once did the reports mention that the cause was unknown.

Maybe I wasn’t searching right, or even the right place.


It was late afternoon when I heard the doors to the elevator opening, signaling that someone was in the penthouse. The moment I stepped into the passageway, I sensed it—a strange aura. Definitely not Ethren. Instantly, I shifted into what I had been trained to be…a warrior. I went back to retrieve my spear then headed for the sitting room. Before I reached the door into the sitting room, I plastered my back against the wall and stealthily walked towards the door. By the door I crouched, spear at the ready and peeked into the sitting room. 

      His broad back was to me and he was surrounded by shopping bags. His aura didn’t hint at a threat. So, I quietly laid my spear on the floor and rose. My footsteps were inaudible as I walked towards him. In a suit, he was tall, bulky, with a head full of red curly hair and had no idea that someone watched him. 

“Hello…” I said and noted my speech was better today than it had been yesterday. 

      The man jumped slightly and turned. “Oh, I didn’t hear you come in,” he frowned a little as if not hearing me was a cause for concern, his skin going a shade red. “I am Helmut Stoutfish, Mr Oarkenheart’s driver. He sent me to bring you these,” pointing at the bags at his feet. 

      The moment he said Mr Oarkenheart, I started frowning. “I don’t know a Mr Oarkenheart.” I said slowly, sizing him up to see how I could tackle him. 

      He looked confused. “The owner of this apartment, Ethren.” 

      Oh. I looked at the bags, slowly walking towards him. After inspecting the bags, I looked at Helmut, blankly. Why was Ethren buying me clothing and why so many? I counted the bags…ten in all, eight were full of white clothing and only two had shoe boxes. Oh, I was to wear shoes now. That would be nice…yes, very nice indeed. 

      “He thought you might like to have your own clothing instead of his sweat pants and t-shirt.” He smiled lightly. 

      Yes, that was great but why? He’d offered for me to stay as long as I needed. But still, uneasiness unfurled in my gut. Was he not supposed to be searching for a shelter for me? Not that I was ungrateful, I just thought by now I would be getting ready to go. Or maybe he meant for me to take the clothes with. “Please tell him that I said, thank you.” 

      “I will do.” He said in a distant voice. That’s when it occurred to me that he was studying me, actually he seemed to be entranced, looking at me. 

      Why? I tried reading him…there was nothing threatening. Just a strange aura. “Thank you for bringing the clothes.” 

      The man snapped out of his trance, cleared his throat, his gaze roamed all over the room as if he had just only realized where he was. “Right, I have to be getting back to work. Are you alright, I mean…is there something you need me to take care of before I leave?” 

      Like what, I thought. I couldn’t very well tell him my mission and ask him to drive me around and see if I could find something.


After he left, I went to try the clothes on, naturally. They looked expensive, of course and were beautiful and my size. What made him think of white only? 

My focus didn’t stay long on the clothing. I had not yet found a way to locate the man I was looking for. Without knowledge of the city, it seemed impossible. By the end of the day, I was frustrated. I didn’t like the way it made me feel…like a failure. Failing was a word that could not exist in my vocabulary. Lives and the world depended on my success. 

      I was taught to believe that everything would work out in the end. Worry and fear, they said created negativity. I couldn’t afford that right now. But I found it so difficult not to worry. If I knew what the person looked like at least, it would help. Then it occurred to me that I actually had the power to go onto the spirit plane and search for the answers I needed. A month before I was to come back to land, I dreamt of the person. A man, but he was shrouded in darkness, I couldn’t see what he looked like. That dream was strange because it had felt as if he knew, as if he could see me. 

      Grabbing my shell, I went to sit on the carpet in a lotus position facing East. Holding the shell in both hands, I closed my eyes and took deep breaths until I felt myself relax. The moment I entered the spirit plane, the lady appeared in her spectral form, dressed in white as usual. It was as if she was there in the same room with me.

      “What’s blinding you so girl? You are disappointing me. I taught you better than that.” 

      I rolled my eyes at her. She spoke in a very stern voice but I knew under all the bluster she was quite soft. She made my life in the ocean bearable. More motherly than anyone. “Can’t you just show me his face?” I whined. 

      “No girl, that’s laziness. You must figure it out on your own. We can’t spoon feed you. We gave you everything you need to conquer. Now, I ask again, why are you blinded?” 

      “Ah yes, that’s another thing. I am not able to read people. Why is that?” 

      She shook her head. “That’s what I just asked you. There is no reason why you should struggle. You have everything you need. If you can’t see then there is a reason for it. What did we teach you?” 

      My mind cleared so fast, I gasped, “I am blocked, aren’t I?” 

      A knowing smile appeared on her face. 

      “By who, for what reason?” 

“You are being lazy again, girl.” Her eyes inspected the room, her head turning from side to side. “I see you are safe and well taken care of. We told you, you will have everything you need. But I have sensed worry, don’t let anxiety consume you.” 

      “The world has changed, and I don’t know where to start looking.” 

      She sighed in exasperation. “Keep your spiritual eye open and your mind as well, you will find what you are looking for. Now, stop wasting my time and get back to your task.” She smiled, and with that she was gone. 

      Somewhere in the house, I heard footstep sounds meaning Ethren was home. But I had a problem, if the man was blocking me…then he knew. He must have seen me coming before I even left the ocean. The dream came to mind, again. How to fix this? I asked myself. Answers are always there, one just had to look hard enough. Nothing was insurmountable in life. 

      A light knock on the door pulled me out of my reverie. Ah yes, Ethren. Quickly, I put the shell away and left my fretting for later. “Come in.” 

      When he entered, his eyes surveyed the room as if he expected to find something or someone other than me. “Good evening,” his eyes were still inspecting the room. He only stopped and looked at me when I didn’t return his greeting. 

      Wondering why he was acting that way and diverted by how astonishingly gorgeous he was in a suit, I forgot to reply. 

      “Shira, I said good evening.” His eyes bored into mine, but his voice was even—that delectable purr, though a bit force full. 

      “Yes, sorry, good evening.”

      A perfect brow arched, “your speech has improved.”

      Smiling lightly, I turned away from him and walked towards the glass wall to avoid his gaze. What was it with this man? I didn’t need my power to know he was staring. It felt as if he was trying to see inside me. This was the second time I felt that way. Only this time the look was accompanied by an ominous presence. Distantly, I started to wonder if it was wise to stay on at his place…if just a look could intimidate me. “Oh, thank you so much for the clothes and shoes,” turning to face him. 

      The formidable Ethren had disappeared. He was back to being surreal. How was he able to do that? 

      Immediately, I relaxed. How?

      I decided then I was going to do something about the blockage. I needed to see, spiritually. 

“You are welcome,” a ghost of a smile framed his lips. “Do you like them, do they fit?”

      I nodded wondering how he was able to get the right size. 

      “I am going to make supper, would you like to come and help?”

      I nodded once and followed him out of the room. 


He removed his suit jacket and draped it on the bar stool. 

      I watched him as I perched myself on another stool. 

      “What do you feel like eating?” Next, the cuff links were off and placed on the table. He folded his sleeves so he could work. All the while, I watched his movements…the grace in which he moved. I was beginning to be enthralled when his voice intruded. “Surely, there must be something you feel like eating.” He purred, lifting his eyes to look at me. 

      I cleared my throat, “You choose, I am fine with anything.” After over a decade of living on sea food and plants, I stopped being choosey. 

      “Alright, we will have prawns.” He stated. 

      Yum, I thought. 

      I helped where I could but mostly I sat and watched. He poured me a glass of white wine. He didn’t even ask what I preferred and it was strange because it seemed he knew what I was most likely to be partial to. Or maybe I was reading too much into it. Since he was domineering, maybe he just expected everyone to be okay with what he ordered.

      After supper, we cleaned up together and he invited me to sit with him and watch television. Occasionally, he would ask questions about where I was from, what had happened to me, how I ended up on the beach the morning he found me. I evaded most of them and told a lie. I told him I didn’t have any family. 

      Most of our evenings were spent that way. He would come home, cook while I helped. Afterwards we would sit to watch some television together. Sometimes he was on his laptop and I ended up doing the same. Ethren would explain things I didn’t understand and he was very patient. He seemed to enjoy talking to me about what I didn’t know. Of course, I was careful not to ask questions that would lead to him asking me questions in return. He spoke to me about his work, his travels and other things he thought would interest me. He was some business mogul from the sounds of it. I found out that I had landed in Capetown…Clifton, far from my home…Durban. There was no mention of  moving to a shelter, ever. I never asked because his place suited me quite well. But I did wonder, why he was okay with having a stranger under his roof? And everyday I grew more frustrated. I had not made any progress with my task. What did that say about me? Was I even capable of doing it? Staying indoors was also getting to me. Cabin fever was not doing it for me at all. In the ocean, I was used to going wherever I wanted, as long as it was not on land.








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