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It took several weeks until Gwiazda slowly started to come to terms with the strange circumstances. First the weird performance of the leather clad guys in the restaurant; then the young man, who literally fled from the scene, and whom she later had found half dead on the pavement; then the conspiracy, which denied his entire existence. All that needed to be processed. In the end she came to the decision that she did not want to have anything to do with this matter anymore, really and completely nothing.
She had even taken some time off work from her job as nurse. But now she wanted her life to get normal again.
The first day at work went smoothly. The colleagues were all very considerate. Somehow her story had spread. Gwiazda did not want to know, what exactly was said about her. It would not be correct anyway.
When she went home that evening, she felt content. She would take up the threads of her life, and everything would be put in order again.
When she turned around the corner into her street, she almost bumped into an elderly man. He looked old, not elderly, extremely old with countless wrinkles on his face. On his head we was wearing an old-fashioned jelly bag cap, which did not really match with his stern face and the fierce, almost piercing eyes. His coat was more like a cape. What he was wearing underneath, was not discernable. Gwiazda thought that he resembled the description of the ancient bus driver from her friend Sofia’s hallucination after her accident. This was exactly how she would have imagined him.
”You are wasting your time, girl”, the old man scolded her. ”Go home and find the book, your favourite book, which you even took to bed with you. Don’t you remember? Open it so that its magic can show itself to you. Do it, as long as you still can!“ After these words the old man rushed around the corner and disappeared in the dark.
Of course Gwiazda remembered the book. It was a fairytale: Starlet and the Walker. The Walker? How could she not have noticed that! Curiosity got the better of her, forgotten were frustration and fear. She rushed into her apartment and searched for the book. It was in her wardrobe hidden in the back under a blanket. Why was that? She did not remember. Maybe it had something to do with her parents‘ death; they used to read to her from the book when she was a child.
Under the blanket lay also her old alarm clock with the image of the stellar formation Orion on the disc. Both items were tightly connected with her happy childhood that came to a sudden end, when first her mother and later her father died in accidents. Her mother was hit by a car on her way home, and her father was killed by a pallet with blocks of gas concrete at work. The pallet mystically came loose from the transport chains when the crane lifted it up to the third floor of the future administration building. Her father had been the supervisor on the site.
Gwiazda opened the book. – Nothing happened. She waited a bit. All of a sudden a kind of fog rose from the book and formed a hologram, the picture of a man in a floating coat and with a black hat.
The hologram began to speak. „You, who you have opened this book, are the last descendant of the Walkers. The Walkers are the conscience of the world. Once we were thousands, now we are five. Your grandfather is one of us. Your father refused to take on the task. He preferred to lead a normal life. It was of no use to him. The Walkers are hunted by the servants of Mammon, who aims to subjugate mankind. They are everywhere! They don’t show any mercy! You have to continue the task, you are the last link, the last hope!“
”But I am a woman”, protested Gwiazda, ”how can I be a walker?”
The hologram did not answer, as it was a recording. Gwiazda wondered, when it might have been made, as it had not been in the book before, she was absolutely sure of that. Maybe her grandfather had recorded it after her parents‘ death? Why did she not have any recollection at all of her grandfather?
The hologram had neither told her what she could do, nor how she was supposed to do it. Nothing of this was really helpful. Now her life that she wanted so much to get back to normal, was disturbed again. And she had not even received any instructions or advice for the rescue of mankind, which apparently was expected of her. Was it obligatory for a Walker to run around in this strange garb? And what role was Holger playing, her former neighbour and alleged friend? Was he serving Mammon? The young man, whom she had found on the pavement, was sympathizing with the Walker; he had wanted to warn him. Had Holger been behind the attack on the young man? That would be terrible, unthinkable! But it had been very unusual for Holger to have been exactly there and at so late an hour. And then he had simply vanished. Or had something happened to him as well, and her suspicion was unjustified?
She would not get an answer to all these question here and now, that much was certain! First, she would read the book one more time. Maybe it contained hints. Apart from that, she could only hope to meet the old man again. Next time she would ask him specific questions.
(To be continued)