Why did she have this vague gnawing sensation? Celeste could almost feel her skin crawling and prickling as she headed down the street. The tunnels and mines weighed on her mind. These were like habitrails for people! As Celeste wandered she looked more closely at each building noting construction details and wondering which were connected to the ancient tunnel system . .
Celeste looked up and realized she was near Arnold’s Shoe Store and decided to head that way. Traffic was crazy as more and more reporters and looky-loos arrived and crossing even side streets was getting to be dangerous to almost impossible! As she walked she remembered a childhood game, walking wishes. A game where you made a wish while walking then concentrated solely on that wish while praying until you reached your destination. “What would I wish today?”, she wondered. “A warm, clean, safe comfy bed . . .” and her voice trailed off as she pictured it.
Celeste almost ran into the building Arnold’s store was in and she jumped as she came to a halt. The storefront was spruced up some and he had a fairly steady flow of foot traffic in and out. “Nice!”, Celeste thought.
She was beginning to notice more and more that the seemed to be floating along without much direction. Yes she was getting things accomplished but she was just dealing with life as it came along vs making things happen within a plan. She shook her head to clear cobwebs and wondered if a plan was really necessary?
Celeste took stock of the actual structure of the building looking for any oddities. The front seemed ordinary so she headed down the block to the alley access at the far end from Arnold’s. Slowly she walked down the alley. Celeste somewhat feigned interest in the small wooded area that ran along the alley opposite Arnold’s building. Every so often she would stop and pull a weed or prop up a flower, all the while studying every rack, nook and cranny in-depth. Celeste could see there was more to this row of connected buildings than meets the eye. She would have to come back later!
As she passed Arnold’s back door she noted a new hand painted note, ‘Thank You for helping save our store!! Please come see us about a job.’ Hmmm. . . she’d talk to Allen about this tonight!!
Celeste was hungry so headed to the homeless shelter for lunch then spent the afternoon checking more alleys as she waited to meet with Allen. When she saw him she realized His smile was like some kind of magic. This shook her up a bit as she’d spent so many years in that basement she was unsure of herself.
Allen texted for her to meet him over in the next alley to protect her identity. As she rounded the corner there he was with his old jalopy and a huge hug. They headed across town to a small diner and grabbed seats in the back. Over supper they discussed all the latest news and that no one had confessed but a few local officials had been caught trying to sneak out of town. Celeste shared all she’d heard and research she was doing as well as about how she’d helped Arnold’s and the coffee shop. She chuckled as Allen’s mouth fell open. She told Allen about Arnold’s job offer and that she’d like the job but wouldn’t want anyone to know it was she that was helping people this way.
Allen sat stupefied as he gazed into her eyes. When the waitress came for their desert order he asked for love and ice cream sodas and she had to smile and take his hand as he turned bright red . .