All The Stars @modern_age
A Strange Tale

ii: A Strange Tale

One shot. Three shots. Five shots. Ten shots.

The music was loud in the bar. Some country song or another, playing on repeat for the past thirty minutes. What was the name of the artist? What was the song called? Something about an old town road and horses. Oh, it wasn't a country song or was it rap? Hip hop? Possibly. It wasn't trap. It didn't matter to Dakota. It was catchy the last five times and now she would rather listen to something else even worse.

She drowned out her sorrows with every shot she bought. Pretty soon, she was forgetting why she was at the bar in the first place. This feeling of bitter loneliness hasn't subsided. Not even with the amount of shots she took. That is all she wanted to forget.

Loneliness was a bitter pill to swallow. Nothing better to forget then to drink until loneliness was too far gone to save. Dakota hated being alone because that is all she ever felt. Sure, there were people in her life that stuck around. They brought good memories and bad. It was human nature to be social. To be wanted. To be loved.

Her finger circled the glass. Thoughts of her life up till now keeping her company as the man who was beside her continued to talk about- what was he blabbering about? Dakota had not been on a date in months due to her busy life. If one could say training for the next fight a busy life, but it was enough to pay the bills in her shitty apartment.

People pay good money to see another human being beat the shit out of another- bonus if it's two women. Dakota knew that men would pay just about anything to see women fight. Being skilled was a given, but being pretty and tough was a commodity in the underground fights.

They saw Dakota as a pretty girl who packed a punch. What man would want that? A woman who could out best them in a fight. Dakota did not care who thought of her as such a brute. She wasn't out there to look pretty or to get approval from anyone. She was only there to collect her money and fight. That was all she cared for.

How alone was she? Someone who was alone just did not want to have to deal with the outside world. Yet, she still goes to bars with men who want something out of her. Something she gives them sometimes, but other times, Dakota just wants to forget.

Dakota was something else when she was out there in the ring. The way she moved was not like your typical experienced fighter that has put in years of training. She moved with ease against her opponents. Her strikes were always hard when she found an opening. Her legs were also what most of the men looked at. If she could not throw out a punch, she used those legs to her full advantage. Her height was also a good advantage, but Dakota showed everyone her potential. She proved a point when she was out there.

'I was never such a good fighter until I saw them.'

Dakota was not sure when she started to move with such ease. Maybe from her time in Egypt was when it all began. She began to see something the others could not. These blue hued figures that varied from hooded men to something else that she could not explain.

These hooded men seemed to appear when she least expected it.

"Dakota" Her vision of blur turned towards the guy she was on a date with. Here she was in an existence that seemed to be fleeting or maybe it was the shadow that was behind him watching Dakota. She was not sure why, but since that day in Egypt, these shadow people have followed her. Were they ghost of a long-forgotten past?

"Dakota? Are you listening to me?" The man said. He looked irritated by the lack of attention he was getting from her. Dakota was the one to call him for a night out. He was reluctant to agree to a few drinks and possibly a good night with the beautiful woman next to him. But all he saw was that same woman drowning shot after shot with a far off look in her eye.

She wasn't even dressed nicely. Dakota was in skinny jeans and a button up shirt. Her hair in that signature ponytail that swayed with every movement she made. He sighed in defeat knowing full well she wasn't going to put out tonight.

Dakota eyed the man and scuffed loudly.

"Disappointment is not a favored look. Get the fuck out of here and go find someone to listen. Don't even know why I bothered to call you." Even though she downed a fair amount of liquor, Dakota had a bit of a slur to her words. Her eyes so bloodshot that at any moment the bartender would have to cut her off. Soon, she would move on home to sleep off her drunkenness.

"Glad you called for nothing. Look at you. Drunk and lonely. No wonder you call. To be rid of that loneliness." Dakota laughed at him. Was that meant to hurt her feelings? It wasn't working. She already knew why she called and it was pointless to talk to a wall that was unmovable.

Her date was defeated. He wasn't going to hurt her feelings. Dakota was already damaged goods and she knew it. She wasn't looking for sympathy or a shoulder to lean on. She just wanted somebody for the night and possibly the next night. Why he even bothered to save her number and answer was simple. A need that every human bothered to act upon.

"Call me when you decide to sober up." He said.

Dakota rolled her eyes with a drunken smile. Better to be alone then to have somebody try to hurt her feelings. She placed her hands on her head in shame. He was already gone when she did not answer him. All she did was laugh at him. She pushed away somebody willing to just be there. Was Dakota going to take him home? Maybe. It wouldn't be the first time and it will be the last.

In truth, she was hurting and just needed somebody.

Is this punishment? She thought.

Have I done wrong in my life?

Dakota was in a trance with the sun beating down upon her skin. She could feel the heat and sweat dripping from the pigments of her flesh. Her mind becoming numb and shutting down to all noise around her. All possibilities of trying to come to an understanding of how and why she had ended up in a place that- for all she knew- existed centuries ago if not more. The people here were long dead and forgotten by time and only their stories would be passed- before they too were forgotten.

She was still questioning why she was here. In a land that was nothing more than stories and artifacts that one would see at a museum. Dakota was a skeptic in anything supernatural. If it was the will of a higher being, there was something logical. Time travel was impossible and with time travel, you had to move forward not backwards. The universe would not allow physics and understanding to be disturbed.

Her history was a blur, since high school was shit and television made everything dramatic. Hell, even movies romanticize any era with the magic of Hollywood- and good-looking actors that are not even close to the culture. Though, Dakota could give Spartacus a pass since she had a thing for gladiators or the Spartans from 300. She chuckled at the thought of muscular men who were too pretty for their own good. She knew Spartans were not like the movies. A girl could dream or worse- come to find that Spartans are huge assholes.

"You have been quiet for some time. You always have this look. What are thinking about?" Phoibe said out of curiosity.

Dakota has not forgotten that she had a bit of a shadow following her. Unlike the hooded figures that were only visible to her eyes, the young girl was real and rather talkative. Phoibe was a bit too curious for her own good and had this odd obsession with a wooden bird. Dakota did not ask questions, because the girl kept asking them.

"Nothing that concerns you." Dakota mumbles to herself rather than have Phoibe hear. No reason to hurt a child's feelings over something so trivial.

Unfortunately, Phoibe heard what Dakota said. She might as well insist that she talk about what was going through her head. They have been outside for some time now without any sign of this mysterious Alexios, Phoibe keeps talking about. Kinda of like how a sister would boast about her big accomplished brother. Dakota found it cute as she was an only child. No siblings to pick on or even get close too.

Dakota sighed and looked to the shade of the tree they sat under. "If I told you what I am thinking about, you and probably everyone else would think me insane. Crazy. So, I cannot speak about it so openly. I cannot change the past."

Phoibe looked to Dakota with some confusion on her face, but to be judged by a child was probably the worst. Children can comprehend more than what adults know and Dakota just could not speak of what she thought. Time travel? She could risk changing the future by doing something reckless or evening speaking about what will happen. Worst of all, no one thinks about diseases. What virus could Dakota carry that could cause those she interacts with to get sick?

Time travel is a tricky subject that Dakota wishes to not share, even though she wants to yell at whomever brought her here.

"I do not see you as being crazy. In fact, I see you as a messenger of Poseidon. You came from the sea with so little clothing. You look strong and can fight. I know you can. No mortal can survive those waters where sharks feast. You are a daughter of Poseidon." Phoibe spoke in a tone that cause Dakota's stomach to drop. Her emotions of being this being from the sea was way to farfetched.

"I am not the daughter of Poseidon. I was born to a man and woman who were murdered when I was a child. That is all I will say about myself because I don't need some kid to believe in something that I am not." Dakota stood up from her seated position. Better to break the imagination of a kid then be something they are not. Dakota let it slip her parents were dead, but why would it matter here?

Phoibe continued on about Poseidon and how gods have relations with mortals. Dakota did not need to hear about that, even from a child. Dakota knew what sex was and all that. Too hear it from a child was embarrassing.

This has to be a joke. I am dreaming, but it's all too real. What god would want to bring me here? No Greek god that's for sure. Loki? Nah, not possible. I would probably be a slave to some Viking king. God? Nah, Christianity is not so popular right now. Can't say if the book is being written?

"You are doing it again." Phoibe said with some laughter in her voice.

Dakota groaned. She hated when people observed her.

"Can you please respect my privacy?" Dakota said.

Phoibe chuckled, "Not when you always look like that. A look of a fierce warrior. You may even best Alexios if you two were to not see agreement."

Dakota's eye twitched. "I don't know about that. I haven't even met the guy."

"You also talk funny." Great, Dakota was being judged by a child again. This is not funny!

The sound of a eagle had caused both of them to look to the sky. Dakota scrunched her eyes in thought. The large predatory bird that was flying overhead was the same bird Dakota saw. Her heart had raced and her vision became a blur with images of a blue hue. Her breathing had become one of panic. She closed her eyes, trying to get her vision to become clearer.

Why? Why was this happening? Was this eagle more than an animal? Phoibe had mentioned that the bird was Alexios guide and a gift sent by Zeus. But, why was this bird having an effect on Dakota? Was it true?

"Ikaros!" She heard a strong male voice call to the eagle.

Dakota fell to her knees with a thud. The pain that went through her body jolted a reaction from her racing heart. The world around Dakota had calmed for a moment and before her, the eagle was right in front of her. Staring at Dakota. Finding something within her that might have been lost from her childhood. Memories of her parents and the last time she saw them.

You are free now, child.

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. All The Stars Are Closer 2061 0 0 2. Cold Water 2830 0 0 3. Once Again Alone 1674 0 0 4. A Strange Tale 1064 0 0 5. The Eagle Bearer 2462 0 0 6. A Soldier no More 3306 0 0 7. The Journey is a Soldier 2158 0 0 8. Poor Bastard 2276 0 0 9. A Woman on a Mission 3791 0 0 10. There was None 3506 0 0 11. Passing Away 3247 0 0 12. Her Choices 4289 0 0 13. Broken & Reeds 4412 0 0 14. They Are Wolves 4062 0 0 15. To Fare thee Well 3261 0 0 16. Wolf and Lionheart 4048 0 0 17. Fires Burn at Night 3877 0 0 18. Along the Path of Redemption 3851 0 0 19. Valley of the Wolves 3905 0 0 20. The Weakness of Men 4376 0 0 21. Learn to Let Go 3066 0 0 22. Wolf General, Wolf Pup and Lionheart 3562 0 0 23. Strip Your Armor 3997 0 0 24. Once More You Will Succumb 2577 0 0 25. Breaking Dawn 2659 0 0 26. Hidden Snakes 3973 0 0