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RUA tTwoByJosephKnob r Pa

Thef l eet i ngs unl i ghtpok edt hr ought hec anopywood i nt oSet h’ sey esasher odehi shor s eal ongs i deRuaand heragi nggr eys t al l i on.Thef l ower i ngwoodt r ai l edbef or e t hem.Theywer eont hei rwayt ot ownt of et c hs eedf ort he y ear ’ snewhar v es t s owi ng.I twasaper f ec tday -t hef i r s t war m day ofs pr i ng when t he gus t s ofwi nd f el tl i k e r ef r es hi ngi c edwat erf r om t hef r os t edhi l l s .I thadbeen t hr eemont hss i nc eRua’ sar r i v alf r om t hes k y .Thi ngshad beenget t i ngal ongv er ywel l .Set hl i k edt ot al kt oher ,ev en t hough he was s ur es he c oul d notunder s t and hi s l anguage.Hek new s hewast r y i ngt ol i s t en-i ndeed,her ey es hi d l i t t l e of her empat hy and her nat ur al under s t andi ng.She was t r y i ng t ot eac h her s el ft he l anguageoft hes es t r ange-y etk i ndpeopl e.Theyf edher dai l y ,andpr ov i dedherwi t hs oundbeddi ng,ands hewas begi nni ng t o under s t and whatSet h,Ai a,and Mungo’ s wor dsmeantwhent heys pok e.Shef el tl i k es heowedi tt o t hem.At r uec r eat ur eofbeaut yandwi s dom s hewas ,and s hewasi nawor l dnotofherown. Theyr odeon,andSet hs pok et oherabouthi sl i f e gr owi ngupasanor phan,her ef l ec t edont hedayMungo andAi aadopt edhi m.Hes pok eoft hedi f f er entpeopl eand pl ac eshehads eeni nt heSev enVal l ey ss i nc et hatday . Ruawoul ds i mpl yl ookbac kathi m ands mi l epol i t el y .She was a good l i s t enerand Set hf ound hert o be good c ompany .Bes i des ,t her ewer enoot hergi r l si nt heSev en Val l ey swhower ewi l l i ngt os pendnear l yasmuc ht i me wi t hhi m ast hi swi l dandmut er uby hai r edbeaut ywas ! Set hc her i s hedev er ymomentwi t hher . . Ast hei rhor s est r av el edon,Ruac oul ds eet hewal l sand s mok edc hi mneyr oof t opsofCobbl er ’ sNot c happr oac hi ng i nt hedi s t anc e,t hec l os es tv i l l aget owher et heyl i v edi n t heupperSev enVal l ey s .Theypas s edbyot hert r av el er s ont her oad,eac hoft hem s t ar i ngatt hem s us pi c i ous l y .I t ' s t heear s ,Set ht hought ,t heyar es t ar i ngathers t r angel ong ear s !Ruas eemedex c i t edt hats hewoul ds oonbemeet i ngmor enewpeopl e,notnot i c i ngt hedar ks t ar esf r om t he v ar i ousbr i gands ,bandi t sands ol di er swhopas s edt hem t heot herway .Shes mi l edwi t hwi t hev er ypas s i ng-

s t r anger -s t r angeast heywer e-andev er ybuc kof hergent l eSt al l i on,l ov i ngl ynamed' Angel 'byAi a andMungobac kbef or et heyt ur nedt hepoort hi ng outf r om t hel amer untt heyf oundheras .Angel s uc k edi nt hec ool s pr i ngai rwi t hr el i s h,happyt obe ofus eandoutoft hes t abl e.Set hmot i onedherand Angelwi t hhi shandt o' hal t ' .Wi t houtawor d,Set h i nc hedhi sbr ownmar ec l os ert oRuas ohec oul d r eac ht hehoodofherc l oakandpul li tov erher head.Ruadi dnotr es i s t . " Can' tbel et t i ngt hes epeopl es eei ngy ourear s ! " Set ht r i ed t o ex pl ai nt o her ,poi nt i ng bot h ofhi s handst ot hes i desofhi shead," Someonei sl i abl e t ot hi nky ouas he-dev i l ofs omes or t ! "Ruanodded bac kathi mi ns eemi ngunder s t andi ng,herhands s of t l yc l ut c hi ngt hes i desoft henewl ypl ac edhood. Herpoi nt year spok edt hegr eyf abr i ci nt ot wot i ny c onesonei t hers i deofherhead.St i l l s t r angel ook i ng,Set ht hought ,butbet t er ,Is uppos e. “ Wel lher ehei s ! ”bel l owedSt ev eChadwi c k ,an el der l ys eedmer c hantf r om behi ndhi sf ar ms t and, whent heymadei ti nt ot hebus t l i ngv i l l ages quar e, “ Andwhatdowehav eher e?Abeaut i f ulr edhai r ed l as s ?Keepi ngbus y ,ol dSet h,ar ewe?”Het eas ed. Set hc l i mbedof fofhi shor s e.“ I t ’ snotwhati t l ook sl i k e,St ev e, ”hes ai d,“ Thi sgi r l i sal os tt r av el er f r om t he out erl ands .She i ss t ay i ng wi t h usf or now. ” St ev es uc k edonapi ec eofs t r aw i nhi smout h, s t ar i ngwi deey edatRua-upanddown-ass he gr ac ef ul l yc l i mbedof fofhers addl e.Underhergr ey c l oak ,s hewaswear i ngoneofAi a’ sf i nedr es s es t hatAi anev erl i k edt owear ,t hel i ghtbl ues i l k en f abr i cf l ut t er i ngi nt hebr eez e.I tc ont r as t edherr ed hai rs obeaut i f ul l yi nt hes un,t houghherl ongpoi nt y ear sr emai neds af el yc onc eal edbeneat ht hehood. .


“ Wel lai n’ ty oual ov el yt hi ng,gi r l ,s oeas yonmeey es , ” t r us t f ulper v er t .“ Thanky ouSt ev e.Goodby e,and s ai dSt ev e,hi sVar l ei ni s hac c entt hi c kwi t ht hey ear s ,“ and agooddayt oy ou. ” t el l megi r l ,whatwoul dy ournamebe?” Set handRuagotbac kont hei rhor s es .Aman wal k i ngbywhi s t l edatRua.Shes i mpl ys mi l edbac k Set hwasaboutt oans werf orherwhens heans wer ed att hi sman,r adi anti nt her ev el at i onofal lt henew wi t hc onv i c t i on,“ Rua. ”She s mi l ed atSt ev e Chadwi c k , s i ght sandex per i enc esofCobbl er ' sNot c hSquar e. t r y i ngt oappearl i k eanor mal per s on.Unbek nowns tt ot he T oher ,t heunc l eanadv anc esoft hes edi r t ymen t i r ed ol ds eed mer c hant ,I twast he f i r s tt i me Rua had s i mpl ys eemedl i k ei nnoc entf r i endl i nes s .Set hand s pok eni nmanyday s . Ruas t ar t edawaywhenSt ev ey el l edaf t ert hem, “ Nowy out ak ec ar eoft hatl ov el yr edhai r edl as s i e, “ Wel lt hat ’ sni c e!Rua. .al ov el ynamei ndeed! ”St ev e ol dboy !Showherat hi ngort wo! ” c huc k l ed,“ andwhati sapr ec i oust hi ngl i k ey our s el fdoi ng al l t hewayouther e,s of arf r om t heout erl ands ?” “ Di r t yol dman, ”gr umbl edSet h.Set hc aut i ous l y “ That ’ senoughques t i onsf oroneday ,St ev e, ”but t edi n l ook edov eratRuat os eei fs hes omehowt ookof Set h,hi spat i enc egr owi ngt hi n,“ Nows el lmes omes eed, f ens et ot hi sc onv er s at i ons hedi dn' tunder s t and. Ihav ec oi n. ” Shewass t i l l s mi l i ngandl ook i ngahead,s oc ont ent wi t hherl i f et hi smoment .Set ht houghts hewass o “ Thegi r lc ans peakf orher s el f ,now c an’ ts he?”s ai d beaut i f ul . . s ohappyandpr oud! St ev e. I tc ont r as t edherr edhai rs obeaut i f ul l yi nt hes un, t houghherl ongpoi nt year sr emai neds af el yc on“ Shes peak si naf or ei gnt ongue. ”ans wer edSet h," and c eal edbeneat ht hehood. . s hei ss pok enf or . " “ Wel lai n’ ty oual ov el yt hi ng,gi r l ,s oeas yonme “ I st hats o?”St ev eponder ed,s mi l i ngbac katRua.The ey es , ”s ai dSt ev e,hi sVar l ei ni s hac c entt hi c kwi t h s k i nonhi sf ac ewast anned,l eat her yandol d,t emper ed t hey ear s ,“ andt el lmegi r l ,whatwoul dy ourname f r om y ear soft endi ng hi sf i el ds .“ Wel lai n’ tt hats ome- be?” t hi ng?” “ Cor n,t omat o,oni on,z uz ubean,andwheatIneed, ” Set hwasaboutt oans werf orherwhens heanSet hr ead f r om t he l i s tMungo wr ot ef orhi m,t r y i ng t o s wer edwi t hc onv i c t i on,“ Rua. ”Shes mi l edatSt ev e s peedt hi ngsal ongwi t ht hi sl onel yol dman,“ Oh!andt he Chadwi c k ,t r y i ngt oappearl i k eanor malper s on. s ev en-v al l eys quas h. .i fy ouhav e. ” Unbek nowns tt ot het i r edol ds eedmer c hant ,I twas t hef i r s tt i meRuahads pok eni nmanyday s . St ev el aughed,“ Ol dMungos endi ngy ououtagai nt or un hi ser r ands ,eh?”St ev ec oughedasher i f l edt hr ought he Set hl edRuai nt ot hel us h,gr eenhi l l sanddown di f f er entdr awer sunderhi sc ount ert hatc ont ai neds eed t het r ai li nt ot heOl dwood,pas tt hemi l lwher eSet h r i pef orger mi nat i on.“ Howi sol dMungoany way ?Ihav en’ t f i r s tf oundher -ax ei nhand,andt hec r at ers t i l l s eent hatol dpi r at e-wi z ar di nages !AndwhataboutAi a? def i ant l yc har r edbl ac kdes pi t et hemont hsofr ai n Boy !T al kaboutpr et t ygi r l s ! ”St ev ej es t edashes pooned t hathadpas s eds i nc et hen.Ruak nowi ngl yl ook ed s eedsi nt ot hel i t t l epar c hmentbagsl i neduponhi sc oun- att hatf at ef ulc r at erast heygal l opedpas ti t ,t he t er ,“ Nowt hat Ai ai ss omet hi ngel s e,ai n’ ts he?Suc hl ov el y r ot t enwal l sofRol by ' smi l l c as t i ngs hadowsuponi t . but t oc k sonher . . ” Shet ur nedt owar dst het r ai lahead,t hemaj es t i c r us hesofv er dant ,c hi r pi ngl i f eunf ol di ngbef or eher . Wi t houtawor d,Set hl ai ddownhi sc oi nont hec ount er Wher ei shet ak i ngme?s hewonder ed.As udden andt ookt hepr ec i ousl i t t l ebagsofl i f egi v i ngs eed,pl ac i ng gus tofwi ndbl ew t hehoodofherc l oakont oher t hem i nhi ss at c hel asMr .Chadwi c kbegant obi t eoneac h bac k ,r ev eal i ng herl ong and s l enderear sonc e c opperpi ec e.Set hhadl onggr ownwear yoft hi sol d,di s - mor e.Theywer ef arenoughi nt ot hewoodst hat-


. . .

Set hdi dn' tpayi tt oomuchmi nd.Theywer esaf eher e.

Theyar r i v edatt hegr ov e,hi ddendef t l ybyt hes ur r oundi ngbar r owst hats att her es t i l land s i l entamongt hewhi s per i ngol dt r ees ,nowov er gr ownwi t hc ent ur i esofnegl ec t ,al os thav enf or deadandf or got t enk i ngsf r om af or got t enage.Set hs eemedt ol i k et hi spl ac e.Ruaf oundi t s t r angel yomi nous .Hebec k onedhert oc omeof ft hes addl eandc omet ot henear byc r eekt o dr i nkwat erwi t hhi m. . AsSet hmov edi nf ort hei l l f at edk i s s ,Rua' ss mi l equi c k l ymel t edaway .Shes hov edhi m away f r om herwi t hami ghtSet hhadnev ers eenbef or e.Hes t umbl edhar dont ot hegr ound,s c r api ng hi sel bowsandc ut t i nghi shandont hes har pr oc k s .Shet ower edov erhi m wi t hagr i mf r own.Her s apphi r eey esbegant ogl owhar dert hanev erbef or e!Shi ni ngbl ues pec t r al wi ngss uddenl ys hot outofhers houl derbl ades ,r i s i ngt owar dst hes k yl i k eaz ur edi amonds wor ds ,t hel i ghtbl i ndi ng Set h-hert r uef or mr ev eal edt ohi mf ort hef i r s tt i me! Set hc ov er edhi sey esf r om t heov er whel mi ngs i ghtbef or ehi m,andhebegant oweep,ass hebegant of l oatf r om t hev er year t h i t s el f !Sher ai s edherar msandc hant edi nat onguet hathaunt edSet h' sear s .Hequi c k l yl ear ned t heer r orofhi si nnoc entat t emptati nt i mac y .Set h,y ouf ool !hec hi dedhi ms el f .Hef el thel pl es s ands ad,t hes amef eel i nghef el tasay oungboyatt heCobbl er ' sNot c hor phanage. .

. . .

Ruas t ar edi nt ohi m,r eadi nghi sl i f e.Shel ook eddownonhi m wi t hpi t y ,andt henr emor s e.Her ey esbegant odampenatt hement alc al ami t yanddamages hewasi nf l i c t i ngupont hi spoor c r eat ur ebel ow her .Herey esi mmedi at el ys t oppedgl owi ng.Theghos t l ywi ngsdi s appear edas qui c k l yast heyappear ed,ands hef el lbac kt ogr oundont oherr i ghts i de,r i ghtnex tt oaf r i ght enedands addenedSet hi nt hedi r tandgr as s .Shei mmedi at el yt ookhi mi nt oherar msandembr ac edhi mt i ght l y ,c al mi nghi m.Shehel dhi ml i k eaf r i ght enedi nf ant ,andk i s s edhi sf or ehead. Hel ook edupi nt oherbl uec r y s t al ey es ,t hemy s t er yanddi s t anc eoft hem s oov er whel mi ng. . " I ' ms os or r y ! "Ruas ai dt ohi m,asi ft oapol ogi z ef oral l oft hewr ongst heheav ensandear t hhad ev eri nf l i c t eduponhi m.I twasi nt hel anguageofSet h' st ongue,t hef i r s tofwhi c ht hathadev er es c apedherl i pss i nc es hear r i v edont hi sc ur s edpl anets of arawayf r om hert r uehome-Set h puthi shandont hes i deofherf ac e. .

" Whoar eyou?"heas k ed,s hi v er i ngwi t hf ear . .


Neither ZINE // Issue EIGHT  

Issue EIGHT // Part TWO