*** Something I'm sort of kicking around. I'm not quiet sure if it'll develop into a full novel-length tale or a series of short stories. Maybe it won't go anywhere at all. It all depends on if the words keep coming. Roll the bones...***
As the sun crested the horizon, it painted the landscape the same shade of pastel pink as the wispy predawn clouds above. A slight breeze tickled the air and the low chirps of the first birds broke the silence of a sleeping world. Everything was a study in cool colors, waiting for the slowly rising sun to introduce warmer hues into the world once more.
Mofuko had been awake since before the sun. Before the first hints of light, when the world was still ebony and silent. When the stars still shown brilliantly and even the hushed sound of his breathing seemed to be a variable cacophony, offending the pristine quiet of the small hours between the latest of night and the earliest of mornings. There was a strange comfort he found in being up so early, watching the world change from darkness to light. A magic, which he could not put into any language he knew. Yet, he also knew many of the others had felt a similar magic in those early in-between times.
He finished his tea and placed the mug in the sink. It was still dark when he lightly kissed Snobi on the cheek to wish her farewell. She stirred only slightly, muttering something indecipherable he liked to believe was a whisper of affection. He liked to believe she was smiling when he kissed her, the way he knew she would once he returned.
In the space of moments, it seemed, the sun was much higher. Tiny details were becoming visible, both within his own house and the world outside. He could make out more of the structures, which made up the compound. The best word that came to mind when trying to describe the place was juxtaposition. Mufuko and Snobi's home was a simple, almost utilitarian unit, whereas Tiben's place was an elegant traditional Victorian style, which he meticulously worked on keeping up. The Chadry's place was apparently reminiscent of Delip's childhood home back in India, and Louis' looked like an experiment in modern art from a more arcane time. The cantina looked a saloon from an American wild west film and other buildings, ranging from residence to other functions, took on all manner of forms from all over the world. Then there was Kim's house that he would call an experiment in organics. It was this juxtaposition, of both structures and inhabitants, that gave meaning to the compound's name of Crossroads Station.
Shouldering his pack, Mofuko set off. Although it wasn't a long walk to Kim's, he'd meant to leave a little earlier. The darkness had stayed him. Consciously, he couldn't understand why. He was a grown man whom had faced dangers far more terrifying than silent darkness of night. Perhaps the answer was something more primal, or the whispers of a mostly forgotten story the elders of his own native village used to tell when he was a young boy to keep him from getting into trouble. Whatever the reason, he was later than he wanted to be, despite the fact neither Kim nor himself had set a definitive time to meet other than early.