Lost is a story about how our lives are continually being destroyed by our own growth. We can never live the life we lived last year because we are not the same person. We can never find our future if we are clinging to the past. Claire is at that point in her life wherein she needs to do what will help her grow into her own person, but does not recognize it.
Riding down Third Avenue, she passed the last tall building and came to the river.
“Wha…?” Claire breathed as she looked up and down the river for her bridge. She did not see one. All she saw was darkness and a crow sitting on a street sign staring at her – head cocked looking out of one eye.“Oh, shoo,” Claire said.The crow did not shoo. Instead it spoke, “Where’s your bridge, little girl?”“My bridge is right here. At least it should be. I’m not imagining things. I know its here.”“Where? Kaaa,” said the crow. “Surely a whole bridge can’t move.”“Maybe it is just around the bend of the river,” Claire theorized as she headed west down the road that ran along the river. The crow flapped its wings and vanished into the blackness.
Claire rode past many buildings and through several intersections. She turned the bend in the river and still did not see her bridge – or any bridge.“This is crazy. How can people cross the river?” asked Claire.“Maybe they can’t,” said the crow as it landed on the ground next to a box of Donkey Fries lying along the curb. “Maybe they aren’t supposed to.”“People have to be able to get across the river,” said Claire. “There’s got to be a bridge somewhere. Where could they have gone, there used to be at least three of them?”The crow picked up one fry with its mouth, tossed it around and then spit it out. “This doesn’t belong here, either,” said the crow.Claire thought that she saw something back where she had been and biked east along the river. As her legs felt the ache of an incline, she thought about the first time she met Ned at Gerald’s house just a couple weeks earlier. She thought about how she liked his dreds, the manner in which he spoke and how he seemed to be nervous around her. She remembered how excited she was when they parted and he said he looked forward to seeing her at Topping’s party.
Claire passed many buildings and biked beyond her original point, yet no bridge was in sight. How could this be? She couldn’t even call her mom to come pick her up if there were no bridges. How would she get back to her parent’s house? In a little while they would start to worry about their little girl.Asking someone for directions would be a good idea, thought Claire, but there was no one in sight.“You could ask me, kaaa,” squawked a black shape perched on a bus bench.“Oh, go away. What do you know, dumb bird,” said Claire to the crow.“Dumb?! Me?! I’m not lost. I haven’t lost a whole big stone bridge,” replied the crow. “I can see what’s right in front of me.”“This makes no sense!” Claire said, and worry began to creep into her voice.“Makes perfect sense,” said the crow. “Can’t find what you don’t need. Kaaa. Not supposed to be on that side of the river. Don’t need to go there.”
Lost will be published on February 22, 2013 at www.bookofbartholomew.com.