The young boy wandered the streets in a frantic daze. His eyes would jet back, forth and he would look behind him to make sure he wasn’t being followed.
He needed a fix.
It seemed, to him, that all the kids at school were experimenting with new things.
He wanted something new, too.
He didn’t fit in and had a hard time making friends because he was transferred from the “bad side of town”.
His clothes weren’t right. His hair wasn’t right.
He just needed something to make him “feel”…..right.
The other day, he overheard talk about a guy nicknamed “the fixer”.
They said he knew a place that had some stuff that would take your mind to places you couldn’t even imagine!
They said he promised that one fix from him and you would be hooked.
They talked about going to look for the man with the raven tattoo on his arm, but they were all talk.
He was on a mission to get the elusive fix that all the kids were talking about.
He combed the downtown city blocks, glancing at every male arm he could to hopefully catch a glimpse of the raven.
As the heat of the day wore on and perspiration began to drop off his cheek to the concrete below, he knew he needed to take a break from his search.
He glanced across the street and saw a single water fountain at the edge of the downtown walking park.
He crossed the street and jogged up to the fountain, where he pressed and held the button and drank until he thought he would burst.
As he drank, a voice from behind him scared him into stopping.
“Are you planning on draining the cities water supply or are you gonna leave some for others to have?”
The young boy stopped, turned around and began to reply,
“I’m sorry…I was thirst….”
That’s when he noticed the tattoo.
The man with the tattoo pulled his hair out of the way and drank slowly from the fountain.
The young boy just stared at the tattoo and gulped, waiting for him to turn around.
The man finished drinking, turned around and gave the boy a quizzical look.
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost? You ok?” He asked the boy.
The boy quickly replied before he changed his mind.
“Are you the fixer?”
“The…the fixer…I heard a man with a raven tattoo has some stuff that promises to take you away for a while….I heard one fix from you…and…and…I would be hooked…are you him.”
The man with the raven tattoo studied the boy.
He then asked him to sit with him on the bench, so they could talk.
“Look, kid..I don’t have “the stuff” as you called it….but I can take you to the place that does. But I have to warn you…..the one fix and hooked deal is real. It’s not one of those new fancy drugs that I hear about. This one has been around…a long time..and isn’t used much anymore…it lost its ‘cool factor’ a long time ago…..but it still works better than anything else. How much money you got?”
The kid shifted his eyes, stood up, turned out his pockets and replied.
“I don’t have any money….”
The man rubbed his tattoo and answered.
“First fix on me…..but here’s the deal. I will take you, but, when you come back for more, which you will, you have to bring a friend. When we get there you will have to talk to the woman who also has a raven tattoo….she monitors the joint to make sure anyone who goes there gets their “fix” in silence…..she will set you up for future fixes. Deal?”
The young man stared up at him and pondered if he could really handle what he was getting himself into. In defiance to his normal unconfident self, he stuck out his hand and said,
The man stuck out his arm with the raven tattoo and shook his hand gently with his hand.
They walked two blocks down from the park, and up a stairwell that was in between two buildings.
At the top was a clearing of trees that had a walkway and two flights of stairs that led up to an old building.
A few people hung around outside.
They each nodded to the man with the raven tattoo as he and the boy passed.
No words. Just nods.
As he opened the large oak front door, the young man was stuck by a silence he was not used to. At first it was uncomfortable but soon it began to soothe him.
They walked up to a large desk, where a woman with long red hair sat.
The man with the raven tattoo cleared his throat.
The woman looked up and brushed her hair behind her ear, revealing a small raven tattoo on her neck trailed by stars.
“This kid is looking hit his first fix. I told him we could fix him up.”
She looked at the boy and then at the man and replied,
“Kinda young…isn’t he?”
The man shrugged his shoulders and answered,
“Hey…he came to me…if we want to keep this place going, they need to get hooked as young as possible. I told him first fix was on me…you set him up for a return visit?”
“I suppose…take him in…and don’t bother the others…I’m unusually busy today.”
The man with the raven tattoo led him to an opening that was covered by a curtain.
As he opened the curtain, the young mans eyes grew wide. He slowly looked in each direction and asked,
“What is this place?”
The man with the raven tattoo knelt down to be able to quietly speak into his ear.
“This place is the only fix you will ever need, it will open your mind, expand your imagination and take you wherever you want to go…..welcome to the library.”