Where do you go, when you have nowhere to go? That was the question running through Sally Blevins’ mind, as she walked along the road, leading from who knows where to who knows where. It was a cold autumn night, and she decided to put on some different clothes. She went of the road a few metres, and into the forest that the road ran through. What was she thinking anyway, hitchhiking wearing a red cocktail dress and a raincoat? No wonder that last truck driver took her for a whore. Didn’t mean that he should not have kept his hands to himself. She was starting to fall asleep, when she felt his hand on her thigh, moving upwards. He had screamed like a girl when he noticed the force field covering her body, and had screamed even louder when she had woken up and broke two of his fingers. After that he had stopped the truck, and Sally had jumped out. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, in between nowhere and nowhere.

Sally got out a change of clothes from the backpack she had taken along when she had left the Xavier estate. She really couldn’t stay there after what had happened with Apocalypse, she was too ashamed. Thankfully, good old Sam Guthrie had given her some supplies: some clothes, some money, a pocketknife, some energy food. He had asked her to stay, but had been too polite to push the issue. Sally had accepted Sam’s gifts graciously, and then departed. The red dress she had been wearing had been an asset in getting a lift. A blond girl in a short skirt could always count on the libido of lonely truckers. The first guy to give her a lift was actually pretty decent; all he did was let her know that he was single about 17 times. She had left him at a truck stop, and there she had procured another ride. This guy was a bit different: he had tuned in to an all-gospel radio station, and had not said a thing for five hours straight. Just when Sally was getting a little comfortable I spite of the trucker’s serial-killer looks, he had asked her about her going rates, and whether or not he had to pay extra for “freaky-sh*t”. Sally had asked him right away to stop the truck and let her out. The trucker had done just that, but not before he had told her that if she wasn’t a whore, she shouldn’t dress like one. The last guy…. Well, he was just a little bit worse, wasn’t he? Give a girl a lift; get paid by feeling her up. When she thought about it, Sally was sorry that she didn’t break more than just his fingers.

Sally was quite sure no woman liked to be called a whore. For her though, it brought back a lot of painful memories. It’s not easy seeing your mother being beaten to death by your father, because the bastard felt she was dressing you as a whore. No matter how much we try, you can never escape your past. Things still get to you; no matter how many force fields you have around you. As Sally put on the clothes from her backpack, she was once more reminded of that past. The clothes she was wearing now had belonged to Jean Grey, Sally remembered Jean vividly. Back when they first met, Jean had been a member of X-Factor, and the team had provided her with a home when the Morlocks had been massacred by the Marauders. She had called herself Skids then, not telling anyone her real name. Jean and the others had been so good to her, and it looked like she would join their world of adventure and excitement. Sally had also met Rusty at X-Factor’s HQ, a fellow young mutant staying there, and the love of her life. It was Rusty who got her to release her force field, and to let people in once more. When Rusty, Sally and the others joined up with the New Mutants, it seemed that life would be great. So off course, it didn’t last.

Wearing a much more suitable black sweater, jeans and a leather jacket, Sally emerged from the tree line and from her reverie. It was cold and dark, and it was probably the middle of the night. Sally was sure she could not have been further away from anywhere right now, and felt a slight panic rising in her. Right after that, she once again realised that there was nowhere in particular to go, so anywhere would be good. She stared at the road for a while, and then at the tree line. “I could just stop to exist right here, right now, and nobody would even notice. It would have been like I was never even here….” A tear fell from her eyes, and she sat down in the wet grass along the road. The same thought kept running through her mind: “I am absolutely nobody. I am absolutely nobody”. Then she fell asleep.

**********

In her dreams, Sally walked through the interior of the X-Men’s mansion. She was in the basement that contained all the labs, the danger room, and all the high-tech toys they had acquired throughout the years. A siren was blaring, and an automated voice kept telling her they were in lockdown-mode. Sally was wearing her hot red dress, and walked along slowly but with determination. This was her moment. She came upon Wolverine, working out in the danger room. As she set the room to maximum, and turned of all the safeties, her face betrayed not a shred of emotion, not even when Wolverine was shot to pieces and only his skeleton remained. She then walked up to Beast, who was working in the medical lab. Sally set it on fire, and felt nothing as Beast burned before her eyes. After that she went to the tech-lab and found the items she was looking for. One of the guns shot burning hot spikes; the other was a molecular disruptor that broke matter down into its component elements. She shot Iceman, who was walking the corridors, with the disruptor, utterly destroying him. Then she found Angel, standing over Beast’s remains, and pinned him to the wall with two shot’s from the spike thrower. Even when Angel screamed his lungs out, Sally didn’t feel anything, no disgust, no remorse, no elation, no victory. She remained standing in front of the screaming Angel until the screams stopped. After finding another weapons locker, Sally took out a number of hand-grenades and a gun. She found Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Shadowcat, Rogue and Gambit sitting in a research-lab, speaking about things she did not understand. The grenades destroyed the lab and everyone in it, and still Sally felt completely empty. When she finally met up with Cyclops, and shot him in the head, she stopped walking and stood still. She heard footsteps behind her, but didn’t even look as her sense of smell already told her that it was Magneto who stood behind her.

“You killed them!” Magneto said, and sally didn’t answer.

“Why?” Magneto asked, the air crackling around him from the energy built up.

“Because they never bothered to call me anything but Skids….” Sally answered.

When Magneto killed her, by tearing all of the iron in her blood out of her body, Sally finally felt something: relief.

***********

“Well, as nightmares go, that one was quite horrible” Sally thought to herself, as she woke up. Night had turned into day, and her clothing was moist from sleeping on the grass alongside the road. She got up, and as she tried to banish the horror-visions from her nightmare from her mind, she took an energy bar and a can of Red Bull from her backpack. “Good old Sam…” Sally thought, as she rummaged through to find what else was in there. Clothes, money, food, cell-phone…. Okay, that was new. Sally took out the phone, and examined it. Two numbers had been programmed in, one for the Xavier Institute, the other for Sam. Sally considered calling Sam, but put it away. She hoisted up her pack, and started walking at a brisk pace. Where to? Sally still didn’t know, but she would know when she found it. At least reaching a town would be nice, so she would know where she was now. She had spent hours upon hours in trucks since leaving Xavier’s, so for all she knew she could be in the middle of the US by now. The walk calmed Sally down considerably, and she was able to put the nightmare from her head. Something about just walking, just concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other, had the tendency to clear the mind, and so she eased into a trance. So much so, that she almost didn’t notice the first car she had seen since she left the truck-driver last night. She noticed the car when it was already passing her, and Sally quickly raised her hand to draw attention to herself. To her surprise, the car, a small Korean vehicle, was already slowing down. Sally hurried to the vehicle, and saw the single occupant was a pregnant woman in her thirties.

“Hello there! This sure doesn’t look like a road to travel by yourself,” the woman said.

“And that was not my intention. A trucker dumped me here” Sally answered.

“On this road? Damn, this road is 80 miles long, running through nothing but forest!”

“Yeah, well… It was either that, or get molested…”

“You’re kidding! Oh my God, are you okay? Damn, I wish I could just get my hands on that bastard! Well, in about 8 weeks…” the woman said, rubbing her belly.

Sally smiled at that, and answered: “I’m okay. At least I broke two of the pigs fingers!”

“Alright, girl! Shame you didn’t get to break more, like all eleven of his fingers!”

Again Sally smiled.

“Well, don’t wait! Get in. We’ll be in Harrington in about half an hour.”

“Uh… Harrington…. I don’t believe I know it… That’s in…?” Sally asked, as she was about to get in.

“Harrington, Iowa. It’s a small town. You have been travelling, haven’t you?”

“Oh yes… But it’s… good… to be back home. I’m from Limefield” Sally answered uncertainly.

“Limefield! My husband has a cousin up there. Well, it seems like you were closer to home than you thought!” the woman answered cheerfully as Sally sat down next to her and she started the engine.

“By the way, my name is Elsa. Elsa Clayson.”

“I’m Sally… Sally Collins.”

************

Toby Jacobs was a six-year-old boy, who spent most of his time in school, at home or in the playground that lay between his home and school. Sometimes, though, he had a tendency to wander of. He would tell nobody about it, and just disappear from the playground. At times like those, he’d just wonder about town, from the town square, to the street with all the shops, to the high school, to the football field to the church, to the bar on the edge of town. He’d roam free, and then return to the playground as if nothing had happened. Of course, at some times his parents had noticed he was gone. Mommy would get all hysterical and Daddy would be very angry when he got back. Once Daddy had spanked him, but Toby did not care at all. He’d just do it again, and again, and again. Usually, nobody paid any attention to him as he wandered through Harington. They didn’t really see him, and Toby did not attract any attention to himself. His appearance was plain, brown hair, brown eyes, not very tall, and he never wore bright colours. There was that time when Sheriff Joseley had noticed him as he was wandering about. He had picked him up by the football field, and brought him home. Toby had put on his saddest face, and asked him not to tell Daddy because then Daddy would get angry and send him to his bed without television or Nintendo. Sheriff Joseley had kept quiet, and he had just returned Toby to the playground. Toby did not play much with the other children. It wasn’t that he didn’t like them; it was just that he didn’t have anything in common with him. Mommy had often asked about why he didn’t want to play with other children, but Toby had always just shrugged and never answered her question. At times like those, Daddy always brought up his wandering, and then gotten angry again. Mommy would cry then, and they would forget about Toby and his behaviour.

Once, Toby had asked Mommy why they always got so crazy when he wandered of, but she wouldn’t tell him, and she just hugged and kissed him. Toby liked that, and he knew anyway. When he was still a baby, just a few weeks old, his parents had thought he had been kidnapped. They went crazy and alerted the whole town, only to find him sleeping in his bed like nothing had ever happened. At that moment, they had decided to spoil their little boy rotten, and Toby liked that just fine. He had a wonderful life in Harrington, with wonderful parents and lots of toys. Life didn’t get any better for a little boy. As Toby sat on a swing, looking around the playground, he was a little sad, because he knew that wonderful life was about to be over.