The Steer

By: Rip

Some people have a knack for finding strange things. Strange things always seem to find Zane Legends.

One day Zane decided to see what would happen if he tried to find himself. He figured the first, obvious step was to get a mirror. So he did.

After about fifteen minutes of staring at himself in the mirror, ten of which were spent reflecting on his scar, (What a crazy day that was!) he realised the obvious second step was to admit he had no idea what he was doing and could probably use some help. So, he asked around, and eventually all leads started to have a common thread: A great guru called 'The Steer'.

Further inquiry resulted in instruction on how to find the Steer, and what he needed to do to get their help. This is about where things started to break down.

Zane strolled down the street, self-consciously clutching, and occasionally munching on, his 'offering'. Well, technically the he was snacking on the second, decoy offering; because while he was on a journey of self-actualization, he was at least in tune with himself enough to know that if someone asked him to bring them a bag of candy containing one piece from every shelf in the store, he'd end up having to make the trip at least twice unless he took that precaution.

His destination loomed, and the self-consciousness grew almost too much to bear. Surely this was a joke, right? Either people were messing with him, or...

...or maybe this was some sort of test? He stared at the swingset, equal parts relieved and unnerved that the park was mostly empty today. Emboldened by that thought, he sat down in the centre swing, as instructed. And waited.

"I'm impressed!"

"SAUSAGES!" Zane tried to jump up, got tangled in the swing, and fell backwards into the dirt. Before he could check and make sure he didn't spill any of his precious cargo, the bags were plucked from his hands.


"No really. Most people fail this part, I mean, who could resist walking so far with that much candy and not sneak a piece? And here you brought EXTRA!"

Zane pushed himself up and dusted himself off. It was official; he had been duped.

"YOU'RE 'The Steer'?? The great guru everyone speaks about in awed, hushed tones? I mean, I guess this would explain the sweet tooth and stomping grounds, but...uh..." Zane felt himself withering under the glare of the young girl standing before him, an effect made no less unnerving by the fact that she had just stuffed a rather large jawbreaker in her cheek. They stared each other down like this for a moment, then slowly, deliberately, without breaking eye contact...


...The girl reduced the jawbreaker to so much pixie dust, and swallowed.

Zane just about wet himself.

"Thaff..." The girl turned and spat a gob of rainbow saliva onto the dirt, then tried again. "That's what I thought. Now, do you know why they call me 'The Steer'?"

Zane gave the tiniest shake of his head, afraid any sort of sudden movement would result in his ending up like that jawbreaker.

"Because I tell 'em to! Now, the reason I call myself that is because that's what I do. I steer. People come to me with their problems, I don't have any answers." She paused to rummage through the bag for something chocolate. "I'm not an oracle. I'm not a seer. I just...steer. Oooh, marshmallow!" She popped the treat into her mouth. "Now, I understand you want to find yourself?"

Zane gave a tiny nod. Steer rolled her eyes.

"You don't need my help with that! You've already paid me though, so I guess I'll point you in the right direction. All you have to do is close your eyes and count to twenty."

Zane gaped at her.

"What? You've never played hide and seek before? How sad."

"No, I have, want me to play hide and seek with myself?" Zane asked incredulously. He was expecting long hours under a waterfall, or grueling manual labor, or...and he shuddered just thinking about it, fasting. Not...spending an afternoon playing schoolyard games with a little girl. Seriously, someone had to be messing with him.

"Hey, who's the guru here? Now cover your eyes and get counting. Count to twenty, then you have 'til sundown. Good luck, buddy." She reached up and clapped him on the back. "You're definitely going to need it."

"What's that supposed to-"

"I SAID START COUNTING." Zane recoiled and clapped his hands over his eyes, recalling the jawbreaker. How could such a tiny girl yell so loud?!

"...eighteen hot sausages, nineteen hot sausages, twenty hot sausages! Ready or not," Zane sighed. "Here I come!" He pulled his hands away from his eyes, and froze.

He wasn't in the playground any longer.

Genre: Adventure
Setting: At a park
Character: Teacher