Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Next Chapter

The path has narrowed, gotten rockier, and disappears into impossibly overgrown brush up ahead. He is tired, so leans his staff against a wall of stone, removes his pack, and finds a place to sit. His shirt is soaked through from the effort of getting this far. He is glad to be alone, not just for the solitude, but sparing others the smell of him. Bathing has not been a priority in these last hard miles. He rolls the rare smoke. Sometimes breathing is best marked by the heat and evidence of fire. He knows it's bad, but here, for his purposes, it is good. Very good. He sits with the mistakes of his life. He sees now, finally, the rotten fruit of how wrong he has been all these years. He has operated out of anger and fear and spite. The facts of it stare at him, in the clear light of utter frankness, truth. He feels shame and wants to offer up an excuse. His companion isn't having it and won't suffer bullshit. He knows that, so faces even more the fact of his actions, his convictions, his errors. It's a goddamned mess he admits. When the smoke has burned down and it is time to move on, he leaves the staff, the pack, and all that might spare him the full brunt of sensation and consequence before taking the first honest steps toward the tangle of woods ahead. He goes alone. He is not ashamed. He radiates energy, begins the long descent to the hard bedrock beneath the mud, here finally at the peak of his power.

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