Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Wandering (Part 11)


Halfway there.

The sun is hot. The dew I have gathered from passing foliage is sweet.

“Don't drink too much,” Ignose mutters.

----

There is a storm in my soul equal to the weight of the burden upon my back. Each step forward is agony yet I keep moving. I'm afraid to stop, least the questions catch up. The questions hover somewhere behind our path, threatening to overwhelm me if I pause to catch my breath.

The invisible voices are asking: why, why, why in impertinent way that has the tone of one expecting to be answered. And I know why, but I don't know how. I would do it again, if I could. That isn't the issue. Just as I know I will right this wrong, somehow. The thought of it tastes sweet to me, something beyond my lips, something dark and forbidden but whole.

That focus is what keeps pushing me forward as the pain from Cinna's beating chips at me like a relentless series of waves. As each one swells, it presses upon my mind until it is all I can do to step on.

It's not as painful as labor. But it's close.

It's her, her that stops me from giving in. Her: the shadow dodging my steps. The voice that lists after me, meandering on about the wind with her dark eyes the flit over the trees. She's always talking about the forest, like berries and fruit and bushes are mysterious creations from another world, all planted to delight her.

I look back. Yes, her eyes are on the sky.

“You are going to trip if you keep staring up,” I say, turning myself back around. No pause. Step, step, and step. No time for the questions.

“Oh, but I was looking for berries and collecting sap,” She says. I scowl. But I can't be mad at her. It's not her fault. It's mine, it's mine, it's mine.

And that's why.

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