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|A short story I had to write for English... The end is really smashed together because she had a word limit, but otherwise, I like it.||
He should have realized it wouldn't go away so simply, that things like these would never go away. He reread the letter again and then another time after that, willing the words to change or to just disappear. They didn't though and Gaul wondered why he even dared to hope in the first place. He would not go, they could not make him- not the gods above nor the gods below, he would not go.
The times were changing, the seasons constantly rubbing shoulders with one another. It was hard to tell spring from summer, summer from fall, and fall from winter but somehow the nomads managed. The great snow covered plain had once been the summer home of the Runnes Clan but all that remained was a few burnt campfires and a collapsed tent that lay askew on the ground. Frozen beneath the snow, Gaul knew he would find old tracks leading south but he had no intention of following his Clan to the winter caves near the ocean.
'Find your own path.' The letter had said- and much more then that! - but Gaul was still unsure exactly what the letter had meant by it. In the beginning he had even ignored the letter, but things had happened too rapidly now for him to ignore it. The Clan was gone, not simply gone south to the caves but gone for good. He had watched it happen himself on the banks of the treacherous river Degul. The ice had cracked and nature had taken its course and the river had swallowed everyone but him in a single second. There had been little shouts or panic, it had happened to fast for that and too fast for him to even try to help. Gaul couldn't mourn what he couldn't change and so he had simply moved on.
But he was still here Why was he still here? He had no answer, scarcely even a guess and kicked a clump of downy soft snow into the air in his frustration. The letter had said had said many things. Too many things- and he had learned of them all.
It was better not to dwell on that, though, and he tilted his head back, his eyes clouded and reflecting the sky above him. It was better not to dwell on so many things But he couldn't help it, and with a resigned sigh he started north again, farther into the flurries and the furies of winter. His thin clothing made travelling difficult in this weather but he pressed on as the letter had told him to, unwilling to stop for anything.
The snow grew thicker as the days passed but he didn't slow- his body numb to physical sensation- to the warm and to the cold alike. The snow grew as what felt like months passed. Growing gaunt and frail enough to be moved by a breeze, Gaul continued onward, hours dragged on in an agony induced only by the mind as it begins to realize its fate.
One. Two. Three Gaul thought, counting his own steps for the eighth time before he lost track. It didn't matter anyway; he couldn't count past twenty so it was fitting that he lose his train of thought at three. The snow was everywhere this far north and when he walked he sank sometimes straight up to his waist in the thick powder. He didn't care much, though, because he always climbed back out of the snow and kept going until he fell again. He had to keep going To find his own path, as the letter had said.
Damn the letter! He thought desperately and pulled himself out of the snow yet again, though the moment he stood his legs gave out under him and he fell once more. This time, unlike all the other times, he tried but failed to stand. He still didn't mind though- the snow was soft and he was tired And everyone needed to rest once in awhile If only the letter hadn't been there. If only. He blinked his eyes rapidly to keep them from freezing shut and watched the sky in contemplation, touching the place in his cloak where he kept the letter safe. He hadn't really thought to reread it again until now But when he tried to grasp it his fingers touched nothing but the frayed edge of his cloak.
No. He thought resolutely and tried again- and failed again. Like a dream, though, the letter came to his mind with such perfect clarity he was dumbstruck: 'You are a part of the land and as a result are not alive. You are simply a part of a much greater being. Your death will therefore strengthen the land and proves profitable.' Funny, he hadn't remembered that part until now
No! He thought again, his fingers clawing at his eyes suddenly that now stared unblinking at the sky. No! No! I will not give in! But he already had, and something much greater then he was inhaled sweetly the breath of renewed life.
The darkness embraced Gaul like an old friend, but the man managed one last plea to the snow around him before he went.
"I haven't found my path yet!"
But he had.
|Fault and Flaw - Prologue/Chapter One||Happy Valentine's Day|
|Musings - Isban||The Unfinished Swordling Journal|