Desolate and deserving, I fought through the bitterness of the morning. The snow was falling heavier, the clouds becoming darker, but one thing remained the same; my enduring desire to follow the Path.
There had been countless myths and fables about the Path Striders; I was captivated by these tales from a young age, fascinated by the obscurity of it all... But more than anything, my mind was intrigued by the possibility of its reality.
I’d been alone for three months, or so I predict, when you’re away from the rest of the world time seems to lose its importance; demeaned by a man’s solitude. But I enjoy the quiet. I enjoy the independence and responsibility. I enjoy the freedom of living a life without needing to be shown how.
Planet Earth. A land designated, segregated and corrupted by the will of those in charge. I’ve escaped the ways of the world by leaving that society behind me, and now I finally feel I am beginning to see the Earth as it should be seen. Each step taking me closer to the ultimate prize.
The icy breeze carried itself elegantly between the trees as the snowfall became weaker. Leaves were twisting and meandering before hitting the Path before me, slight crunches and snaps resounded from my every step.
The atmosphere was so tranquil; the air was so fresh.
Gentle steps and a gentle mind.
I listened intently as the wind seemed to mutter a low chant; carrying the sound of something calling in the distance.
My mind had become accustomed to the yearning calls of animals, after so long travelling on the Path; I had witnessed the true extent of nature.
I thought back to studying the book of the Path before my departure, a memory flickered as thoughts of the Path Striders journey entered my head...
The book was there. Almost demanding an audience. Its pale cover glistened in the moonlight, the words ‘The tale of the Path Striders’ were neatly inscribed under the illustration of a huge Golden Eagle.
I opened the cover, unable to resist what I have read countless times before.
The familiar words ‘Shrouded by mystery, the journey unveiled’ were written delicately at the top of the first page, but those were the only words there. The second page is where the story began, the crisp pages feeling ancient in my hands, drops of wax and small tears and smudges had been acquired through the ages of its existence. This was the orthodox book, not one of the fable adaptations I was read as a child, but the original, lost for so long, but founded by my father a few days before his untimely death.
‘The Path isn’t simply something to follow; the Path is a journey in itself, a life journey. It bares the many mysteries of mankind, and it goes only as long as you need it to. The Path is a route with no direction, a road with no signs – It explores the depths of the world and beyond.’ Had been scribbled at the end of the book; an addition made by my father.
There is so much I don’t know about my father, I know only as much as my Mother would reveal.
The flashback faded slowly and I found myself grasping onto a nearby tree trunk, breathing heavily in the calm of the morning.
I squinted as the Path showed me the way, through a thicket of trees and bushes, and out onto an open plain. I hadn’t expected such a change of scenery between a typically vast forest and the most desolate plain I have ever seen.
But who was I to question the Path?
I bravely stepped out onto the new terrain, sipped at the water pouch around my tough belt and allowed anxiety and courage to drive me onwards.
*THIS SHORT STORY IS CURRENTLY INCOMPLETE - WILL CONTINUE IF CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM/COMMENTS ARE PROVIDED. WOULD BE VERY APPRECIATIVE OF ALL FEEDBACK! THANK YOU!