the crossing

 photo bridge_zps85a89e14.jpg

Despite its infrequent use, the bridge remained free of debris.  The elders said it was part of the magic of the place.  The spirits that guarded the bridge wanted it to seem well taken care of, inviting, safe.

He’d doubted the existence of those spirits, and magic in general, since the medicine man had failed to save his dying father.  After watching the bridge for several days, he theorized that the falling leaves failed to settle on it because of the constant breeze that blew down the close canyon.  He would find out soon enough, though.

The death of his father had just been the first blow to his faith and trust in the teachings of his tribe.  Over the five years since, he had grown more distant, more weary, of their customs and beliefs.  He continued to say the words and practice the rites because he didn’t want to stand out, but they no longer held any meaning for him.

After completing his coming of age ceremony he hiked to the bridge for the first time.  He admired the cool dark water flowing out of the valley.  He wondered where the river was headed.  He longed to cross the bridge and see what else the world had to offer.  The sun shining downstream called to him, warmed his heart and set his resolve.

As he gathered his needed supplies he returned to the bridge each afternoon.  He watched for the spirits but never saw any.  He looked for other travelers too, but he knew their camp was isolated enough that nobody had found it in generations.  Again, the elders stated that was because the spirits hadn’t deemed anyone worthy of crossing.  Again, he no longer believed that.

He shouldered his pack and walked boldly out of camp.  Some of the tribe called to him and asked where he was going, but he carried on as if he hadn’t heard.  When they saw what direction he was headed, none of them followed.  In their minds he was already dead.

That didn’t bother him one bit.  Once he crossed the bridge he never planned on coming back anyway.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

This post brought to you by moi’s Picture Writing Prompt for the week.

What do you see?

Write it, link it, post it!

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