I walk the path, the tracks through the tall grass. I don’t have to look up anymore to know I’m under the beam. I can feel it. I can sense it. I can hear the grass singing me forward. Their songs give me the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other though I know I should have faltered miles before. I have nothing left. I have no one left. I walk alone.
The beam tells me I will never truly be alone, and I know that, but that doesn’t keep my heart from aching. All of my friends have fallen on this path, on this quest. We sought the end of the beam without knowing what we would find there. I continue on, though I still don’t know what is waiting for me at the end. I think it will be a rose. A towering, spiraling, contraption of beauty and pain that encompasses everything: life and death, redemption and damnation.
I want to stop. I want to step into the grass, set down my burdens, rest and then… and then nothing. Whatever waits at the end can’t be worth everything I’ve given up to get there, can it? Can’t I just quit this mad quest, this fool’s errand? I raise my fists to the birds overhead, also on the path of the beam, and curse them for their ability to fly against its pull, even as they conform to its boundaries. I think about turning around, only to realize my feet have carried me another mile down the road while I wasn’t thinking about them.
It is my destiny, my purpose. I was chosen. I obey.
I hope whatever waits for me at the end can cleanse the filth of my soul. I’m bruised from my regrets. I’m stained from my mistakes. My soul bears the lashing scars from every time I chose the path other my friends, my loves, my life. I don’t deserve it, but perhaps I will find peace there, where the path meets the beam.
If you are a fan of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, I don’t know how you could look at this picture and think of anything else. It seemed as though it were ripped from that world, and the words that followed were inspired by my impression of it and how I imagine Roland felt at times. Or, perhaps, how I would have felt if I had been forced to walk a few miles as the gunslinger.
What do you see? Write it, link it up to Moi’s Once more with feeling prompt, and post it so we can all enjoy it.