by R.T. Allenson

Each step he takes is pointless. The wanderer knows this but, defying fate, he presses onwards.

The wind is cold in the night and the sun, when it shines, is unforgiving. There is nothing else but himself – even the feral beasts give him way for even they know that the touch of death is upon the wanderer. They know his offense, his guilt and his crime is apparent in his gaze. It is a thing that is neither said nor written, but carved into the very fragment of one’s being.

The mind can waste, the heart can fail. Knowing this as true, the wanderer presses onwards. Time is wasted on him, but carries on with his endeavor.

Little by little he remembers. He had forgotten almost everything until now and the rush of memories, the visions and thoughts, make him flinch and he stumbles from his walking. His hands grasp the soil and he bears the heat as it licks his fingers with scorching fervor.

He chokes on his breath and he paints the ground with crimson. He remembers the color fondly and how he painted the ground once with more than just a few spatters of red. He remembers it well and all the anguish and the pain and the fury. Vengeance, he recalls, cried out from the ground and smote his eternal soul.

Damnation. But even he is not worthy.

He licks his lips, tasting blood for the first time. He thinks if this is the reason why he chose him over him. Does it matter? He thinks for a moment and disregards the thought, raising himself from the ground. The sun’s gaze is furious and fulminating and the wind bellows at him, reminding him to resign to his fate. He feels the heat from his wound, on his forehead where he was given over to nothingness. It beckons him to give up and for a moment, he considers the thought. The cool of the night, eternal night is far better than the lashings of the world.

“You need only to sit.”

“And everything will be done.”

The wanderer knows this but, defying fate, he presses onwards.