Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)
TITLE: Not Alone
By Tim George
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Even as he ran he could still see those false speakers, drunk on the black venom of hell falling before his sword until none was left to fall. Finally, when all was quiet, he had stood there alone calling the people to turn from their idols and back to the only one who could rightfully be called Awesome.
But then, one hateful woman made a blood-oath to have him killed. And where hundreds of sword wielding dark priests failed, one woman succeeded. She had so given herself to darkness, her rage released the denizens of fear to chase the old man into the desert.
At last he could run no more. No more bends in the road for him; it was time for the journey to end. With aching bones he laid down under a shabby excuse of a tree and whispered through parched lips.
“Too much work and no one to help.”
“Too much hopelessness and no one else
Weary from it all, the old man slept. After some time, a tap on his shoulder awoke him. To his amazement, a being robed in light offered him a loaf cake and fresh water.
“Your journey is not over; there are still things for you to do. You have one more great task before you.”
The man ate and traveled a month farther into the wilderness. Battered by time, the elements, and exhaustion the man found himself facing a great mountain. Through sheer determination he clawed his way up the rocky precipice with bloody hands. There were things he needed to know. Questions he needed to ask. The one who could answer them was at the summit. Of that he was sure.
With one last burst of reserve he pulled himself onto the highest ledge ready to find answers. But as he opened his mouth he was met with a question.
“Why are you here?”
“Because I have battled the dark priests alone only to be driven like an animal into the desert. This work you gave me is too ...”
Cut off in mid-sentence the fugitive fell too his knees. A terrible noise rushed around the mountain. Fierce winds tore at the mountain smashing boulders into pebbles. Immediately following the winds came a bone rattling earthquake. Blazing fire appeared from nowhere engulfing the place. Yet the man was unharmed.
Then he heard the voice speaking softly put plainly. “Why are you here?”
“I ... I am here,” he stammered, “because I am alone. There is no one else to do the work with me. It is too much!”
“Why are you here” asked the voice again?
“Because I am all alone. The work you gave me was too much for one man; perhaps for many men.”
No more lightning flashed and no more fires burned. Everything was as still as the desert in the night. The old man felt a gentle wind envelope him and wrap itself around him like the arms of his father when he was little boy. Strength surged through his bones and he realized he no longer stooped as he stood.
The fingers of the gentle wind touched his ears and spoke.
“It is not your work my friend. It is mine. You have only been allowed to share in it. Now, walk with me and I will give you rest from your labor. There is another another to finish what you have begun. He is waiting on us even as we speak.”
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