TITLE: All is Lost 11/25/2016
By Jeremy Kirby
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I would return home to my family, my wife, and each return was more bitter than the last. Always, there were things that stood out to me about my marriage and life, things that I hated. I retreated to my memories, and it was really only that, or they, which would make me feel more for the red-haired woman.
I visited her by way of a late night truck. Across a great chasm, I traveled. For some endless length of time, I delighted my soul with her. She knew me, and loved what she knew.
The northern forest echoed a peace that seemed to purify my soul and bring healing to my mind. Moreover, she, well, she was one with that force. It was as if, like a ray of sunlight, she could channel all of that idyllic energy and focus it on me and me alone.
My return came soon and my absence went unnoticed. A million tiny peeves burrowed themselves under my skin. The days passed, I worked and came home, and I worked and came home yet again. I had become almost feverish with irritation, and at that point, I noticed a pursuing force. It was a dark rider, a living wraith that hunted my sanity and soul. He thundered across the southeast lands, riding, searching fervently.
I worked and came home. As time scraped by, I became more withdrawn. I loved my secrets with increasing passion, and manifested even more hatred toward my outward life.
Finally, at some length of time, I snapped. It was a terrible moment of chaos wherein my wife broke down and told me just how worthless she thought I was. In that instant, the razor sharp sting of her words cut me free. I had no more restraint to hold back. I left my home that night with nothing more than a direction.
The winter snow danced to and fro, reflecting what little light there was, as it softly floated down from the black night above. I glanced around, conscious of the riders hoof beets that were nearly upon me. I had no walls of family or anchor of conviction, no guiding shepherd to advise a path away from the outside forces. I came to the train station, and at the hour of about three a.m. I boarded a herculean, black as death, coal train.
I steamed northward over steep hills and through dense forests where no doubt I would be ripped to shreds by the ravenous winter wolves if I had not the shelter of the train. Indeed that great iron fortress was keeping me alive, for the rider had found me. His mighty steed overtook the train. I could see, as we raced on, the breath shooting forth from the horses’ nostrils. It exuded a power equal to the steam producing fires of that devilish coal engine.
The earth quaked below me. I felt the train drop several feet; nevertheless, we stayed on course. My own urgency, and that of the engineers’, seemed to play in unison as the train strained to push as fast as was physically possible for it to go. Past rolling boulders and toppling trees we steamed over the edge of the divide. The tracks collapsed underneath us, falling into the great canyon. Only our forward momentum stayed us.
The chug of the train and the panting of the horse had become one. The dimly lit compartment where I sat and the black night folded together over me. The outside turmoil and the chaos in my mind retreated into a distant memory as I sunk into some faraway place.
The sunlight warmed my cheeks as it crested the southeastern horizon. My eyes strained to open but as I did, I could not help to be awed at the scene before me. A wide crack in the earth now separated me from my past. It was deep and bottomless and there was no more bridge to ever return upon. My old land, as I seen it now, was vast and beautiful. Its shores seemed eternal, disappearing southerly to the east and west.
I sat upon a precipice, an outcropping of rock at the edge of the cliff. The rider was gone. It was as if he never existed, and She, sat next to me. I looked at her, and she at me. The longing for her, that caused me to escape to her, now was absent. Her beauty remained but it had no appeal. Though the rider had vanished, the safety I felt was not so comforting.
The sun shined brightly and I saw her now. She was a wordless succubus with poison lips. She had drawn me away, spiritually, so much so that it spilled over into my mentality. I was drawn away so much mentally that it spilled over into my physicality. I had been overtaken spirit, soul and body. My wife was very correct when she told me I was worthless. I gambled and scrambled away in the pursuit of some strange woman all that had given me worth. My wife and kids, my God, and even my job were now gone.
Now, there is no way back. Wherein now shall my path lay?
Truly, all is lost.
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