If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write - Stephen King, On Writing, p. 147
She stood, reflecting. The fabled 'moment' A dozen steps. The wind stirred dry leaves about her bare feet. Water babbled distantly, growing steadily fainter. A vapor trail caught her eye. Stark white against the summer blue sky. Occupants of a flying tube looking down at her. Flashing metal wings taking them on unknown journeys.
The bridge creaked, old timber complaining in the heat. Wildflowers nodded to each other. Strange thoughts invading her mind. They were chattering, discussing her. Perhaps they were betting on if she would take that first step. A smile caught at her lips. Dreamer they’d called her. Her people. No longer her people.
A sharp cry to her right cut through the distance surrounding her. A flash of brilliant blue as a kingfisher swooped over the water and rose with a silvery flutter in its beak. The cycle of life. One dies for another to live. The mantra of her people. A single sacrifice to ensure the continuation of all.
She scrunched her toes into the damp moss of the path. The urge was strengthening. To go, to never look back. Run, her mind whispered, run while you still can. The sense of wood under her feet. Muffled footfalls in her ears. Dig in. Push off. Face the future.
Her body swayed, feeling the pull of the bridge tug against the yearning for home. A rabbit hopped onto the first plank at the other end of the bridge. It eyed her, idly combed down one ear. Not scared. It had surely seen others, before her. It thumped twice on the plank. Impatient, urgent sounds that broke the hypnotic silence.
She blinked, found it gone, wondered if it had been. Her world had become ethereal. The river running was distant, another world. The flowers, stilled, hushed, waiting.
‘I’m unraveling’ The scratch of her voice in the fading reality about her snapped her head up. The bridge called. Tiny voices, the echoes of a thousand feet. Shades of those who had defied. Haunted temptations to follow their trail. To blaze a new road for her soles. For her soul.
She stepped onto the bridge. It bowed under her weight. She held the wood under her hand. It thrummed with energy. Voices and feet. A whirlwind of decisions made. Sounds faded behind her. Those who had turned away from the end of the bridge. More fled before her. Terrified soles hammering the unknown into the steadily aging wood.
A movement behind her. A figure in the edge of vision. She, alone on the bridge. One step into the future.
‘Go’ Her father. ‘Go where I could not’
Warm tears on her cheeks as she stepped off of the bridge. Looking back not possible. Return no longer an option. A hand in hers. A figure in the dappled light of the unknown path. Her world behind, unreachable. An outcast. He whispering against her hair.
“Together. New dreams, new ways”