Journey's End by SeanMartin ()
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Once upon a time, I liked to travel.
See strange lands, strange peoples, strange customs. When I was young, I was always been somewhat curious about what lies just over the horizon, and since then I've never let roots grow deep enough that I cant pull them out and see what's just around the bend.
I could stop, you know, anytime I wanted.
But there's always the tantalizing mystery just ahead. Where does this road go? What is this town like? How do people say "Good morning" in this country?
As I said, I used to like it.
But now... after thirty years of a thousand strange beds in a thousand strange towns, I started to wonder what my own village was like. Perhaps, I thought, it was time to settle down. I was still young, I lied to myself, I could still create a life.
So I traveled home.
And somewhere along the way, there was a sign. "Scenic Route". I was in no hurry, I told myself: after thirty years, what's a few more hours? So I followed the sign and soon found myself in the middle of a majestic valley, magnificently clothed in firs and maples and lush green meadows. As I stood admiring the sheer beauty of the place, storm clouds rolled over me, and soon enough, rain fell, thick as sheets.
I begged cover in a nearby cabin, its occupant an old man. "Like to travel, do you?" he asked once I had warmed by the fire.
"I did, once."
"Not so much now?"
I shook my head. "Now, all I wish to do is go home."
"I see." He looked out the window as a blaze of lightning briefly illuminated the valley. "Well, it's late. Time for sleep." And with that, he disappeared, leaving me to make my own bed by the fire.
I woke in a grassy knoll. The cabin, the old man, all gone. Thinking perhaps I had simply dreamed them both, I got up and headed on my way. The detour had now cost me dearly, and I was anxious even more to return home.
But the valley seemed to stretch ever more. I would see a range of mountains ahead and, thinking them to border this place, I would find myself surprised that, hours later, they were no closer than before. That night, frustrated, I sat under a tree and watched as clouds rolled in yet again and the rain started anew. I ran for shelter...
... and found myself in the same cabin. The same gently smiling old man. "Like to travel, do you?"
Image Comments (5)
perpetualrevision () 12:49AM | Fri, 08 May 2020
Not quite the journey's end he was hoping for! Apparently, once you meet the old man in the cabin, you can never go home again.
Radar_rad-dude () 10:01AM | Fri, 08 May 2020
Great shades of Ground hog's Day, the movie! Excellent image and fantastic story! Well done!