Tranquility of the mist Photo by Alexander Arntsen — National Geographic Your Shot

I’m going to have to say that I’m exhausted. Feet screaming in my ears as the world stays silent around me, where exactly am I? A morning walk into low visibility, perhaps this time I will be refreshed and inspired enough to want more for myself. Crunching of leaves breaking the quiet of both my mind and this forest, what exactly was my impetus for this journey. So many questions keep falling out of my mouth, and the trees refuse to give me the answers that I need. How exactly did I wind up so caught-out like this?

Out of bed an hour earlier, this will be the day that changes everything. The usual routines: fixing the hair, brushing the teeth, making sure I look “presentable.” Today is a day for brilliance, to let my star shine as bright as possible and aim for the greatest of joys. I have read the charts, I have done the work, hell…I’ve even burned some sage. Positive affirmations make for positive outcomes, I’m living my life to the maximum today!

Then the door opens. A breeze laced with an icy sting, I would almost venture to say I can hear its sadistic cackle in the distance. Suddenly the tank is at half-full, we haven’t even taken our first step yet. What kind of twisted adventure is this? Who said it was O.K. to break down all that I had spent working on for hours in mere moments? How offensive it is to know that even after all this time and all that trauma, I can still be broken down by a single breeze.

Then comes the thoughts. I had done such a good job managing until now, why is this a recurring thing for me? Like gunshots they come, outside my window or inside the house? Outside my door or inside my closet? Outside my body or inside my heart? The sounds cut through the sanctity of both my space and my mind. There’s got to be a way to prevent this from happening, I need to find a place to hide.

Then comes the chains. Icy metal clasped around my ankles, suddenly I’m rooted to this spot. Door still wide open, why am I forced to suffer like this each day? “I don’t understand, and I don’t know why,” words I might as well have etched across my forehead at this point. Trapped in a perpetual state of confusion, all I ever seem to know is clanging chains and the chorus of gunshots. The roof could crash down on my skull and it would be a blessing, please just let the whole house burn.

Now comes the horror. From behind you it appears, intangible and malevolent, wishing you nothing but harm. The coalescence of both your sins and others’, it is yours alone to slay. What’s your move? What will you do this time? Is this the day you smash the chains and take flight? Will you simply stand there and accept this persistent darkness again, body and soul dismantled to their purest form in the pit of the beast. Choose now or forever become peace, you only have a few seconds.

Here is your escape. Scuffed legs and a bleeding soul, you chose for the first time to run. Unaware of where you were going, you pushed through and pushed on. Through the fog and over the streams, what could you call this new place you've found. Unfamiliar and peaceful, ask yourself if you can still hear those gunshots?

Aspiring Fantasy author. The more we lean into our complicated lives, the better the stories. https://linktr.ee/JeauxWithTheFro

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