A Wasteland

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a short story/description of traveling through a wasteland, and the mindset you get from it.

Beyond the mountains, where the summer’s hot sun sits on the horizon with its last red gaze, there is wasteland. Brown fields of nothingness spread for miles, with little but the occasion withered weed daring to bless the soil with its pathetic life. Even now and then you might come across a dead flower, an everlasting reminder of the kind water that has so long forsaken this land. Now the soil is hard and thirsty; the plants desperate for a second chance at a life they lost years ago.

It is the blistering heat that you notice first. Then the dryness of your mouth and the feeling of doubt that hits your stomach like a stone. What hope is there here? The pack on your back doubles in weight as your feet drag along the ground. From your pocket you pull a canteen and press the opening to your parched lips, hoping to squeeze a last hopeful drop into your mouth. You feel a droplet touch your tongue and stand still for a moment in bliss. It’s at times like this you really appreciate the simple necessities of life that you usually take for granted.

You swallow, and the drop is gone. With little left to lose, you tap the plastic end of the flask and pray to whatever God might exist up there that there’s some more refreshing water left. And yet nothing. No kind drop to quench your thirst. No sympathetic drip to set you free from this hell. No, here you are lost. Here there is no hope. Here there is nothing to do but continue on forever.

You might have thought it a desert if you didn’t know better; if you couldn’t still see the imprints in the ground where white picket fences had once stood proud around their territory. But as you look to the dead grass beneath your hiking boots you can still make out the marks in the soil. You can still see the evidence of life. In sandy parts of this torturous land, you can just make out the places where the tides has washed away rocks and cleared the path. You can almost see the wetness – almost touch it. Oh dear God; if it were but real! If only you could see this wretched place as the lush paradise and home to so many that it had once. Once upon a time life had bloomed here. Once upon a time the grass had been green and children had played in the fields beneath the radiant sun. You close your eyes, imagining. You can see them now, the very paths their small feet took as they pattered through the village. You see the farmers cutting down the endless ears of corn, as the cool water washes their feet and fills their mouths with hope and sanity. The two things you so desperately long for now.

As your eyelids open you stare around you, the scene changing before you. Now you see nothing but the endless wasteland of life. You are alone. Your fingers twitch and your hand moves to wipe away the sweat dripping from your brow. Your feet buzz as your head spins. It is tempting to lie down on the ground, to forget everything around you and push this trouble away. And yet you can’t. Are you to weak to rest your head on the ground? Or too strong?

You shake your head, sighing. You cannot give up now; there would be no point. Instead you force one foot forward, then another. Step by step you pick up speed, driving yourself on with thoughts of the future and the past. All the things you left behind and all the things waiting for you. There is no choice, just a compulsion to go on. Through heaven or hell; happiness or sadness, you must push on through the wasteland of life.

Because at the end of the wilderness, there is hope.


Submitted: May 21, 2009

© Copyright 2020 The Silver Scribe. All rights reserved.

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