I set off as sky touched red. Past roads familiar. Past faces I knew better than my own. They watched me go, etched in stone. No goodbyes, I was treated with silence. Such is penance. A cat paused on a wall. Like me it smelled the cinnamon. First I came to the church. I paused and prayed outside. For the day that was in it. For the bounty I was given. A siren screamed her song but I was gone. Over the wall and beyond.

The world shaded blue. I moved with haste, much to do. Down steps I descended, into the valley of light. I passed people unfamiliar. They gave no greeting but then I didn’t want one. A monument of flowers in a language I couldn’t read. I arrived at the weir where the waters shaped by man. I stayed there awhile as the light faded. On the other side a chainlink fence. This was my moment. I’d never asked for it but I’d brought it anyway. Here and now, time to break the chain.

As the stars first twinkled I journeyed on. The road grew dark and the path fell away. Soon I was lost amidst the trees. Yet the birds sang. Robins and wrens, sparrows and blackbirds. They flicked through trees around me. they knew they were free. A candle light shone ahead. I came at last to the shrine amidst the trees. I knew the river was close but heard it not. Past the shrine the trees closed in and all became black. This far, no further. Every step, turn back. No turning back. The sirens don’t have me yet.

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  • Heroh  

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