Short Story: The Path

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A small, wooden box rested in her hands. Her full-length gown swept the floor as she walked the mourner’s path. Posture rigid, head facing straight ahead, the woman’s small, brown thumb repeatedly passed over the detailed engravings on the box’s lid.

Without a glance up, she turned the corner and made her way down a set of stairs. A trendle of coarse curls wiggled its way loose from her bun and bounced with the beat of her steps. Tears shielded onlookers from the dull, lifeless look in her eyes. She was so close. Just a little bit farther.

Another hallway led her to a heavy door made of Redwood with gold inlaid. Only a master could have created such a masterpiece, but its beauty was lost on the woman. Her hands trembled slightly as she reached for the handle. With a quick jerk, the door swung free and she stepped inside.

Darkness engulfed her as the door slammed closed behind her. With a snap of her fingers, a row of small lights illuminated the pathway. Not enough to fill the room, but just enough to show her the steps leading further into the abyss.

Each step forward took her further and further from the future she dreamed about. But it also eased the pain that had claimed her. When she got to the bottom, a dimly lit room awaited her.

She drew her lips thin. A massive wooden block sat in front of her. The carvings matched the ones on its miniature in her hand. She stepped forward and her tightly wound composure unraveled. A guttural, raw, animalistic sound wretched its way from her throat. Her knees buckled. Her body began to shake terribly.

A smile flashed before her firmly shut eyes. A kiss caressed her lips, a warm feeling set deep within her belly and her back arched. Had she gone mad? Had this last moment pushed her over the edge? No. She had to stop this. This was her time. This was her choice.

She threw back her head and screamed. The sound bounced off the stone walls and made a sickening echo. The dullness was back. She fixed her shoulders and prepared her mind. She was ready.

This time her steps were surer. This time she gave the box in her hand one glance before fitting it into the hole. With a small shudder and a flash of light the block became whole again. No one ever knowing at one time it had been incomplete.

The woman stepped back. Her eyes now empty of all emotion. Her movements off, like a tin man who hadn’t been oiled recently. The glow in her chest slowly faded. It was done.

No one knew what she had done there, so no one would ever be able to fix it.

*This short story is my own. I will probably do more with it in the future. Any use of my words without my expressed permission is prohibitied.*

Let me know what you think.

Later,

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