Author: Slutcow PM
The soft, wooly material of his overcoat burned his skin. He was a thief and a murderer, and it pained him.Rated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual - Words: 812 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 09-10-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3057366
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He had left the shack in a large, wooly overcoat, the curious or amused stares of the field workers unimportant to him. It was a fierce kind of hot out in the open. He had savored the sweat and the discomfort of the itchy wool on his bare skin, knowing release would come swiftly and sweetly in a few gasping breaths. That, and he carried both time and patience in the deep pit of his pocket.
His trip was a long one. He felt it necessary that he distance himself from onlookers, if not in mind, then in body. The crunching of rocks and dead leaves under his boot added to the quiet of his journey. Slowly, strangely, he began to relax, feeling more at ease in the colorful reprieve of nature than he had in the winding paths and streets of urban life. He had barely an idea of where he was going, yet it was in the city he had felt most lost.
The land was beautiful. The grass outlining the stream was so green that it was almost blue, dotted with red and yellow flowers as if envisioned by Monet himself. The trees dominated the area, standing tall, proud and welcoming. Their branches beckoned to him as if a curling finger. He listened. He laid his palm flat on the bark, tracing an absent finger over the wooden scripture that spoke of wear and old age. The heartbeat of the land was in his hand.
He did not wish to violate this holy place. He did not wish to, but could not will himself to do otherwise. He did not remove his boots, though they had crushed the blood and bones of the land, because he was a man. He did not remove his coat, though it was stolen and sewn from the skin of another, because he was a man.
So he did what only a man could do: lowering his hand to his side out of respect, he resolved to touch and take as little as he could while in this earthen heaven. He would have to go about this in a respectful manner, ignoring the deer and small birds that skittered away from his murderous black feet. Ignorance was a small step away from peace.
It was with this in mind that his focus was taken away from the blue-green foliage and pink-sprinkled decorative design of the flowers of the forest. He did not wish to be a carnal and bloodthirsty life-taker like the others of his kind. His eyes searched for a mode to disprove the label of his innate savagery and landed on his purpose of being: the rocks, abstract and inanimate organisms that served as a vessel for the forest's lifeblood and passage of breath—nothing less than a living, breathing river. He had come for exactly this.
It was all too beautiful for him, and he hoped that by striving to prove his worth he was not offending the land's sanctity. But as he labored under the crispness of autumn summer, stockpiling large rocks as if an archeologist in love, he could not help but think that he had. His boots would occasionally toe into the water. The sweat collecting on his brow and the wooly interior of his coat would drip onto the land. He had even sat down at one point.
Was this truly all he was worth? Was he truly a man so spoiled by luxury that luxury had become necessity? He supposed so.
Nevertheless, it had been done. He was now a walking anchor. There was no dock, of course, but there were a few tall boulders. From here he could see a large portion of the forest.
It was truly all too beautiful for him. The ancient trees: the men and guards and muscle of the land; the rock barriers, crafted round and malformed by unskilled hands; the strong pumps of the river, breathing life and motion into a world of eternal green. He stood among it as if a New York shrub: out of place and not the real thing. He sulked in shame. The overcoat sharpened his shoulders and gave him an appearance of pride. He was a proud man. He was ashamed.
The only misplaced piece of sentience in his frazzled mind was the awareness of rocks in his coat pocket. Huge, heavy rocks that he had stolen but would soon return to the land. Perhaps he would never turn green and blue and beautiful. Perhaps he would earn the title of parasite-turned-life-giver as an eternal provider for the land. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. It was all so beautiful, and at that moment, as though this were a second baptism, he took his first two steps.
Falling down the rocks, he crashed into the river and drowned.