One Thousand Word Challenge 198: Long Walk Along a Road

A long distance seems to stretch on our ahead and it needs to be traversed. It might take time and it seems eternal, but it will be traversed in some manner. Would be better with a car, but sometimes you just need to go for a long walk and it needs to be a long walk to nowhere in particular, though in this particular instance it’s a long walk to somewhere, where that somewhere is wherever the road leads, so long as it leads away from here.

The walk goes through the evening. It starts in the late afternoon and it continues on, and all there is is looking forward. Some light traffic rushes past but it is ignored, and it never seems to come close anyway so it may as well not be there. The road passes by the ocean but still there is only staring forward. There are thoughts and they weigh heavy and the engulf as they crash against each other, vying for a supremacy they can never hold for as they collide they shatter and new thoughts form. They are cyclical and eternal, and they constantly change as though they are continuously static.

The road winds a little and only in specific places, and it passes around large hills and sometimes between them, but mostly it is forward off into a great horizon. It is neither warm nor cool, but it does seem to grow colder as afternoon leads to twilight which leads to night.

The sunset casts a great splendour as it renders the sky some sort of heavy red. The clouds slowly move through it, capturing its brilliance, but it is not noticed. The sun cries and howls as it disappears beyond the horizon and the shadows draw long, and the walk continues into the shadows but it can only be within them once the shadows behind catch up. The canvass disappears to darkness and it does not matter. Focus remains forward and so does the journey. It does not stop.

There is a need to keep on walking until there is no more energy to do so. There is a need to reach the end of the road. That is the goal and it does not waver, but neither do the thoughts. Neither does the anguish and grief and the pain, and it cannot be escaped.

The road grows quiet and traffic grows even more bare, and the stars shine above, and it is dark and the darkness is heavy. Still, the moon is bright and it seems to move quickly, though it already was in the sky before the sun went down. It sits up there and it could almost be viewed as a spectator, and maybe it is watching someone walk a long road, screaming and crying in silence for they do not let out a peep, for all they feel they can do is focus on what lies ahead and just walk.

The road continues and it seems easy to walk, though maybe, much like the sky, that could do with where the focus lies. The silence reigns, though it is not noticed. It doesn’t matter. There could be animals about and if there are maybe they are curious, but there is no attention paid and the walk is not disturbed. It just continues on, leaving nothing but a memory for the land that will be lost to all time as one long walk creates a continuous line that only shows up as a point in the present.

The night grows cold but the walk keeps warmth and so the walk remains smooth. Occasionally bits of landscape can be made out but most things are vague, or in parts nonexistent as light pollution is minimal at most, but the road is easy to follow and so continuing on is barely an issue.

Thoughts swirl into amorphous shapes and continue to rage, disconnect and congeal, constantly changing but remaining the same, and scene and memory constantly loops. Attempts to put pieces together and keep things focused for long enough fail but the emotions remain firm through it all. Through all the mess there are things that are detailed and they do not thrash; they hold a sense of stillness and remain present, and they pin everything together as a constant. They do not shrink, they do not grow, but they are there and they are as overwhelming as the storm of thoughts.

Eventually the sky takes on more light, and things become clearer, though internally all rages. Details returns to the surrounding land and the road remains constant, but it is not noticed. A long distance has been covered but there still is a long distance to go. The road leads away and it has led away, but this is not where the walk stops and so it must continue on. There is a target in mind and that target is anywhere the road leads so long as it leads away from where following it began.

A burst of colour covers the sky as sunrise begins, but the morning is cold and there are clouds that loom over. Still, the display is amazing and the sun appears and pulls all of its colour back in as it rises. It is bright and not pleasant to walk into, but this does not last long and it does not slow the walking.

In the brightness of it all, it’s almost as though disintegration of the self sets in, but the walking cannot stop. Despite the breaking apart and being gradually scattered by the wind the walking continues. It continues into a vibrant and massive landscape and it continues despite fading away, but all remains whole and nothing is lost. Everything and nothing is lost, and everything and nothing changes, and it is almost as though a sense of growing ancient and becoming nothing lurks, and the grief is nearly overwhelming, and screaming and crying remain internal, and along the road the walk continues.

The time it took to write one thousand words: 23:53:59

This is slower than I hoped but I’m glad. This isn’t entirely stream-of-conscious, but most of it is and going slower allowed this to work a lot better than had I rushed through it, I think.

I don’t think the writing is strong; I feel like there’s a bit of indecision with direction, but it also feels raw. It has been a long year and in the past few weeks a few of my friends have dealt with loss and I think some of that influenced this writing. I think this was also influenced in part by some of the hurt I’ve experienced, as well as a continuous feeling of flatness despite a strong desire to express.

There’s some slight inclusion of a theory I learned a little about whilst at uni and I feel it fits well. There also might be some sort of poetic quality, or there would be if I spent time reworking the whole thing.

Written at home.

About Stupidity Hole

I'm some guy that does stuff. Hoping to one day fill the internet with enough insane ramblings to impress a cannibal rat ship. I do more than I probably should. I have a page called MS Paint Masterpieces that you may be interested in checking out. I also co-run Culture Eater, an online zine for covering the arts among other things. We're on Patreon!
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