This story came to me when someone I cared for deeply changed and ventured out of my reach and turned into a different person. This was how I viewed our relationship deteriorating.
I intend to continue this work, but I am unsure how to continue... The characters stopped talking to me.
He was falling. I saw the earth under his feet crumble to pieces. I saw his lovely smile disappear when he realized that our false sense of security was just that. False. His hand reached out as he fell, looking for something, anything, to grab onto. The world moved in slow motion as I leapt into action to grab his outstretched hand. There was no time to be amazed by the speed I was able to move from where I stood a yard or so away from where he fell to being sprawled on the ground, gripping his hand tightly with one hand, the other holding onto a dead sapling for support.
“Hold on!” I pleaded
His eyes softened, but there was sadness in them.
“Ella, you have to let me go,” he said as a tear surfaced in his eye.
“No!” I protested, “I won’t let you go!” I started crying.
“No, you will.” He spoke more urgently, “You have to run! God knows what is coming after us. You need to get away!”
“Do you want to die?!” I yelled at him. I tightened my loosening grip. It was becoming difficult to hold on. My hand was slick with sweat. He closed his eyes a moment. When he opened them back up, they were full of resolve.
“Good bye, Ella. Now RUN!” With that, he let go.
“No! Wait!” I screamed as I tried to still hold on, but his hand slipped right through mine.
He fell down into the darkness, eyes closed, and not making a sound. My face was wet with tears. I waited in silence, hoping and praying to hear his voice shout up, saying that the void wasn’t so deep, that he was ok, that he was hurt, anything. But nothing of the sort came. Just eerie silence.
I sat up, the tears still pouring from my eyes.
“I didn’t even know his name.” I said to myself.
I dropped my face into my hands and wept. I wept for the lost time we both had stolen from us. I wept for my family who is long since dead. I wept for the hopelessness of what was now my world. But most of all, I wept for this stranger. His kindness had melted my cold fear, calmed my dark filled hatred.
As I calmed down, I realized that he was right. I had to run, or his death would mean nothing. I stood up and ran without direction. It didn’t matter where I ran, as long as I was running. If I stopped running, I was as good as dead. Not a true death, but something worse. Much worse.