One day, the ground beneath her feet began to grow weary, and thin. She had walked upon it for eons it seemed, over mountains and through rivers and past deep caverns and amidst towering forests, to here; still treading a rocky outcrop high above the horizon.
The path was tired, but it kept going, kept pushing forward. Sometimes it tried to hide behind a tree or under a tyre print or up over some derelict building to shake her off, but no matter how hard it tried, SHE would always find it, keep stomping, sending darkened angry hooves into the sodden earth, treading dainty fairy toes amidst shells and feathers by the sea, sending a rolling slithering ribcage over sand dunes, always the soul of her would come crashing or prancing it relentless gait upon the path.
But the path was tired. And unknown. And unnoticed.
Unless it just happened to climb a particularly precarious cliff face at which it would be met with hammers and ice picks, or atop a vastly turbulent ocean at which point a seafaring boat would be employed to get her by. No matter what the path did to slow or stay her, she would find a way around, or through.
It tried going in circles to throw her off course. It worked the first time, even the second and third, a confused merriment of mayhem dancing around a round-about with oneself, but soon she clued up to the horizons she had come from and turned to set straight on the path once again.
Sometimes it hiccuped just when her mind wandered, and would trip her nearly clean over. Once she even fell flat on her face, and got such a fright she was actually sick, right there on the path. It never hiccuped again.
Once she was happy and preoccupied by another, and lost sight of the path just long enough for it to fade with the dimming sun. She became frantic and had to sit still in the darkness until the light resurfaced to illuminate the path once more.
But the path was tired.
And she was never-ending.
What could the path do? It wished it could straighten out and just catapult her in the right direction so it could get some peace.
But then the path realised with a start that without a journey, it, itself, might not exist! The mere thought sent an alarming rumble through the mountainous terrain, reverberating through the girls’ feet.
Did its existence actually rely on the girl treading its weary back? What would happen if she reached her destiny? What had happened BEFORE she started stomping along its wretched length? The path had no answer. It couldn’t remember! A life without her? What had it been like? It… it… it… there were no words; just a grave realisation that without the tramps hurried trampling the path was nothing.
Mortified the path wondered what to do! How could it keep her on track? Heavens above what would have happened if she’d died when the path tripped her? It would have died too!!! It had to do something to make sure she would survive the duration of her journey. Stretching out into its length, it felt in to future for all the rough patches, the perilous seas, the unstable cliffs, the jungles laid with dangers. It tried to shift sideways out of harm’s way. But it was stuck, it wouldn’t budge! Oh no she would surely perish.
But then… but then… if the path relied on the girl to exist, and the girl relied on the path to exist, it would only stretch as far as her life would go, so everywhere it is , is everywhere she will be. So she won’t die before the end of the path!
Aah sweet relief thought the path; all would be as it was meant to be. It relaxed a little into the earth, welcoming the girls’ feet dancing a little lighter on its back than usual.
Written by Tjoni Johansen
Copyright 2016 all rights reserved
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