Pathways of destiny

“Why are we walking down this road Mummy?” he asked with all the tender innocence of a child who didn’t have any of the ugliness of life trained into him.
She did not answer him and kept going along the same dusty path with her eyes a blank mirror with the no replies.
He waited for a whole second before he persisted with his inquiry.
Each time she refused to acknowledge his question a sliver of her heart slipped into the abyss of her fear.

She felt her invisibility so deeply this day and transparency cannot speak.
Most people did not see her even on days when she shouted the loudest from the pack of human throng.
On days when she could find clothes that fitted and some heard her voice it was short lived. She lived in a time before her time, a senescent memory belonging in a drawer labeled forgotten.

Now, as she dragged her son on a path that powdered red dust under their feet she glimpsed an end and she saw more reason now than ever to find an answer. Her darling was golden with joy and she did not want to risk infecting him with her invisibility.
She willed a change of seasons for him to keep him safe from her inevitability.

The road came to a junction, she bent down and held her son to her and with all the love she had in her she told him to follow the other path now.
The little boy looked and saw it was paved in his favorite colors and he could hear his name being called.
It was his future that was bright and wonderful beckoning him to follow his own path.

“Mummy will you come with me?” he asked expecting a reply of yes.
Unable to look at him she lowered her head and with slow deliberation shook her head. She didn’t have the same future; hers was down that dusty path. Finding the words she said “You are strong and brave and you will be victorious.”
He looked at her seeing his mother with crescent tears christening her eyes and then he knew that he was not a little boy anymore, he was a man.

She gently pushed him out into his path and assured him everything that he needed to hear so he would not worry about her.
Soon he was a tiny sparrow speck though she could just hear that he was singing one of his funny songs that would make her laugh when it felt her laughter had been borrowed away.

The wind curled around her and tugged her to step back onto her path again. Each footstep she took it was clear beyond doubt to her that she was shrinking in the minds of even those few that did see her.
She had always been hard to see and their eyes always strained to have conversation with her.
“This woman should find her own way” they had agreed in what they believed was a thoughtful consensus of kindness.

Her path took her to a field of budding barley with a rocky outcrop forming a rugged altar.
The dusky sunlight lit her face with a halo of candescence and she looked all of fourteen again.
A quiet fell so soundless that her own breathing roared with a rebuking in her ears. She felt hot and tired from her journey and lay down upon the altar to rest awhile.

As she slept her transparent nature began to respond to her dreams that spoke of the life she had always hoped for.
This hope was so strong it layered her skin a thousand times and crystals began to form on the beads of sweat that salted her skin.
She heard for the last time her son’s voice as the cells in her body cemented into a pure crystalline form.
The amber lights of the setting sun danced rainbows on her; at last she was truly visible and unique to the world.

© K S Hardy 2009

Pathways of destiny

Arcadia Tempest

Joined November 2008

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