Dead end

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All was calm and still except for the light breeze blowing through the multi-colored leaves. The leaves dropped from the tall trees, scattering themselves across the ground. Overhead, the vague clouds were whisked away by the breeze. Graying the sky, the clouds threatened rain. The dirt trail through the trees was now mud from the storm the day before. The leaves plastered themselves to the slowly drying ground.
He walked the trail, hands in the pockets of his baggy jeans, holding them up. His blue sweatshirt, damp from the dripping leaves overhead. Mud caked his black sneakers, plastering foliage to the soles. He walked solemnly looking straight ahead. He would pluck long grass and twigs from the leafy walls outlining the path. He rolled his new found treasure through his fingers and pulled it apart slowly letting each microscopic piece fall. Then, he would do it again.
The wind picked up. The leaves were blustered away from the trees swirling and dancing in the air all around him. They would tickle his neck and continue on their journey before ultimately, landing gently upon the ground. He arrived to an area that seemed untouched by the recent storm. A beige plastic bench sat off to the left of him. He ran his hand across it feeling for dampness before finally sitting. He leaned his head over the back of the bench, staring up at the ominous gray sky. The clouds blended and the dim outlines ceased to exist. The sky had turned into a large shield, depressing many and hiding away the glowing warmth of the sun. Time flew by, minutes, hours, he seemed not to care. He just stared. Occasionally, he would put his head down as if nodding off but then he would look back to the hopeless sky. It was getting later, even without the sun, he could acknowledge the approaching darkness.
He heaved himself from the bench and continued to follow the trail that would eventually lead back to civilization. Memories from years before haunted him. This path brought happiness followed by pain. His heart broke more and more as he walked further. Finally, out of the trail, he walked to the south. He proceeded down a vacant road, lined with condemned homes. When he was here last, children would run the streets and neighbors would exchange a friendly word. Now, nothing but silence filled the air. Off in the distance, a car door slammed. He continued to walk down the black asphalt road. Street lights flicked off behind him as he walked slowly around the corner.





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