I Walked Through Time This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

August 31, 2012
~I WALKED THROUGHT TIME~

I closed my eyes, a whisper of wind brushed past my nose, it was a clean, cold,-kind of smell that carried distant memories. As my Father and I walked down our road, time turned, it ended, and for a moment the wind ceased to blow, the ground became still, and the ceaseless noise of the squirrels and birds hushed. Time stopped, and in a tumbling, turning, timeless blur it began to plummet back into the dark depths of time. Dad had been striding along ahead of me, no, now he was gone. A small boy had stolen his place; he wore muddy patched overalls which were much too small, and they were patched in places. Leaning over, he picked up a single pebble from the dusty dirt road, chucking it out across the cornfield, he watched as it disappeared, a single dot against the clear sky, it plunged to the earth like a meteor landing where it would never be found. After sifting through the small rocks in the road with his toes, the child strolled along. I trailed him silently, enchanted, not daring to breathe, as if breathing would make every part of this reality fade into blackness. The boy turned to me and pointed, his finger stretched out towards the dim shadowy wood.
He never spoke, but somehow through his muteness, I could understand everything he meant to say. “Over there, is the carving tree”, he laughed; his eyes sparkled with the trusting happiness only an innocent child can possess. I nodded slowly, bidding him to remain, but he was off, his feet barely touched the ground as he dashed away, down the pebble path he ran motioning for me to follow. I smiled, threw back my hair and followed, running as quickly as I could I was still unable to catch him. Now the child was almost out of sight, I ran faster, forever faster, somehow I knew I would never catch him, he would disappear into the air just as he had come, but abruptly his pace slowed. At the sight of a long forgotten farmhouse, the boy stopped in his tracks, he wandered right up to the house as if he belonged there. Its colorless paint was chipped, charred in some places, a single iris graced the doorway and white curtains lined the windows. Looking beyond the farmhouse I saw another cornfield, it was an emerald sea which flowed to the foot of the house, embracing it, twisting in the grip of an unseen breeze formed by the wind.

My attention was drawn back to the house as the boy tripped up the steps, unbolted the door, and skipped inside. I tried in vain to follow, but found my feet were stuck and I could not move. I was trapped peering in at this strange world, this mysterious vision was a tranquil and perfect picture; I was a part of this bizarre illusion, still, it locked me out as if I was the ghost. Glancing to the right, I spotted a large crimson barn that stood out against the azure blanket of sky, beside it, two melancholy silos stood like faithful guardians, watching out for those they loved. A creak from a door that cried out with age startled the soundless picture. The boy came from the house carrying a tin milking pail, which swayed back and forth as he walked. I followed as he entered the red-roofed barn, the reek of cattle was thick, and the air was covered in a light mist: a mixture of dusty sunlight and sallow cobwebs. The cows were ready to be milked; their incessant mooing assured me of this. Barn cats scampered from the loft their bellies full from the rats they had caught, they were coming to investigate the boy and the smell of milk. The child grabbed an old wooden stool from some forgotten corner, and began his chore, humming a tune as he went. The milk streamed out making a ping-ping noise as it struck the metal bucket, as the tin slowly filled, frothy foam spilled from the top. Carefully clutching the canister the boy carried it to the front porch and placed it gently down.
Again the boys disappeared behind the house, following him I saw an enormous apple tree, it was in full bloom and the branches sagged towards the ground, gripped by the weight of the fruit they bore. The limbs reached out to embrace the boy as he vanished into the painted leaves. Like a wild thing, he climbed, to the top of the tree where he pointed his finger at an apple, motioning that he meant to pluck it for me. Climbing out on the most fragile limb he slowly reached out for the apple. His face wore a determined look, the tree creaked, groaning with age, the boy stretched out and grabbed the flawless apple. Then without warning the branch cracked with a thunderous roar, down he plummeted like a bullet, as the cruel earth grabbed for its prey I rushed to save him, but I was too late. The child lay twisted where he had fallen, the tree’s branches flowed out as if it was weeping, weeping with me. The boys’ childish face was formed into a smile, but it was altered somehow, it was the same distinctive grin, only now it was lined with wrinkles. I touched his hand, but I jerked it back as I did, for it wasn’t the skin of a child, but of an older man. Yes, his skin was changing fast, from rosy and healthy features, to older. His smooth face was turning into wrinkle. I watched the furrows of time place themselves on his forehead, the sorrows of age cast shadows across the boys’ once naive face. No more was he a little child, now he lay beneath the blushing apple tree, aged. He was my father.





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