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Cold wind slapped my face as I briskly walked towards the edge of the forest, towards the beyond and beginning of time as my people knew it. The howling noises around me cause the hair to rise on my neck and the knots in my stomach tighten with anxiety and fear. Fear of the unknown which surely lurked in the beyond watching me, waiting for my step to falter to pounce on me and eat me alive. The ground was peculiarly saturated, and something in the air stunk of a rotting corpse. Fear puts its hand on my lower back and moved me forward with ease, the steadiness of a small child learning how to walk after never leaving their mother’s arms. The wind whispered of danger and warned me to walk away, but I had already left, and I was too far now to return back to the slow life I had. Pulling my cloak over my head I felt a small tug down at my feet; the bandages that covered my bare toes was now caught on barbed wire forcing them away from skin exposing the gnarled toes smeared in layers of mud from years of hard work. However, I trudged onward, through the fields of golden wheat crops. Never hath beauty struck me as it did now, with the sun setting just right the majestic crops blowing in the wind seemed to be exuberant with color, light and life. They swung around in the air, dancing to the sound of a crying cello to which only they could hear the beauty of its woeful tales. I pulled my cloak tighter around my arms, trying not to reveal the sharp pains of the life of which I am leaving, heavy lashes dug into my arms and back; even revealing them to the whipping wind, pain electrocuted throughout my body and made me bend over and cry out. The distinct smell of blood was in the air and I tightened the leather wraps around my arms the best that I could, but it was a futile attempt. My legs were sore from the long journey and I felt as though they were almost ready to give out on me and force me to pull myself along the mud with my arms, but they stayed true and strong and I marched fiercely through the mud, hoping not to attract maggots to my festering wounds that cratered the bottom of my feet. My ruby red hair glittered partially in the sun light, but most had thick layers of dirt and mud on it, down playing its true beauty. From what I could feel my face had a thin layer of dirt as well, but at the moment washing myself was not an option, and water was not assessable. I could not turn back, I left that life; I left to start anew, to find myself in a different village as not a slave, but as a part of society. The sun now was fully down exposing the night sky full of stars and pictures of lives whom society deemed important to remember. My eyes adjusted to the darkness relatively fast seeing as I would work from dusk to dawn, the graveyard shift. I licked my lips, in an attempt to moisten them, but the fierce wind stole the chance from me and instead froze them shut, making it impossible for me to scream out even if something should catch me. My steps were now slower, harder to pull with each second as my feet dragged below me. My legs began to tremble with the weight of my sorrow and pain, causing my knees to buckle just at the edge of the field. I outstretched my hand feeling the soft tickle of grass beneath my fingers, the softness of spongy ground, the roughness of a small tree limb. Pulling my head up and my eyes open, I saw the forest and all of it beauty, just a bit farther and I will be in. Just a bit farther and I will have left this life behind and found my true destiny, to be here, safe for eternity. They cannot harm me here, they cannot chase me here, they cannot whip me here; I was safe. As I looked around, I was greeted by the sudden brightness of a light to which the likes that I have never seen before. Twas beautiful and frightening. Slowly, I felt a weight lifted off my back and picked myself up off the ground, this light was my savior. In the moment, it had given me the strength to get off the ground, it gave me the desire of starting from scratch, it gave me the courage to leave the life I have behind and travel in to the furthest reaches of the beyond. Instead of me finding the beyond, the beyond has found me.

I am safe.





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