New Year’s

December 31st, 2005 by Potato

The parched soil scrapes and crunches beneath my hands as I pull myself up on the ledge and catch my breath from the climb. I look solemnly at the grity ground swelling around my fingers, afraid to look up to see how much further this cliff rises. Knowing I cannot delay forever, I lift my gaze to find to my great surprise that the land has levelled off.

This is the end then; I’m out of the pit.

I take off my shoes and dig my toes into the ground, playing with pebbles to distract myself from reality. It’s overwhelming to think about, after over a year spent in that hellish place. Part of me fears I’ve gone mad, inventing hope where none existed before.

A moment, at least, I can spare to reminisce. So much pain that year, and so much hard work wasted on dead ends. I’ve accumulated a lot of scars from the experience, not the least of which is the damage done to my stubborn pride. It’s clear that I’m not the man I was before I was lost there, a change that I’m sure must be apparent on my face — not that I’ve seen a mirror for a year. Sadly, I doubt the changes were for the better.

I sigh and put my shoes on. Time to move forward. My knees crack as I rise, and I doubt I’ll ever again stand my full height, with my back twisted and hunched. I try to survey the plains before me, but find that I can’t pick out any discernable features: the landscape has been plunged deep into shadow by what I’ve left behind. Definitely flatter though, of that I’m sure.

Perhaps that’s better, I think to myself: small hope seems more real, and I almost feel greedy for wishing that these trials were over all ready.

Not knowing for sure what lay ahead, only that it couldn’t be worse than what I had been through, I plunge ahead into the darkness three steps before halting. Already the dry, caked earth is not so harsh and unrelenting; no longer seeming to resist my every step with a malevolent purpose and infinite patience. My spirit soars again, and I spare just one more moment to turn and spit in the gorge.

I don’t bother to wait for it to land.

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!

One Response to “New Year’s”

  1. Netbug Says:

    My story for this year goes more like this…

    My gaze rises from my feet where it has rested for the past year. One step in front of the other, crunching slowly to the plain ground. I see before me a tree that looks strangly familiar, and beside it a rock.

    Making my way to the rock, I sit and look around, a rabit hops out of a hole beneath my feet and looks around. Her gaze rests on me and she cocks his head to one side. Then, in a voice that sounds like my mother asks,

    “What the hell are you doing back here?!”