Write about: the rift.
Max and I returned to soccer class this afternoon and it was a lot of fun. There were a whole lot of kids missing from the first class, but that was likely due to illness and kids being kids. Hopefully we can be there again next week to see how many other kids are sticking with it.
This morning I managed to finally get started on catching up on comments, yet again. Caught it just before I fell a full two weeks behind. Hurray?
The three of us had been travelling westward on foot for weeks. Though we were strangers thrown together by chance, a close friendship had developed in that time. It was a kinship we all desperately needed in those days.
I remember Shelby was telling us about a dog her family had taken in when she was young. Maybe five or six years old? Something like that. It sounded like he was a real sweet, friendly puppy. Slept at the foot of her bed at night, keeping her safe.
Right up until the night he tried to tear her face off.
As we moved through a forest crowded with towering trees and littered with broken branches, it was difficult for me to ignore the potential similarities to our current situation. I managed to not look at Wayne directly after she'd finished her tale. I guess I was trying to convince myself that he truly was the kind-hearted protector he'd presented himself as during our time together.
I suspect a part of me knew differently though.
Rain clouds had begun to gather as we broke through the treeline into a vast, sprawling meadow. Without anything needing to be said, we all paused. It was still early, before lunch I think, but the thought of being caught in the open during a bad storm made thoughts of lingering in the trees undeniably tempting.
"Do we risk it?" Shelby asked. I wasn't sure which option she considered the bigger risk: staying or going.
"We can stay dry and hide ourselves here," Wayne said after a wary glance over his shoulder. "There's been no sign of pursuit for days. What do you think Leo?"
"I say we keep going." I wanted to stay, keep dry. It seemed like the smart thing to do. But fear was at the wheel back then and I had stopped fighting for control a long time before that. The thought of waiting around for them to find us terrified me.
"Me too," Shelby said. I wish she hadn't. I wish it had been just me that couldn't think straight.
It could have worked out all right for us. We may have found more secure shelter before the worst of the weather came down on our heads. Our trail could have been washed clean, turning us into ghosts on a broken landscape.
But it turned out that landscape was more broken that we could have ever dreamed.
As it was, some two or three hours later, when we crested a hill and saw the massive rift in the land before us - one that stretched from horizon to horizon - it was too late. There was no going around it. No possible way to cross it. Nothing to do but turn back, hoping to return to the forest before they found us.
And the rain began to fall then, in heavy, pounding droplets.