Restless Spirit

Short story scenario inspired by ‘Soul Ascending’ by Joshua Hutchinson…

Short story for Pictonaut challenge of December 2014.

Where was I? I was just in London, actually. In a homeless man, on Tottenham Court Road. Not many friendly faces around. Rain and cold. It just felt bad. Everything felt bad. Not nice at all. So I moved on…

Before that it was Barcelona, but that was pretty similar. That one was an art student, though, and not as cold, but still too crowded you know? The mood, maybe. I didn’t feel good. That’s why I came here. For a change. For space, peace and quiet. Space, lots of space.

It’s beautiful. Yes, yes, it’s beautiful, beneath all these bright, bright stars. And I think I like this fellow. He’s majestic. Earthy. Rooted. I could do with being earthy and rooted. Once upon a time I was rooted…

How many years has it been being un-rooted? Ah, I’m not sure. Let me think. What was the before? What was the before all the times and places before this?

I remember the little girl in Angola. That seems like a long time ago. She didn’t agree with me though. She didn’t understand, and neither did the rest of ’em. Ugh, what they did to her because they didn’t understand. Uhhhgh. Was it after that debacle that I went to Kiev? Or was it the Peruvian after that? That sounds about right, but then again no. Maybe not…

The young boy in the Indian rice fields? When was that, and how was that? I can’t recall. I remember being a Kuwaiti oil royal. Huh, that was an empty experience. But then again, aren’t they all?

That’s why I’m here, in this man. He’s so detached. Aloof, I think. Ancient yet fresh. For so long I’ve felt ancient yet very unfresh. How long have I been moving?

And how wide and vast is this great valley? It goes on forever. But it can’t possibly go on forever. Nothing can go on forever, right? I mean, I can go on forever, can I? Like this?

Could I stay here? This man seems lonely. He doesn’t seem to mind me. I’m sure he knows I’m here and understands, not like that poor African girl. Ah, but he’s a Native American. They’re in touch with these things. At least, I think they still are. Are they?

I mean, look at the land. The land is full of ghosts. I can almost see them. I can almost hear them. I wonder if they can see me. I wonder if they can hear me. Can anyone hear me?

Can you hear me?

Sadness. This land is sad. This man is sad. I can feel pain and regret. Oh, everywhere I feel pain and regret. Does anywhere not have pain and regret?

I feel loss. It’s like he’s lost something. Everything this man feels is cloaked in loss. He cries to the empty valley a wailing song of loss. The ghosts are singing too. Oh, it’s too much to bear…

Too crowded. Too crowded with ghosts and sadness. Where do I go to escape sadness? I’m lost. So lost. Up north? Yes, Canada. I’ll go to Canada. See the stars. They’re telling me to head north. At least I think they are…

Yes, I’ll go to the frozen lands and find someone there. No, I’ll find something, not someone, there. Too much pain and sadness everywhere I go. Time to go inside an animal. It won’t be as bad as that time with the elephant.

Wait, there was the whale as well. Was the whale before the elephant or after? And where? Why did I seek out a whale?

Ah, anyway, to the north. Refreshing cold. Yes, quiet, space and freedom. Quiet, space and freedom to find what I’m searching for. An earthy animal, like a bear or a caribou. Yes, a caribou. Rooted and earthy. Like I used to be, before. Before? What was before?

I’ll know when I get there. When I get into the body of a caribou. I’ll leave this fellow and move on. Here I go, moving on. It’ll all make sense when I’m a caribou. No more moving on. Rooted. No longer lost…

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  1. Pictonaut Short Story Challenge: ‘Restless Spirit’… | ENTER... JAMES CLAYTON
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