Writing to a Prompt, Michael’s Story

The trees sway from his path; his return was foretold. His footfalls deliberate and evenly paced he waked on. Eyes transfixed on an imaginary destination. He knew not where he was going or why, only that he must continue on this path. This path so clearly depicted from his dreams.

Those dreams haunted him from the time he was able to remember or put such things into words. They came every month like clockwork until he reached twenty-one. After his twenty-first birthday they came every night. Every night the same dream, this dream, only this time it was real. This time it would be the end of the dreams. He knew this was the moment he’d been waiting for his whole life, this was the reason he was born. What he didn’t know was if this would also be the reason he would die.

The leaves crunched beneath his hiking boots the only sound he heard. No breeze, no birds, no nothing. Up ahead the trees thinned to reveal a structure. And old house looked to have been abandoned for many years yet Michael knew it was not empty. Somehow he knew the man he had been searching for was here. Finally he’d found him. If only he’d realized his dream would turn into reality and the man would be at the end of it; he could have just waited and he wouldn’t have had to search. The man would have come to him.

Michael walked up the old worn wooden steps, somehow familiar, to the front door. He stood at the door for only an instant before he turned the handle and slowly pushed it open. Ahead of him a large staircase stood, old and littered with debris from the dilapidated crumbling ceiling. A ray of sunlight shone through a second story window to the right shining off the dust particles in the air. He closed the door and turned toward the sunlight, temporarily blinded he shielded his eyes and suddenly he froze.

Behind the ray stood the man from the photos. He was tall and foreboding. His dress out-of-place for the era confused Michael and he felt swept into the past. A past he recognized. He took a step closer, then another and that’s when he saw it. That’s when he realized what had happened and he knew. He knew the whole thing. Terrified, it was all he could do not to run. He lowered his arm and slowly skirted the light; finally standing in front of the man. Michael squared his shoulders and raised his chin. Finally, he looked the man in the eyes.

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