Story on image prompt.
WORD COUNT: 700 WORDS
Almost two decades must have passed since I had last been here. The scene, it has changed, so much so that it almost feels like I have never been here before.
The house is the same for one, well almost, now that dad is gone, something is amiss, there is a sort of emptiness, the cold miasma that's seeping out from those closed doors doesn't let me sit in the house and so I am forced to the streets.
While walking, I notice myself following a crack running along one of the sides of the road. I hope that it may lead me somewhere, while a part of me is also afraid of where it might take me on these known yet unfamiliar paths. There are houses that I pass by, old ones that I don't remember and new ones that I would forget soon. Occasionally I see children playing some weird game in groups. I try to see myself and my friends in them but fail to do so and then it comes to mind that I didn't really have that many friends. It's funny really, I had been a shut-in all my childhood, a typical loner but I was fine with that then, I guess, and here I am now after all that time has passed, feeling bad about my past self something that I can't do anything about; I wonder what has changed.
While all those thoughts were flashing in my mind, my legs had walked quite a distance, the house is not visible now, but something else is, the hill. The hill has been a gate barring us from the rest of the world, to get to the other town you could either go with the road circling around the hill or climb the hill itself. The road was safer but climbing was a much faster option and we preferred it anyways, dad and I used to climb it along the rough tracks on some occasions.
But as I see the hill today, it is wearing a strip of asphalt. I decide to take the road going up, but as I am walking, I know that I am trampling over a memory.
It takes me a while to reach the top, I am reminded with each step and each breath of how I am not twelve anymore. At some point I was even thankful of the road because this ascend would have been impossible if I had to climb using the old track.
The top of the hill had always held a close place in my heart, I would sit there for hours looking out at the trees, the town up ahead and the clouds passing by. I remember the exact place where I used to sit, road now covers it and that means no pleasure sitting for me, but the scenery more than makes up for it.
The winds just flows past me with a gentle kiss on my cheeks directing my attention towards the clouds, the trees and the town up ahead and for the first time I realize that I am not in a strange-land. The town ahead had gotten bigger and there were more city-like noises but it was still the same scene I knew. With all the bustling of the traffic, the howling of the winds and the rustling of trees, among other noises, I find silence. This is peace, unlike the silence of my town and the empty silence of the loud city which comes to bite you in the face, this silence is truly tranquilizing.
It lets me think and I remember the days that I spent here, loathing this town, and my life, thinking of the time I escape it and make a new life in the city. Turns out that the grass is not greener on the other side, city-life is just as bad, if not worse but I can't come running back here either.
I spent the rest of the day there and by sunset, trace my path back to the empty house for one last night along with the only few pieces of good memories of this place that I was able to collect.