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Rated: E · Short Story · Dark · #2195083
Luther begins a journey but ends up alone.
         Luther had been walking for a very long time. Initially, it had been a family outing. His wife and children happily had joined him, the path wide, smooth and sparkly bright. But eventually, the light began to dim ever so slightly almost unnoticeably, but the darkness came upon them and his children began to peel off, one to the left, one to the right, even Junior eventually left but he was a dead stop and a sprint in the other direction. For awhile Luther could see them, in his peripheral vision, but eventually, they were out of sight.

         The last to leave was his wife. He noticed her occasionally sniffing. Next, she was fanning her nose, then plugging her nose and finally holding her breath.

         "Don't you smell that, Luther?" she cried out. "Good God, it smells like rotten eggs!"

         Her last exclamation was followed by a half retch. She stopped in her tracks and bolted to the left eventually moving exactly backward from the way that they had just come. Luther paused and sniffed, shrugged his shoulders and kept walking.

         It was the stars overhead that caught Luther's attention.

         "I guess it is getting darker," he out loud to himself.

         His pace slowed as he looked out around him, for the first time in a long time. The first thing he noticed was his lack of company. Of course, he knew his family was no longer with him, but it was the lack of anyone else that puzzled him. He had seen no one (at least that he could remember) for a long time. The second thing he noticed was the road. It had become more of a path and had started to slope downward. The further he walked, the more sloped it became. It was still plenty smooth and clear. The surface had almost a springy feel to it.

         Luther's horizon had become bleaker as well. Trees became far and few. The occasional shrub, dry and brittle. There were no animals, not even bugs, but Luther was thankful for that. He despised the idea of dealing with mosquitoes. He could see further and further out, the horizon a sharp line between land and sky. Eventually, it was only Luther and a flat, sloping surface. The land had lost all character. No sand dunes, no rolling hills, no plant life, animal life or movement. Luther stumbled and fell to his hands and knees, actually sliding forward as he hit the ground. The slope had most definitely become more pronounced and Luther noticed something else, the horizon looked closer.

          "That's odd," again spoke out loud to himself. "The horizon almost seems closer enough to touch."

         Luther rubbed his eyes and refocusing, nearly lost his breath. His path had shrunk to an eighth of its former size. He more seemed to be on an isthmus, his surrounding an indistinct fog. He didn't have the motivation to turn around and walk back uphill, so he continued down, the fog occasionally licking at his feet. In less the length of a football field, Luther was walking a path no wider than a notebook, the sharply descending edges, pea gravel. Suddenly it stopped. Everything. Luther was standing on a floating patch of land, no larger than a stepping stone. His world had disappeared. And it was no longer even flat. A lump, the size of his fist lay under his left foot. Looking, Luther realized the lump was a mass of rope, a knot. Luther sank to his knees and could feel that the rope descended directly beneath him. Letting out a puff of breath, Luther swung down into the rope, into the fog.

         Initially, it was an easy climb. The rope had knots that fit his hands quite nicely. But after a few minutes, Luther noticed the knots getting smaller and further apart. Eventually, the knots were gone and the rope smoother and smaller. Luther began to slide down more than climb down. It was when the rope was no more than dental floss that Luther simply let go. And he fell.

         It was his wife that found him. Somehow, Luther had wedged himself into the engine cavity of his car. The engine wasn't running, but Luther's mouth was. His inane babbling a mixture of laughter, philosophical lingo and grocery items. His ever-favorite autographed photo of Aleister Crowley gripped in his sweaty hand.
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2195083