Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trifecta: Finding What Has Been Lost

This post is in response to Trifecta's weekly challenge. 

It’s Monday again and that means we’re on for another single word prompt, usual rules apply: 33 to 333 words using the THIRD definition of the word. 

Authors note: We often see hikers this time of year on the Appalachian Trail (AT). Many of these hikers are called 'through hikers'. That means that they hike the complete trail, which is 2,180 miles from Georgia to Maine passing through 14 states. It's an impressive accomplishment. While driving past one of the entrances to the AT yesterday, I saw an older gentlemen with a pack on his back. It got me thinking of his story and why he would take on this journey. So, I made up my own story about him in my head. Enjoy.



Finding What Has Been Lost
The fallen branches and twigs snapped under his worn hiking boots. The years glared through his deeply carved wrinkles and thinning, snow white, wisps of hair. A grizzly beard framed his jaw that had not expressed anything in years except regret.  His ragged clothes were exhausted and thread-bare. Each night they became less of a support and sense of warmth, threatening to let go of their hold on him. The pack, worn high and tight on his back, held shadows of his past. This was his way of “working through it”.

The only company he kept was the trail. It kept all his deepest, darkest secrets in the strictest confidence. He could always count on the birds to chirp a cover for him as he murmured his confessions to the earth below his feet. Every curve revealed a new discovery. He acquired glimpses of upcoming challenges in his guide book. He had learned that sometimes the book did not always fit him. Some of the more difficult areas of the trail were no match for his years of experience, whereas, what would seem more simple stretches, became an arduous task.

He had been walking from dawn to dusk for months now, determined to repair all that was damaged. He ended his day of hiking the same as always. He sat, released the confines of the pack from his back, and unzipped it. The fragrance from her silk scarf that was folded neatly at the bottom, though scarce, was still apparent. It always intoxicated his being. Forty-five years of her by his side was not long enough. He’d reach her on this trail. He’d connect with her tenderness. This was his pilgrimage. He knew, however, the trail held the biggest lesson yet to come. He had to learn to go on without her.




24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Awww, thank you, Barbara. I can't wait to read yours!

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  2. What a beautiful story. I like that you prefaced it with background then decided to add your story since you wouldn't have known his.

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    1. Thanks, Gina. Yes, I thought my story would add to it a little bit. :P

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  3. Oh, how sweet is this! I love how he captured your imagination. Great story.

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  4. Such a sad story. :( Hope he found his peace.

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    1. I would like to think he will. That trail is a very peaceful place.

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  5. I love the idea of him murmuring his confessions to the earth. Nicely done!

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    1. Thank you, Annabelle. I liked that part, too. I'm glad it caught your attention.

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  6. That's beautifully written. As a keen through-hiker myself, I also think you've done an excellent job of describing some of the folks I see on the trails. Many of us are solitary beasts indeed.

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    1. So cool. My husband's close friend hiked the AT and the PCT a few years back. We got to see him when he came through a stop close to us. Man was he STINKY. :P

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  7. excellent setting and I like the momente he talks to the ground

    Great use of the word

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  8. "as he murmured his confessions to the earth below his feet."

    Dude! You do NOT give yourself enough credit for your lovely wording. Very nice sentiment.

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    1. Look who's talkin'. :P Thanks so much for the compliment. It means a lot.

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  9. This is so well-written and so beautiful! How awesome is it that you wrote all this from a view of a man hiking?! I loved the juxtaposition of the last line in the second paragraph: that really stood out for me. Seriously, this is so good.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sandra. Inspiration comes from all over for writing. This man just struck me. Thanks so much for reading.:)

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  10. What a sad but touching journey. Hope he learns what he needs to from the trail!

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    1. In my mind he does. The trail is so peaceful. :)

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  11. That's so sad. I'm blanking on the NPR guy's name who hiked most of the trail and wrote a book about it, but that was an excellent read. I feel like this character is regretting all the things he didn't do with his wife, all of the possible unkindnesses that could have been times spent otherwise. It made my heart ache.

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  12. This is excellent. I love what you've done with this and it's a very moving piece. You leave us hoping that the trail will give him the strength or peace of mind he is looking for. Nice job.

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