I stood up, dusted myself off, and glanced down at the puddle of blood mixing with the Earth. Reassessing my surroundings, the tunnel was gone- no ledge, no walls or gravel; but replaced by raw mountainside and ancient, gnarled oak trees sprawling across the formerly desecrated terrain. I found myself standing in a flourescent green moss that appeared to have been undisturbed for some time before I came along and ruined its isolated peace. The sky was a dark, inky grey, and clung low to the ground with fog. Still yet Another black, suffocating, deafeningly silent day in the Valley of Winds.
I’ve no conscious idea of why I had remained in this town for so long. Given that it’s completely hemmed in by mountains on every side, the clouds always settle here, and stay- sometimes for weeks. It’s no place for a sad person to live. Perhaps it’s that I can find a sunny day irritatingly disattuned to how the world has mostly looked through my eyes- that perhaps the weather can be disconsolate for me, so that I’m not invariably the one bearing the collective weight of the knowledge the years have bestowed upon me. And here I’m going on about the weather in my head again… And I had once wondered why I never held much company.
I took my time making my way back to town and given that the landscape was all different, it was taking longer than I could keep track of. I eventually recognized some landmarks- such as the few trees that hadn’t been cut down previously-and righted myself back headed west. I was sure I knew where I was when I passed by the rock chasms where we used to play, but the foliage and unfamiliar trees only kept going. Holy hell. Great. It looks like there is no town now, which would lead me to guess that this time I’ve gone backwards- precisely what I try to avoid ever-in any form-doing in my life. Regardless, this had never happened before.
Additionally, I was always roughly the same age- had that changed as well? There was nothing I could catch my reflection in- Though I didn’t feel all that much different this time. I felt perhaps a bit shorter, but that was all I could immediately notice in regards to any physical changes. I plucked a stand of hair and examined it in the dim light. It appeared that my former fiery red hair was now black.
A medium had once told me that this would happen-that I could only jump from life to life so many times before I either reincarnated as a rodent in the dust of Mumbai, or my wandering fuckup of a soul would catch some other karmic retribution. Karma sure had been a bitch already, though I never could figure out what sins I was paying for. Other than a personally insatiable death wish, I had always stuck to the”saintly” side of things in regards to my treatment of others. Though I suppose God is just in his perfectly subjective opinion.
I had blown off everything she had said as a fanciful lie to catch a pretty penny. Now I was sorry I hadn’t paid closer attention.