36- The Lesser Darkness


      I suppose that coming from me, she had a fair point. However, I had no memories of ever having been a child- in any life- much less any type of supposedly instinctive emotional attachment to a parental figure. I thought to inquire where her parents were, but if she truly was a one like myself, it would be a foolish question. 

 The girl crouched down to the ground and began tracing lines in the dirt with a small stick of birch in her hand. There didn’t appear to be any particular form she was drawing. 

“Do you have a name?” 
I couldn’t think of anything else to say, beside asking for what I was sure would be convoluted directions. 

“Wouldn’t you like to know…”           Her voice sounded a bit sad, trailing off as though she were lost in a world of her own.                                 “I don’t think it would really make any difference.”                                 She continued, engrossed with her drawing in the mud.

“If you’ve been here since before I wandered along last night, did you hear all those people talking, or where it was coming from?”

“I heard nothing but the stillness. I would however keep that to yourself in the future.”

So now hearing voices in my head was becoming a trend. Fantastic.    As it were, I’d already long been concerned that I’d lost some parts of my mind that I may have needed- a long, long time ago.

“And no, you didn’t imagine it-”      She drew a large circle in the ground around her. 
“They can tell you things that you did not know-if you know how to listen. Some useful, others just to confuse you. You’ll have to figure out the difference for yourself.”

“And you just happened to be hanging out here,” I stated rhetorically.

“I sensed you nearby… Nothing else to do… and I hadn’t seen a person in quite some time….”                           She stood up, eyes still fixed on the ground.                                               She continued, “but you seem to ask a lot of questions. I suppose next you’ll ask where you should be going, or what you’re supposed to do next.”

She stooped down again, barely touching a tiny shoot with what looked like a single red maple leaf on the end, just rising up from the inky soil.  I had no reply.

“Everyone so very worried about where we’re going, what we’re accomplishing…When you’ve been around long enough to see that there is no destination-only all the steps inbetween here and the place you’re going; each step a memory as soon as it is had. Human be-ings, not human do-ers.” 
She pulled the single red leaf, rose and looked me dead in the eye, her voice again full of an unmasked sadness,
“And in those darkest places which we have yet to see, let the memories visit you-and you visit them; they will be your only company.”

I got the distinct impression that the subject had abruptly changed.

“And when I get to where I’m going, I’m sure I’ll again see that it wasn’t what I thought, and again turn around and start going to the next ‘somewhere else’. Yes. I do know.” I gave a fake laugh. 

Her brilliant eyes reflected a glimmer of amusement. She smiled weakly, and handed me the little crimson leaf.


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