Journey | Tracks in the Forest

I decided to do something new: write a short vignette about the image below, similar in style to Erin Morgenstern’s flax-golden tales (I love them!). The difference? The shorter vignette fits into a larger story, which I will continue to write until the characters tell me I’m done.

Feedback always appreciated.

vOak8x7

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I don’t know where the tracks go. I’ve followed them to the edge of the forest and through the overgrown field. I’ve gotten as far as the old bent tree, crooked with age, before I had to turn around. I barely made it back before dark.

Father tells me that in his day, the tracks approached obsolescence. Some were still used, but they didn’t take as many people or things as far as they had once before. I tell him they only took me as far as the old bent tree, and he laughs.

“Why do you want to see where the tracks go?”

I don’t hesitate when I answer.

“I want to see where the people went.”

He considers this a moment and nods.

The next morning, he comes with me when I leave. He hands me a backpack. It is as heavy as the guilt in his eyes. I say nothing and walk next to him. I try to stand tall, even when others hurl names and insults, rotten produce and rocks. The settlement is far behind us when the blood is dry on my cheek.

It is not until we are in the overgrown field that we speak. I tell him to watch for snakes, and he smiles. That is how I know I can ask my question.

“Why do you want to see where the tracks go?”

Father doesn’t hesitate when he answers.

“I want to see where she went.”

3 thoughts on “Journey | Tracks in the Forest

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