Simon McDougall's Writing

June
21st

Destination Unknown

by: Simon McDougall


He ran. Tired, afraid, but not looking back. He'd had enough. He needed an escape. He was an outsider. All day long, he couldn't escape the feeling of never quite belonging.

Would things be better now?

He couldn't say. But things would be different. Maybe that was all he needed.

Puddles on the ground splashed up as his feet passed through them. It was raining. Hard. He could feel the drops on the back of his neck, each one like being flicked by a bully's finger.

As he neared the street corner, he realized he was freezing. His clothes were soaked through.

Where would he go?

He looked around, as if for a sign, but the world was still. Nothing but a wash of white noise around him. The sudden downpour had caused fog to roll in. Fifty feet ahead the world just ceased to be...

But that's how he wanted it. It felt like his tracks were being erased behind him. He felt like there was no where to return to, and the world agreed.

But there was no where to go forward either.

Up the street and down, nothing but gray.

He pressed on.

When the road stopped leading where he wanted to go, he crossed a field instead. Beyond the field lay some woods. The leaves provided some cover from the rain, but they also blocked out the streetlights behind him.

Dark, cold, lonely. However, he knew the way.

A winding path led through the forest. He could hear the sound of the river rushing nearby. At parts, the path led him along its edge.

The water gushed with a ferocious intensity. Anyone caught in its waters would likely not be seen again.

He paused for a moment, as if to actually contemplate the possibility. He shrugged it off. As much as he'd like to disappear, the currents would prove a bit too permanent.

He pressed on. His eyes had adjusted to the darkness. The rain let up, as quickly as it had arrived. He stood in the muddy forest path, looking ahead, then behind.

He shook his head and continued. Each step through the forest got a bit more difficult as the mud clung on hard to his shoes.

He'd been walking for miles. Where was he going?

The forest path came out in the next town over. His friend lived here. Maybe he could stay the night. But that would mean explaining himself.

Would anyone understand?

The clouds cleared and he stared up at the starry sky. He looked to the crescent moon for advice, as if it could speak to him. He found comfort in it though.

He balled up his fists, took a deep breath and continued walking.

Destination unknown, maybe he'd keep wandering forever.