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The destination was clear. The way was unclear and complicated. First he had to cross the bridge though if he looked over the railing he could see the destination as precisely as the human eye can distinguish. The bridge was massive requiring the utmost strength for walking its length. It was no ordinary bridge but one that looked grim and foreboding, as if the shadows that swelled in and around it held an ominous fate for those who strayed into the bridges black heart. 
       After crossing this bridge, he would then be faced with the difficult task of finding certain unmarked roads that lead down hilly slopes and wind around rocky cliffs. But there was no knowledge of where these roads exist, especially the main road that leads to the desired destination. The only knowledge he had of the way was that most roads and paths which lead off the bridge were enclosed in darkness, due mainly to the fattening of the trees that brim over these roads and paths like a dense canopy. There were also many rivers that he would encounter on this exasperating journey, so he would inevitably have to build some sort of raft to cross it. This without having the smallest knowledge of anything pertaining to the wild and how to use nature to his advantage. No doubt, this would be the most extraordinary ordeal he would ever undertake.
       Yet, as he began crossing the bridge, he realized that there would be an infinite amount of bridges of all sizes and heights and that, more often than not, they would be more unwelcome and enormous as the one he was presently walking across. He had already begun to feel tremendously weary as he stepped cautiously over the cracked and weatherworn pavement, though he had only traveled perhaps fifty feet, while this bridge's length was over a mile. Perhaps this bridge never ends, he thought, lightly placing one foot before the other, as a cat does when approaching some strange object.
       There were many complications arising from this mysterious journey, not the least of which was the exact direction. Supposing he found the desired roads and bridges needed to complete his trip, there arose another quandary. At the entrances of many paths and bridges stood a tollbooth, sometimes only a guard post. These guards and tollbooth operators do not want money. They exist to distract and deter one from their destination. They lock you into cunning mind games so frustrating and intricate so as to leave one so perplexed that if one were unable to solve the riddle, he would be banished from the ultimate destination for life. If one were able to defeat the guard with reasoning and clever strategy, he would then be faced with another difficult matter more frustrating and annoying than dangerous or threatening.
        Interspersed throughout the roads and wooded areas, swinging from the trees or popping up from the ground or merely hiding in a bush, the detractors were waiting to assault you with a barrage of trickery and deception. They try to mislead you and point you in the wrong direction on orders of the region's king. In order to gain entrance into his paradise, it is not good enough to be a good person. It is not good enough to pass that goodness on to others. This king is not satisfied with good deeds or kindness. That by itself does not please him. His paradise must be attained his way. He is stubborn, and will not abide those who lose their way in the impossibly built maze that he's designed.
       And this was his particular journey. One that is particular in its intent, and unique in its construction. He peered over the railing, prying away some vines and tree limbs to get a better view, using any excuse to stop because of the intense strain on his quivering legs. It seemed like a hundred miles distance and the bottom was only barely recognizable. The darkness that enveloped his path and the entire bridge weighed even heavier on his heart. In direct contrast, the final destination was aglow in twilight of indiscernible origins, it was like a vast, radiant spectacle as when the sky is lit up with stars on a moonless night. What wonders and beauty must be awaiting me, a vast eternal utopia, he thought. He tried to continue, his will being compressed by the clamp of fear and hopelessness. If only I can make it across this first bridge, then maybe something more reassuring will appear, he thought. But he knew it was a fantasy. An endless cobweb of murky trails and deterrents unraveled feverishly in his already confused mind. He thought to himself, all this for some deranged, oversized ego of a king, who wants us to suffer. He does not like us. This elaborate maze that's impossible to traverse was designed by a maniacal schizophrenic. He truly hates us.
      It was clear now what had to be done. He shook his head in despair. It's not fair, he thought, it's just not fair. I had nothing to do with this. I did not choose to be here. He closed his eyes tight. The thought sprang to his mind and made him jump suddenly in surprise. "That's the answer," he cried out, "I've found it. I have found a shortcut!" And with that triumphant exclamation, he hopped on top of the railing and leapt off.

Comments (2)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Strong work. This format suits you well. Nice switch at the end too.

Joshua Hennen
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very gripping

abnormalreality
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