0 – The Fool
I remember that day perfectly: the sun shining so bright that I kept my head down, the scent of the flowers so overpowering that every breath was a mouthful of perfume. I was taking a walk through the meadow singing to myself when I realized I had no idea where I was. The landscape in all directions was the same flat flowered field. Like my life of sixteen years: all the same, no adventure. As I looked to see any sign of the way back, I heard a dog bark. It was a short playful bark, and as soon as I identified its direction, I saw a path form in the grasses.
Coincidence? Maybe. But I was curious; I didn’t really want to go back home yet. The day was still young, and I wanted to explore. I wanted to meet the dog. I took one look, then started along the path. Mother wouldn’t miss me for several hours anyway. After some time I could still hear the dog ahead of me and the sun was still in the upper East. How was that possible? But I was curious, so I continued.
I became alarmed when the grass grew. I wanted to go home. It felt like I’d been walking forever. Grasshoppers hopped from the top of the blades, which were now shoulder height. And then, I looked behind. Big mistake. A wall of grass—so high I couldn’t see past it—blocked the way back. I tried to push through it, but it was too thick and dense. There was only one way to go: forward. So I walked on and eventually the grasses gave way to rocks, and along with the dog, I now heard the sound of waves crashing.
The path ended. I stood at the top of a cliff looking down to a tumultuous sea below. Mountains rose to either side of me. Home was gone. From a cave in the mountains, a small spotted black and white dog came running. He barked and jumped at me, and ran up to the edge of the cliff and made circles, chasing his tail. Then he looked up at me expectantly, joyfully wagging his tail. I looked over the edge at the sea, and suddenly the dog hurtled off the cliff. My heart froze in horror, but the dog shimmered in the air and disappeared.
I had to know what happened. So, I leapt.
The unknown became home, and the dog was always ahead of me.
This one also happens to be featured in It Happened in a Flash: An Anthology of 64 Bite-Sized Stories. The anthology is free as an e-book, so be sure to check it out!