Footsteps

She lives one day at a time, but aeons pass between each of her days.

What will she see?

And who will she meet?

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(c) 2012 Simon Goodson.
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Footsteps

As dawn’s golden light spilled across the land she stepped from the forest onto the beach.  Walking slowly towards the sea she let the suns warm rays drive the chill from her bones.  She smiled gently as she walked focusing on the sun’s warmth on her skin, the soft sand between her toes, the gentle rhythm of the waves.

On reaching the sea she waded in a few steps, then shut her eyes and stood, head tilted slightly back, soaking up the sounds and sensations that surrounded her.  After a few minutes she sighed deeply, opened her eyes and turned back to face the shore.

The sight that greeted her was comfortingly familiar.  The same golden sand beach leading up to a dense rainforest from which all manner of strange noises could be heard.  The forest covered the land as it rose in gentle hills until it met the mountain.  The mountain stuck up sharply from the hills, a dark jagged shape resisting illumination by the early morning sunlight.

A knot of tension in her stomach that she hadn’t even been aware of relaxed at the familiar sights.  The land looked the same as yesterday, and the day before.  Not the day before that though.  Three days ago she had walked to the sea down a narrow stretch of soil bounded by spitting streams of lava.  The sea had been hissing and steaming where the lava met it.  She hadn’t entered the sea that day.  Turning she had looked upon a nightmare vision.  Vivid red lava had been pouring from the mountain’s top like blood from a wound.  She saw huge rivers of lava and steaming black rock covering the land like a blanket.  A few patches of trees and vegetation remained but many of them were already being consumed by fire.  With nowhere to go she’d spent that day sat on her narrow strip of sand watching the remaining patches of greenery being incinerated, tears in her eyes at such devastation.

On each of the three days since she had woken each morning fearing she would see the same devastation, see molten lava scourging the land once again.  Finding the forest unchanged was a huge relief.  Though unchanged was a relative term.  Ancient towering trees now stood where nothing but saplings had existed the day before, a stream now trickled into the sea where the day before there had been none. 

She noticed and accepted these changes, for she knew that long periods of time passed in the world between her days.  She woke each day with the feeling that many, many days had passed.  Each time she would wander, exploring her surroundings.  Seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and sometimes tasting her environment.  At the end of each day, once the sun had set, an overwhelming feeling of tiredness would grip her.  She would lay down… fall asleep… and wake to a brand new day, already stepping onto the beach as consciousness returned. 

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