I was alone.
Long ago, I was blanketed by laughter, play, and friends – before the shelter was stripped away without warning. Now I stood on a barren road, skeleton trees lining the path – too thick for escape. The sharp wind of their laughter cut me, drawing blood.
Left, in the dark.
I walked, searching for sanctuary. Gradually my skin grew thick, insulating me from the bitter chill of their stares. I found a shield lying next to the path and strapped it to my chest, armor against the daggered barbs thrown at my heart. Boots, discarded carelessly in the mud, protected me from the dangerous obstacles tossed into my path.
Night never set; the path traversed the ends of the Earth where light hid from the dark. The sun would tease me, a glow lighting the horizon, before the blackness returned.
Sometimes I had to stop, an invisible barricade preventing movement forward, and sit – the wall of trees my only company. Then one day, crunch; sunglasses snapped beneath my foot. Out of place in the world of black, I bent down and retrieved them. Confused but curious, I placed them over my eyes.
Light shone from the sky, transforming the colorless world around me into an exploded canvas of brilliance. In awe I continued, hopeful – still a prisoner upon the path, but no longer coated in darkness.
I persevered forward as the road behind me vanished from existence. Stubbornness fueled me; I refused to believe another path did not exist to a better place.
An eternity passed: two years.
Finally atop one of the many hills, a small path cut through the trees – away from the road.
Excitement quickened my cadence. I pushed through the trees as branches scratched my skin.
I didn’t care.
The path dead-ended above a set of stone steps leading to a secret room. A green glow emanated from within, beckoning me to enter.
I raced downward, ignoring all caution. The cave at the bottom was small and damp. Undeterred, I flew forward, a moth to object in the corner emitting the green light.
I sat before it in awe, reaching out with eager fingers as they clicked upon the surface.
Toes tucked beneath me, the glowing cloak wrapped around my body; I sought warmth in the frigid cavern. Blanketed in green, my fingers moved faster and faster, my words viewable in the backlit box.
The path led to this magical portal, a window to another life. It opened me to other parts of the world – no longer restricted to the unending road where I’d been imprisoned.
It was a detour I never could have predicted – nonexistent a few years ago.
It led me to others, trapped as I was. Others like me, who enjoyed the same things I did.
I was still alone, still a prisoner, but I would never be lonely again.
This week’s Red Writing Hood assignment is to write – fiction or non-fiction – about a time when you took a detour. Where had you intended to go and where did you end up?
Your word limit is 600.
This is nonfiction, written about two years of my life: from age 12 to 14. It is sort of a “part 3” of this saga. Part 1 was The Gift of 5 Minutes prompt, and part 2 was the ugly/beauty prompt with Beneath the Water. I’m told reading those sheds much light on this post. If you want. Or not. Thanks for reading this one.
Constructive criticism greatly appreciated: This is very different from most of my writing. Did you understand it? Follow it? Were you drawn in or completely lost? What could I have done better?