Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Quest: Genesis and before.

It was just a few metres now separating him from the gentle rise, the more reason Kate thought it weird that he should stop and refuse to approach it. Fine, the rise was bare and not what one should have hoped for, but there seemed to be no other way out, that's if the possibility of turning back is not considered.
Quietly she walked up and leveled up with him. When she was about two feet ahead she turned towards him and asked to know why he refused to proceed.
Saul looked long at her, his eyes feebly roaming from her hair to her dress then back to the rise and beyond. There were footsteps approaching from behind them, some stopping right behind, some running eagerly towards the rise, scaling it and disappearing behind.
"It's night here", was the only response she got from him. Of course, it is, but then not such a dark night. There is a light ahead beyond the rise, filtering through from time to time. The more reason we should scale the rise and approach the town. That's the only thing stopping us from..."
"No, that's not what stops of us", he cut in, his gaze still fixed on the hill in front.
Kate turned it over in her mind whether to move on and leave the strange man behind. But there was something about him that got her curious. She looked at him more closely now and managed to read his name tag in the darkness. Saul. He was wearing an old brown shirt with two or three of the buttons gone the way of time, a matching brown trouser ragged but rugged. His shoes too were brown, and so was the hat hanging over his back on a thin black string around the neck.
"What do you mean, that's not what stops us?" She said as she frisked through a hand bag she was carrying. She brought out a water bottle which she promptly downed. With a gurgling sound she asked if he minded sitting down awhile. He said no, she might sit but that would be a mistake.
"I really could use some company on the way, but you apparently are determined to remain in your frozen stance... Alone."
Saul looked at her, again from hair to dress to shoe. "Who talked you into the quest?"
"What do you mean?" She replaced the bottle inside the bag, and produced a handkerchief to wipe the invisible sweat on her face and neck. "What are you talking about?"
"You know." Saul fell silent again, and with the same grave demeanor turned around to look at the other quest seekers settling down all around them. Some group of seekers not too far away were apparently holding a meeting with a massive-looking man speaking to the rest-about 10 in all. He was wearing the same brown outfit like Saul, and like the rest of the people listening to him. He, however, seemed to have found away to make the wretched clothing bearable, even presentable. Kate and Saul were too far to hear what he was saying or to explain why his audience would suddenly stand up, run to the gentle rise and back to him without actually scaling it. After about twenty minutes of watching without a word from either of the two seekers, Kate spoke up contemplatively,
"I do not see why this gentle rise should prevent anyone from moving on."
"Neither did I", was his response.
"But why should you be prevented?"
"By this rise?" He asked pointing feebly at the bare-topped hill, about three metres high with well-trodden path on its gently rising side. "Not so, this rise has never prevented me."
She decided she would fair much better to proceed on the quest, and so she bid him farewell hoping that he would someday have enough strength to join her in the town. With that she took her leave.
Saul watched her walk decidedly towards the rise as someone abundantly prepared to overcome any invisible challenge the rise must be throwing at the other seekers. Then, with a loud voice, he called after her after she had started climbing,"You were also deceived! We all were! But never be deceived to sit on the if you must, but that standing!"
She momentarily stopped to listen to his words after which she continued on the quest. The people sitting around looked at him with irritation,how so unmannered he was.

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