Inspirational Artwork & Photographs from Montana
Michael Hewston

A Story

An old man, and a young feller walked through an overgrown dense forest. They walked together and pondered the years that drifted by. The old one talked of how sometimes it was better to not try to steer your own course, but to move with the river as it flowed through the hills. The young fella disagreed, he thought that all people should take control of their lives and control their destiny. The clouds rolled in and within minutes blanketed the sky, blocking out the sun, and making it almost pitch dark. The old man had been in these woods many times before while nature had raised the stakes of the game. At times, he had seen it so dark that you could hide a glowing light bulb in front of his face and he would have never seen it.

The young fella however had never been in a dark, cold overgrown forest and he began to get nervous. He walked a little faster trying to see his way, steeping on old growth, tripping over fallen timber. The old man spoke to him and said “hey there young fella, let’s just wait hear till the clouds pass, it won’t be long”. The young fella didn’t even hear him, panic gripped him in it’s hand, his blood pumped through his body faster, the sweet bitter sweat dripped from his nose, his mouth was dry, his thoughts raced. He yelled back to the old man “I’ll find the way, the path, the trail, it’s right over here”. The old man again said “nah, I think we should wait, why, you couldn’t see a night train coming through here right now”. The young fella was convinced that he could, and would find the way. “I can do this, I can do this”, he mumbled as he frantically moved though the dark forest. “I can find my way out of here, Then I’ll come back for the old man, ah to hell with the old man, I’m getting out of here, I’m young and strong, and he’s just going to sit there and do nothing”.

The rain began to fall as the old man called again, but no reply came. He thought about the first time that he had been in this old forest, even before the town was here. How nervous, and panic stricken he felt the first time nature pulled the wool over his eye’s. He remembered being lost for three days before his shepherd had come looking for his sheep. There he was, so strong, and young, running around this old forest not knowing up from down, right from left, but determined to make it own his own. He thought about going to find the young fella, but the sun was coming out now, he could feel the warmth press against his arms. The raindrops had all but stopped, and the hairs on his arms stood to salute the sun in its glory. “How long before the kid comes back” he thought, as he waited and called. He wished that he were young again and he could go find the boy, but he knew he could not; he was old, feeble and blind.

The young fella had been running in a pitch-dark forest for about however long it was, he had not a clue. He felt tired, the adrenaline had worn off and the fear was beginning to calm. The sun tried to poke its rays through the trees, but the forest seemed denser now. He should try and find his way out now, for he knew he was lost. He looked to the ground, it all looked as a city to a new comer. Every way looked like the way you had just come. There were a few overgrown trails but none looked like the one he came in on. He thought about how he might starve, or freeze out here in the dead forest without anyone to notice. The world would not stop for the death of a mere mortal. It would not matter to all if one were to perish in fear, loneliness and pain. They would not even miss an appointment on his account. His existence is irrelevant to the dominate society. No one cares. With his eye’s wide, and ears open he scanned for a familiar sound or picture. He experienced none. His thoughts again drifted to the worst. If I had only stayed, I wouldn’t be facing death in a forest. Mea cupla, he thought and thought again, mine the guilt. “I am to blame, I freaked out and No…One…Cares…” he screamed at the top of his voice. He stopped, fell to his side, and began to roll on the ground, sobbing. ” NO! I do not want to die here in this forest, I ‘m still young, I have too much going for me, why LORD why?”. It’s hopeless, I’m gone, I’ll never find my way out of here, to be doomed unto a world in which I am no part of”, “the city streets I have yet to see, the love I have yet to feel, all betrayed by a forest of trees with no eyes or ears. They have no feeling, nor do they care, they are simply a trap for a unthinking fly, for that am I,… to sit here,… to perish,… to die.” No, I will not fall prey to this ungrateful forest, I will not let it conquer and destroy me. I must get up, and face the light. “Fiat voluntas tuum”, he stated, it will be done.

He rose with a passion of life, determined to find he way. He walked, and walked, for two days he walked, looking for the trail home, when like a shot in the dark he saw it. Freedom, life, home, he thought. With all that I have lost in my two days of travel I too have learned. The betrayal of the forest had condemned him to live by that which he believed, live your life, control the destiny, a thought of thanks came from his mind to the forest “alter idem sic passim pax vobiscum” he thought in regards to the forest, thank you and good bye.

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