DAVID FALLON - THE WALK
David Fallon is a therapist and writer who lives in Southern California. He has a passion for writing stories about animals, children, and the disenfranchised. He has published many stories in various magazines and journals. He is about to publish his first collection of short stories entitled "Longing for the Moon" some time in 2019 with DSTLArts. He is currently working on a second collection as well as a novel about an elderly man named Lefty. When he is not writing, he is probably reading or watching movies or helping his teenage son take care their baby bearded lizard Shinks which in itself is a full time job.
A boy decided to walk across the world.
He left a note for his mother:
“Goodbye. I will always love you. I hope to see you again someday.
Before he left, he went to visit his father’s grave.
“I’m leaving dad,” he said sadly. “And I don’t know if I will ever come back.”
As he turned to go, the boy heard a familiar voice.
“Then I will go with you,” the voice said.
“Who’s there?” the boy asked.
“It’s me,” the voice answered. “Your father.”
“But I can’t see you,” the boy said.
“No,” his father said. “You will never be able to see me. Just know that I will always with you, wherever you go. And when you need me, I will do what I can to help.”
The boy did not believe his father. His father had, after all, left once. What was to stop him from doing so again.
“Okay,” was all the boy could say.
The first days were very hard for the boy. He was not used to walking so much, and he tire out easily. He quickly became lonely, and when he tried to talk to his father there was no answer. Worse of all, the little bit of food had with him ran out quickly.
The boy had only been gone for a few days and was laying down to sleep one night when it started to rain. At a lost as to what to do, the boy balled up and began to cry.
Suddenly he heard a loud cracking sound. Terrified, he looked up to see the tree branches above him bending into the shape of a shelter. Soon he was nice and dry.
“Dad?” he said softly as he drifted into exhausted slumber.
After a few days with nothing to eat, the boy felt as if he would collapse. He sat down on a rock, staring into space. Just when he was seriously considering eating some dry leaves and grass, a thought occurred to him: “Follow the birds.”
“Birds?” he mumbled in bewilderment.
The boy nearly fell off the rock when a bird swooped over his head with a piercing cheap. He turned to see a few more birds fluttering about in the nearby woods. In a daze of hunger, he stumbled after them. Not far into the bramble, he saw a small gang of birds nibbling on large purple berries. There were millions of the plump juicy fruits dotting the surrounding greenery. The boy ravenously shoveled handfuls of sticky berries into his mouth. By the time he was done, his face and hands were stained a deep purple.
So it went on like this. Whenever the boy had a need, he was provided for in some mysterious way.
Eventually he grew into a young man.
Life on the run grizzled him. It had been so long since he had contact with other people that he could not imagine being with anyone. It had also been quite a while since he received any help from his father. The older he got, the less help he needed.
Then he had a dream:
His father appeared to him and said, “the time has come to go home.”
“But I don’t want to,” said the young man. “In fact, I don’t really care if I never see home again.”
His father gave a frustrated sigh.
“Very well,” he said. “But I can only help you one more time, and then it will finally be time for me to rest.”
More time passed, and the boy was fine. He had learned how to find his own food, make his own shelter, keep his own way. He was very self-sufficient.
But then he got reckless.
He climbed mountains without ropes, rode rapids without a boat, and chased dangerous animals like cougars and coyotes for fun. In his frenzy, he got hurt more than once. He stopped pay attention to his surrounds. As a result, he inadvertently fell into an deep empty well.
Fortunately the fall did not cause him any broken bones, but the sides of the well were much too smooth to scale. There was no way out.
“Dad? Dad?” the young man called. There was no answer.
Night fell, and still the young man was trapped in the well.
“Dad?! Dad?!” he yelled into the dark sky. Still no answer.
At a loss, the young man laid back against the wall of the well and fell asleep.
The next day, he ate the last of what little food he had, drank what little water was left. He waited and waited and waited, but nothing happened.
Three days passed and the boy was desperate. He tried over and over to scramble up the sides of the well. Each time, he would merely slide back down to the bottom of the well. He pounded his fists on the sides of the well until his hands stung.
The young man yelled: “You said you would help me one more time! You said you would! I knew you were lying to me! I knew you would leave me again when I needed you the most!!”
Suddenly a face appeared over the side. The young man could not make out who it was.
“Dad?” he called.
A rope was lowered next to him, and he slowly climbed out of his hole. He lay of the ground panting as he was handed a canteen full of cool water. He drank until he could drink no more. When he was offered food, he was able to focus on who had saved him.
“Mom?” he said with great surprise.
“It’s time to come home,” she smiled.
By the time they got there, the young man could only think about sleeping in his own bed.
By the time they got there, he father was finally able to rest in peace.
By the time he got there, he was a young boy yet again.
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