The Walking Man

Bored by the trivialities of everyday life, a young man abandons his home, family and job and wanders off in search of thrills and danger, but his adventure quickly turns into a nightmare when his journey crosses his path with a dangerous and powerful man.

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1. Trapped

                  It had never occurred to him before to leave- to simply walk away and never come back. Leave his job, his girlfriend, his family, leave everything and everyone. The thought had simply never crossed his mind before this morning when he had awoken with the idea.

                 At first he had dismissed the idea outright as selfish, thinking it would be cruel to abandon everyone like that, but that was this morning however and his thoughts in general lately had not exactly been selfless. In fact the more he thought about it though, the less selfish running away seemed to him, at least compared to his usual thoughts as of late anyway.

He had to admit he was somewhat less than happy.

                A quiet cough brought him from his reverie and he turned to the customer and smiled apologetically, resuming his task of packing their bags with one hand and letting his fingers glide and click rapidly over the buttons of the checkout as he muttered:

                 "Sorry, million miles away today"

                Literally, he thought.

                "That'll be £26.15 please" he said.

               As the customer counted change out of her purse his mind turned back to last night. He had sat up watching a DVD with his girlfriend Wendy- some romantic comedy, he couldn't remember what, to tell the truth he hadn't really been paying attention, either to the DVD or to her, lost in his own inner darkness.

                They retired to bed and she uneventfully fell asleeep. He on the other hand, did not, instead laying there for hours thinking queitly of bleak, harsh thoughts set to the syncopated beat of her steady breathing next to him.

               He got out of bed and went through to the living room and poured himself a glass of Jameson and sat in the dark sipping his oblivion, brooding over his life and considering yet again the cold allure of the option of suicide. The thoughts didn't abate when he had finished his glass, nor did they leave him when he had finished a second. The thoughts were still haunting him with their tempting sirens song a few hours and several glasses later, and when sleep finally claimed him they seeped into his dreams like the amber liquid had seeped surruptitiously into his veins.

            The woman finally finished counting out the change and he smiled and handed her the bags full of shopping saying:

             "Thank you, have a nice day" without a care to how hollow the words felt to him.

           He felt trapped, suffocated, as if he was drowning in the mundane trivialities of everyday life.

          He wanted escape and surmised that was why thoughts of suicide had plagued him as of late, creeping into his mind like the steady march of night, the slow advance of darkness and its foul counter to days light.

          It was more than that though, he now realised with perfect clarity. He didn't just want to escape- he wanted more, he wanted adventure and experience, he wanted something new, something different from the day to day that had been his life so far; which was almost certainly why his thoughts had turned to absconding today instead of death.

         He took a deep breath. He had decided at last that he was going to leave. If he stayed he would either end up killing himself or face the slow death that he had been living the last few years; that had driven him to this point in the first place.

           No time like the present.

           He stepped around from the checkout and started toward the door. He could hear the manager call for him to get back to work, but ignored it and continued his determined stride to freedom.

          The electric doors opened before him automatically and he stepped through them, out of the cold light of the hanging overhead flourescents and into the warm glow of daylight without hesitation; out of the empty shadows of his life and into the full brightness of what tomorrow can offer.

          He stood outside for a moment and breathed deeply, feeling like it was the first breath he had ever taken. He supposed in many ways it was, for today he was born into a new life, a new path. He smiled and started off, taking his first steps into this new life, a life filled with adventure and discovery.

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