Follow The yellow Brick Road

At 18:15 that particular day I stepped out of the car and went inside. The weed was nowhere to be seen (so far so good) normally whenever I arrived home I will find her sitting at the foot of the stairs in the hallway, waiting. Okay, I could understand that she was lonely (so did I) that she was alone when I was working, that we lived a practically isolated life, but that’s me and she knew it. I thrive in solitude (she was very sociable and always looking for contact; in the supermarket, in the sauna, in the street, everywhere!) For god’s sake, I want to be on my own after a day’s work; to unwind, to rest, to think, to be myself. If I find her there waiting for me, I feel guilty. I feel responsible. I feel trapped!

I went directly upstairs and that was a mistake. I saw my computer and before I knew it I was answering comments in my blog.  When I looked up… it was 20:00! And I was planning to take a long walk! What now?

After weighing, deliberating and looking at the position of the sun from my bedroom window I decided to give it a shot anyway. I said to myself while studying the map: 

“Well… it’s eleven kilometers to where I have to start, I can be there in… fifteen minutes? And if it’s really starting to get dark, I can cut the walk along the river by about two miles; that will give me another ten-twenty minutes  allowance, and if I have to, I can always follow the highway for the remaining stretch of the walk.”

I grabbed my rucksack stuffed the pancakes leftover from this morning in, added a small bottle of water and off I went.

Some people listen to music while walking/jogging, I don’t. I need all my senses especially if I’m alone. I have to be alert. I don’t need any distraction. Instead, I kept an eye on the sun. I saw it was sinking very rapidly on the horizon. I know that the weather around late august-early September is treacherous. One time the sun is high on the sky but before you know it, its gone. Goes dark faster as well almost in a blink of an eye.

I looked at the map and realized that most of the paths I had to tread had no lights, no houses nearby and woods either on one or on both sides. Fuck! I did it again! How many times I promised to myself never to hike in the night. But every time I made it home in one piece, I know I will do it again. Too exhilarating, too exciting, and too tempting just to let it go. I know someday I will pay for my recklessness. As for now… making it home (alive) is my main and only concern.

It went so fast! From seeing one hundred meters before me to I could not even make out my shoe laces! Damn it! Couldn’t use my flashlight even if I wanted to, afraid I might attract attention to myself so, I used my cell phone to illuminate the sign I was following instead. A quick glance to my watch told me that it was 22:15. I was really pushing my luck here. Time to hurry. If only it wasn’t so dark!

The moon was no help either. So pale, so egg-shaped, and so shy hiding behind nimbus clouds. I kept telling to myself: as long as it’s not going to rain… I will be more or less okay.

I saw (with so much effort) on the map that I had to pass a castle if at least I’m going on the right direction. But where is the castle in all this darkness?

Scrutinizing the landscape, I can barely make out a silhouette of a turret somewhere. Okay walk to that direction.

After a time I found myself on a very small muddy path between a river (to my right) and a wasteland? (maybe it only looked that way because of the dark) there was some kind of fencing on the left which I was afraid to touch (for guidance) thinking it was loaded with electric current. Suddenly there was movement not far away! Very heavy! Very fast! I draw my diving knife from its sheath and waited. Nothing! I walked backwards facing the direction of the sound, relying on my reflex and instinct. Still nothing. I saw that the castle was very near, if I could make a dash for it… then what? I did anyway.

Approaching the castle via an avenue of giant corns, I saw that there were lights scattered here and there around the perimeter of the area; for the rest__ darkness.  I was reminded of Disneyland. A spooky Disneyland. All of a sudden I became aware of the fact that I was walking straight to the gate of the castle. My mind  said: What if that gate suddenly opens up the moment you’re there? What about children of the corn? Remember that?  I told my brain to shut up. The place was magnificent even in the darkness. And the more you walk the winding path, the more it came to focus. I walked slowly backwards. As if in slow motion, the castle unfolded its magnificent beauty; tall, dark, and solitaire, waiting for passersby to discover its secrets, beckoning me to come in.

I noticed that there were no tress or plants near the building, nothing to obscure the view, just the fortress itself sitting on an island of soft rolling baby hills covered in green luscious grasses. Amazingly breathtaking. Simply magical.

After the castle, I was plunged in total darkness once more. From a very far distance I could make out the lighted tower of the church where I had parked my car. Okay, but how to get there?  There was not a single path in sight leading to that direction? Then, I realized I had to go through the woods first, then I will probably emerged in the village where the church was. Probably…

I said to myself : “Okay, how about cutting through this surrounding wasteland to reach the big road. Good idea. But highway is dangerous. There are people there with cars. One could drag your petite old beauty in the vehicle and the rest it’s up to you to imagine. Besides, how could you know that the big road will lead to the church where your safety is? Okay the woods it is.”

Walking alone in the dark with your knife drawn, scared that someone maybe is there waiting for you ( how could he knows you would pass by at that precise moment?) and in the back of your twisted mind wishing, hoping that it will be true, so you can practice what you learn, wanting to know how it is to have the taste of your first killing if necessary, how it feels to sink the sharp blade into the flesh wounding intently… the feeling is almost orgasmic.

At 23: 47 hours I reached my car without any accident. Pity! Driving home, I was thinking; in all that I experienced a moment ago, still I could not resist to take pictures of the moon. Now let’s wait and see if it works because my flash was broken. 

My own castle here I come!

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21 thoughts on “Follow The yellow Brick Road”

  1. Very nice .. some people are introvert and get their batteries recharged by themselves. Others are extroverted and cannot bear to be alone.

    For myself, small is beautiful. The notion of a castle to live in? Is beyond ridiculous for me. Wild horses, etc.

    Walking in Canadian wilderness is always an experience. For the landmarks are trees, and then more trees. Only on the clearest night does the moon illuminate the landscape. The risk of a twisted ankle, or worse, becomes greater. Sometimes you can hear the trickle of water. When my dog was alive, he would guide.

    It must be difficult for a woman always scared of the predator …

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    1. If I am not a woman I will hitch hike across the continent. In my dream I am Brad Pitt riding behind a truck sitting on some ball of hay feet dangling looking at the sitting sun on my way to yet another adventure as season worker. And I don’t even like Brad Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Having done a fair bit of riding, through use of thumb in 60’s and 70’s. I would not do it now. Actually the last time i had a problem, i started walking to my destination and the second vehicle stopped and asked if I needed a ride … so kind!

        Oh and BTW Brad Pitt is at least bi-sexual. So he might actually welcome that kind of attention?

        Myself? I have more dignity than to prey on vulnerable. Women or men. Cheers Jamie.

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      2. Hello, Ms. Peaches.

        Not sure what the obvious reasons are? Mostly, I find the riders are generally rude. They seem to expect a free taxicab. Nor will i ask for a ride. For I have a still a good pair of legs, I would rather pay than be beholden. The last ride I gave a lonely woman was about 3a.m. She was expecting to get in the front. Instead i kept it locked and she could ride in the rear. Nobody was going to ride and claim attempted rape..Which may say more about me than her? I went out of my way to drop her in town when I lived 4 miles out. The next night I saw her again 18km from town. Hitching at about 10pm … some girls just do not learn even after my lecture about the inherent dangers.

        In northern B.C. Highway 16 is known as the highway of tears because so many girls have gone missing or found murdered. Still they do it … hitch rides. By themselves. In 1980’s both boys and girls went missing murdered by Clifford Olsen. The creeps are out there! Cheers Jamie.

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      3. Thanks for the explanation. Good to hear from someone who has a first hand experience about this matter. My son did it across Europe. A nightmare for any mother. But then again he is the same person who backpacked through India for two months and rode across the dessert on a camel and slept with local people he encountered along the way.

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  2. Your story is a bit long but you know what, your storytelling is really gripping! My hearts beats fast when your words say so! Yay!

    Nice one! And the finale photo completest the awesome experience! Nice! 😀

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    1. And I edited it already to the max to shorten it 🙂 I cheated with the pictures. They are from separate adventures. The castle was a pleasant surprise after I went through an Alice -in -Wonderland- like rabbit hole and came out to that magnificent view. Sadly, I could not take photos of the one I was talking about because of the dark. I will though, if I remember where it is.

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      1. Wow. I am now envious! There are no such places here in PHL. And if you trek at night, it’s either you’ll get lost or get raped or get robbed.

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      2. I used to do that there with college students and high school boarders. We hiked at 1:00 a.m.to visit a crime scene that off limits to civilian. There was this subdivision in Antipolo that eroded because of the fault in the foundation, there were many people buried alive, we sneaked past the guards and camp there at night to play spirit of the glass because we believe there is more chances of a contact if there are some tragedies and sufferings. We trek around cemeteries at night also for the same reasons.

        I remember hiring a boat in the middle of the night because I saw lights flickering on some island across ours and someone said it was a barrio fiesta dance. Students jumped out the windows of their dorms to join me, they missed their final exams and parent needed was the order of the day next day 🙂 I once row a boat for hours with four people in the middle of a storm to spend the night in an abandoned lighthouse because they say there are ghosts there roaming around and I wanted to put the theories to test. things like that…

        I guess I just get lucky I never been robed, or raped but we did get lost few times 🙂

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