Friday, September 14, 2007

Forty Seven

Diana saddled her horse in the pre-dawn darkness. She strapped on her rucksack, canteens, food, tarp and blankets. She checked that everything was properly balanced and tied on tight. When she picked up the bridle and went to slip the bit into Flecha’s mouth, the horse shook her head.

“You know what this is about, don’t you?” Diana rubbed Flecha’s nose and tried again. This time the mare took the bit.

She led her into the yard, looking around as if someone might come after her and ask her to reconsider. It was still too early. This close to Christmas, Amalia probably thought she had changed her mind. It would be a cold journey, but there wasn’t much snow. The drought was good for something, at least.

Diana headed north on a little-used trail through the woods. This path would take her away from the better-maintained trails on the south side of the mountain. It wasn’t likely anyone would follow, since the school had no one with both the ability and the inclination to track her.

The trail wound up through the trees, and with only her flashlight to pick out the hazards, it was slow going until the sun came up and the morning light filtered through the bare branches of the aspens. Mid-morning found her near the peak, a fork in the road before her and the empty northern valley spread out below. Diana reined in and nibbled a few piñones from a pouch at her waist.

She had lied to Amalia. She had no plan. Or rather, she had several, and all of them frightened her. Whatever road she chose, whether back to the school, south to Cobre, west to Castaño, or north to nowhere, the things she would give up would be tremendous. As soon as she urged Flecha forward, no matter what her direction or intent, the decision would be made, perhaps irrevocably.

She considered the matter so long that she grew stiff and cold. Finally she shook herself. She couldn’t sit here forever at the summit. She had to choose, and was there really any such thing as forever? As long as she remained alive, she could remake her life over and over, until she got it right. If you couldn’t re-create your existence, what was the point in carrying on? Life would just be one great tunnel to nowhere, and surely it wasn’t that.

Diana jerked on the reins. “Come on, Flecha. It’s a big world.”


Want more? Diana's travels, which are the sequel to this story, are available online and in print! Additional information about the print version here.


kathleenmaher said...

This pulled me in: wonderful episode and I'll do my best to get back and read more if not all of it online.

Isadora said...

:) It's a big world = tomorrow is another day!

Keep writing, we'll keep reading. Congrats.

TIV: the individual voice said...

This is the only chapter I've read so far but it has a rhythmic voice that draws me in for more.

xzone said...

congratulation !
im very impressed with ur articulate way of writing.i find ur blog entertaining very impressed and hve blogmarked your blog. hope to see many more gr8 contents from you

Alice Audrey said...

Argh! I knew you were going to end it like this. Or should I say "end" it.

Do you deal with Will in the diary? Where's my linky to them?

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

@Alice: The Diana's Diary link is above, and here:

This is the best place to start, the December day where she leaves:

And yes, Diana will finally deal with her conflicted feelings about Will, and also her feelings about Robert, Amalia, and everything about her life. DD is a fun road trip, but it's also a coming of age story.

You may want to read this first, if you're curious what happened when Will found out that Diana left:

Alice Audrey said...

Thank you!