Monday, November 07, 2011

The Forty-first Day

The morning came, and the sun bleached the hills and the distant city in a white and holy light.  He raised his head from his pillowing forearm, put a hand to his waking eyes and rubbed the grit from their corners.  The air was bright and clean and filled his lungs with a vigour he had not felt in forty days.  He stood to his feet and stretched out his arms, yawned and coughed and stepped out into the glorious presence of day.  His eyes came to rest on the city in the sun, glistening white and waking, and he loved her.  

Hunger reappeared in his belly.  He placed his hand to his stomach and felt it tremble and growl.  As he took a step toward the mountain path, he glanced at the ground.  He saw something crisp and white across the path.  It looked as if it had risen up from the ground itself in the night, and he bent low to inspect it.

“What is it?”

He reached out and broke a thin, crispy piece from the sparse grass in which it lay.  He sniffed it, and placed it on his tongue.

“What is it,” he said, and smiled.

He sat down there on the path, and had breakfast for the first time in forty-one days.