Story from his last journey
Richard Parks

You ask me how I came to him. It is the only story I have. The path through was long and covered. Sodden bits of wood. Dead leaves. Faint, early light etched a break below the sky. I traveled so long, trading my stories to strangers and sharpies. They knew the currency and they knew the way. At first they appeared often, in ambush, amid the crunch and crack and my traveler's gait. As day wore on I traded in more for silence and they were fewer and fewer. Soon I sought them out. I knelt and felt the land about -- a smooth, cool pancake. I was silent and alone but I journeyed on. Night fell. Some hours later I came upon the boy, warm and still. He pitched his head to my under-arm and shook. He divided the dark. When he lighted the match I saw he was covered in ash but he too had no more stories so what would we trade and who had the goods on the course anyway? I left him soon. If the match died I did not see it. By midday I spied the structure, a silhouette on top of a rock on a hill rising before me. Inside sat the same large dark disambulatory shadow you see before you now and these others gathering in a gam at his feet and drumming with small hands the floor and mewing the near-nonsense words of confessors and pilgrims. And him just resting silent as if he'd have it no other way, with the weight of all those words. You see we are telling him the same story -- how we came. There is nothing else left.