It’s Going, It’s Going (Flash Fiction)

He walks beside railroad tracks, long abandoned, curving through rolling hills of golden, dying grass. The tracks lead to nowhere, a destination he’s already visited, and with gravel crunching underfoot he travels there again. A hint of ocean air whispers over the low hills and through the open fields, through rusting barbed-wire fencing and around dying valley oaks reaching to the sky with long and twisted limbs. The scent it carries causes his eyes to close and his mind to envision the cold and endless Pacific.

But it’s going, that day and that dream, that opportunity of a promise to keep. It’s going, and he knows it, and the melancholy weighs heavily on his heart. But he keeps walking with gravel crunching underfoot along those oil-soaked railroad ties.

Gloomy fog, the cloak of June worn so well by the west coast, floats on the horizon and dances with the setting sun. After a day of walking so long under the central valley heat, sweat turns to chill and trembling shiver. He watches as the sun tucks itself away behind that blanket of gray, tucks itself in and prepares for the night.

And it’s going, that sun and that hope, that available chance to be the man he always could be. It’s going, and he chooses it, and the bitterness streams easily down his weathered cheeks. But he keeps ignoring what’s over his shoulder, behind him, in the house he has chosen to abandon.

And it’s going, it’s going, that love he swore and another chance he never deserved. It’s going down tracks to nowhere and it goes with reasons born from senseless despair. The cold ocean air sighs over the hills and begs him to look back, to try again and allow this emotional kidney stone to pass. But he keeps going, never stopping, never pausing for even a glance.

Away it goes, that day, that chance, that dream. Away it goes with regretful sigh, and the darkness settles over the hills, over the valley below, and over the fog so gray.

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