Inspiration Monday – Falling Behind

Don’t forget next week is Voice Week! Please stop by each day to check out my stories, each 100 words long, each in a different voice, and head over to VW HQ to see what others have done with the challenge.

It’s writing challenge central over here: tomorrow is the first day of NaNoWriMo. I’ll try to stop by with updates and keep up the blogging schedule when I can, but if I don’t make it, see you in December!

For now, InMon. Enjoy!


Somewhere up ahead, the leader of our line stops dead. He’s seen something, perhaps, or heard it. We don’t know. We sense nothing, being only followers. And probably the halt loses its urgency along with its meaning as it ripples down the line. Some are walking asleep and crash into the one in front; others notice the slowing of the line and leave a gap. Eventually, we all stop. Although, I wonder, does the ripple ever even reach the end of the line, or do some trudge endlessly, unaware of the vagaries of life nearer the front?

Then we wait. A silent ribbon of frozen bodies, like pine cones strewn across the forest floor.

Some, I’m sure, are wondering what has called a halt to our march. We consider the possibilities – attack, obstacle, danger, indecision. The challenges of leading are mere fantasies to us. Most just wait without much thought for cause or consequence. Then the column moves off again. Nothing has changed. Nothing seems to trigger the motion any more than the cessation of it.

I let them string out ahead. Let them get away a little. I can afford to leave some distance, even let them out of sight, and catch up by following the trail.

There are others behind me, but I feel alone now and I look around. All around me is space and darkness. I could make a break for independence. I could chance my life on the unknown; and perhaps discover greatness, or freedom.

Behind me, a million more wait. If I take another route, will they follow me or take the original course? Could I become a leader? Could I steer the rest around obstacles, confront dangers and reach safety?

I stand a moment longer. A single ant on the edge of destiny. Then I take one step, in the only direction I can.


Filed under Inspiration Monday, Writing

3 responses to “Inspiration Monday – Falling Behind

  1. A brief exciting moment of “Hey, maybe I could…” before bowing to the inevitable and rejoining the line.
    I have a clear image in my mind of thousands of dispirited refugees trudging through the forest clinging to the hope that their unseen and unknown leaders have a clear goal in sight (they don’t – they’re just as scared as everyone else).
    Great little story!

  2. Love. It. Powerful enough to be a metaphor, vivid enough to feel like something that really happened. This is brilliant.

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