The Road Not Yet Travelled

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Photo by Natalie Rhea Riggs on Unsplash

They always asked him what he was doing. Why he hadn’t settled somewhere, gotten himself a job? Why did he keep moving, travelling across the country aimlessly? Only he wasn’t aimless. He had no idea where he would end up, but he knew where he was going. He felt the tingling sensation on his forearm again and he checked. His compass was pointing north now. Time to change direction. It was shifting more frequently now; he must have been closing in on it.

He had been twelve when his grandfather had shown him the same mark on his arm. He knew his father knew about it too, but the one time he had tried to ask him about it he had completely flown off the handle. When he was fourteen, his grandfather had gone missing. Everyone talked like he would reappear one day but when the compass appeared on his arm two days later, he knew he was gone. His family had never seen his mark. He knew how his father would react, although, he wondered if his extended travelling period had already tipped him off.

He was twenty-four now. Straight after college, he had started to chase down the destination of his compass. Occasionally, he worried about what he would find there. Had his grandfather found the end of the chase? Had that been what had taken him? But as soon as the thought coalesced, it was gone, superseded by the unrelenting desire to reach the end of the quest.

He reached a turning in the road and forked left, following his compass. On he walked, well into the night.

This short story is in response to the prompt on November 1st on Creative Writing Ink.

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