He stared at the keys in dismay. For a time, Roger could hardly move, for fear that movement would serve to make it all real. It couldn’t be real. It couldn’t be happening. He couldn’t take the kind of world where this was allowed to happen. It was all gone. Everything. His masterpiece was no more. And the infernal machine was to blame.
Finally, he lifted his gaze.
The window was right there, offering a ten story drop to the rocky beach…
The next thing Roger knew, the window was standing open and the infernal machine was nothing but a speck vanishing in the distance as it flew and fell into the waves.
The cleansing surf washed away what little was left.
And it carried with it his anger, his rage, his emotions.
The plan seemed like a good idea at the time. Fell a tree at night, when it isn’t nearly as hot out. All it would take is some time, a few lanterns, and a sharp axe. And the ability to use the axe, of course.
We marked a likely tree with a blaze in daylight, then tried to come back after dark to fell it.
We didn’t reckon on how different the forest is at night. Lantern light just highlights all the hazards without lighting enough of the surroundings to find your way. We must have walked in circles for hours looking for the blaze.
Eventually, we gave up and tried to find our way back to the farm. By that point, however, we had crossed a ridge line without quite noticing, and had no idea where we were. We lost the axe head somewhere along the way when it got hooked on some undergrowth. And we almost walked off the edge of a gully before the sound of running water from below caused us to stop and look.
We never did find out if actually felling the tree would be easier in the dark.
But given everything the forest did to prevent us from trying, I bet it would not be as smart as it seemed by daylight!
It was an age old problem. They kept breaking. It was long past time to find a proper solution and prevent this from happening.
But I won’t be the one to solve it.
By all rights I should be. My people have been in the business as long as anyone can remember. It is our livelihood. We all believed that one day one of our descendents would solve it. That may well still be true, but I know now that it won’t be me.
I am in love. That isn’t a complete shock, I’m sure. But my love is not approved. In fact, some will call me traitor for my love. For the fact that I cannot raise a hand to against her people any longer. And solving this problem, it would most certainly be an act against her people.
So I will not solve it. I am adrift, a castaway, broken by my unrequited love.