So Dark, So Cold

I run my fingers over the incised lettering on the sign.

At least I think it’s incised lettering.

I think it’s a sign.

It’s hard to tell if I really have fingers.

It’s dark and it’s cold. At the last sign, I thought the number was a nine. If it was, I missed one mile marker.

Or maybe it wasn’t there. How can I be sure? It’s so hard to remember. I’m so cold.

Around the eighth mile marker you should see a light, below you, down the mountain.

I thought I saw the light, but I never found the marker. Then the trail turned off to the right, and I lost sight of it. Right now, it’s hard to remember what light is.

The goal is mile maker five, where there’s a farm house, a telephone, access to emergency services. Someone to go back and help my companion more than ten miles back in these mountains.

He’s the one who said there was a path, who told me about the mile markers, who said I’d see a light.

I reach out my fingers to the mile marker, but I can’t really see it. I reach out my fingers. Or I think I’m reaching them out. It’s hard to tell. I can’t tell if it’s a sign or a tree.

What should I do?

Go until you see the light. Keep going until the light is directly to your left. You’ll find the driveway.

The light is just a promise. A promise from someone who has been this way before.

Just a promise.

But it’s a promise from someone who knows the way.

I turn back to the trail, or at least where I think there’s a trail. I put out one foot and take a step.

No matter how dark, or how cold, keep looking toward the light.

There it is, just above that ridge.

There is a light.

Featured Image Credit: Adobe Stock #296811018 Licensed, not public domain.

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of any event or character to those in the real world is coincidental. Copyright © 2020, Henry E. Neufeld