Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Landslide

(April 2005)


He stood, muscles straining, sweat glinting on his well-toned body, the weight of a mountain in his arms. Below him the villagers ran for their lives from the onslaught of falling rocks.  The landslide continued, seemingly without end, and still he held back the tide.  Time and again his strength had been tested, and he had met every challenge without fail.  This was the ultimate test, pitting his enormous strength against the fury of nature, proving himself by saving the lives of thousands.

The rocks continued to pile on his shoulders, ton after ton, and still he held, as the earth rumbled around him.  Ton after ton, the ground shaking, dust stinging his eyes, the screams of the escaping villagers filling his ears.  He found another reservoir of strength and tapped it, as the rubble piled on and on and on.

He felt something then that he had never felt in his life.  He felt himself begin to weaken; his strength began to fail.  He used resources he had never used before, flexing muscles he didn't know he had.  He marveled at his own beauty and prowess.  He had never been tested this far.

Then suddenly his strength failed him completely.  He had time to see that the villagers had escaped far down the mountainside, but still he held by force of sheer will.  The mountain roared and shook and in his last moments he felt no fear, he felt no disappointment.  He felt only relief.  He had found his limit and embraced it, as the mountain tumbled over him.

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