The river was an onyx mirror. It looked motionless on the surface, yet under the thin-film of visibility hidden currents pushed the water swiftly between the high banks. Like a violent swipe of a pen, heavy with ink, the flow cut through patches of willows and cattails and around bends onwards, always onwards. At one point in time, there was probably a map of the body of water, a highly detailed topographical rendering, showing every turn and varying depth within an inch margin of error. Ben didn’t have that map though, as far as he was concerned, the river went somewhere different.
He knew his obsession with different was unhealthy. It had been that way back home and the ailments only multiplied tenfold when he reached The Rampant Lands. He figured it was this way because something different and new was always so near. New people, new places, new experiences, those were the promises and for the most part the world he had found himself in had kept them faithfully. It was a plague of blessings. Like Thoreau at his lake, Ben had found his escape from the constant threat of homogeneity only to tumble violently into a routine of constant searching. Continue reading