I journeyed for what seemed like days. To a place no one knew about. At least I hoped no one knew. I left behind everything but my mind and wit. And resolve. All things intangible, yes, but each worth more than the most precious diamond. My boots were muddied as I made my way to the top of the hill where I left him standing there, alone. He was afraid. Of what? Of me not returning. See, I brought something else with me. I brought him with me. To kill him. Yes. I know. How shameful. How, how morbid, right? Well, say what you will but he had to go. I was tired of hearing his voice! His face just made me want to jab something in my own eyes. I often cupped my hands over my ears in an attempt to silence him. To no avail. That shrill piercing voice. Damn it. It nearly killed me. I was tired of being strong. I tried being reasonable. I was tired of being reasonable! He didn’t care.
What else was I to do?
So…I came here to dispose of his body. I lured him out and he followed just like I knew he would. “Come with me. I’ve got something to show you,” I told him. Then we journeyed. I left him at the top so that I could find a suitable spot to rid myself of him. I was down there for hours. Looking. And while I was looking…I was thinking. Thinking of all the things he had said to me. All the things he made me believe. And you know what? I found out something. I needed him. Not because I was lonely or needy. But because he was part of what made me who I am, today. I looked up at the hill and thought of the blade in my waist, hidden under my jacket and knew, now…I wouldn’t do it. I couldn’t.
I just couldn’t.
So I walked back up and just stared at him. He stared back, as arrogant as ever. (And as stupid.)
I waved him over to the edge. “Come here. I’ve something to show you,” I told him once again. He walked over and stood next to me. I put my hand on him.
“You know. You’re a big reason, I am where I am…and who I am. All those things you said I couldn’t do, all those times…well, I’m doing them. I came here to kill you.”
He immediately stepped back and looked at me with his blackened eyes. He began to speak, but I wasn’t finished.
“But, I decided not to. Because you and I, Fear…we’re going places.”
Stay tuned to Aspire No More for Lil Pemberton’s latest adventure in The Forest That Screams, the harbinger of the all new Winter Issue of Underneath The Juniper Tree!
Are you a Juniper yet?