Ein pushed his way through knee-high foliage, ducking and bending occasionally as he snaked through the myriad of limbs that impeded his path. He had no idea how long he had been walking; seconds and minutes blurred into an indistinguishable length, and the canopy of leaves overhead prevented him from gauging the sun’s progress through the sky. It had been an hour, possibly, or perhaps only a fraction of that, and yet the faint rushing sound had failed to increase in volume. Every step seemed to come more slowly, to require more of his waning energy, until finally he stumbled, landing palms-down on the ground with a wet splat.
Splat? Dimly, Ein’s mind struggled to shake off its lethargy and process this noise. I wasn’t expecting a splat. Maybe a thud. I wouldn’t go splat unless… His thoughts trailed off as he looked down for the first time in an eternity, eyes widening as he saw thick mud all around him. His mouth open slightly, he looked behind him, at unmistakable footprints several inches deep, lining his path. No wonder walking got so hard, he thought glibly, just before his mind made the connection. Wait. Mud… wet dirt… water! There’s got to be water near here! This realization had him scrambling back to his feet, flinging mud off of himself as he leapt forward. Adrenaline surged through his body, giving him the energy to dart around branches and patches of growth that would have proven too troublesome to navigate through… and then, just through the trees ahead, a twinkle of light caught his eye. Light reflected off the surface of the ground up ahead, and the very air seemed to lighten, cooling and refreshing him with each breath. His destination in sight, Ein grinned, redoubling his pace towards the source of blessed relief.
So great was his rush that he didn’t notice the net until it was too late.
Ein awoke with a start, flailing wildly against the clammy grip of an unseen tormentor. His breathing rapid, he sat up, eyes darting from side to side. Winding its way around him, a faint breeze filled his nostrils with the subtle scent of freshly fallen pine needles, and though the air was warm he found himself shivering. A hand raised unconsciously to his forehead, wiping at nothing, and Ein contemplated his hand silently for a moment, seemingly uneasy with the cleanliness of it. What am I doing here, he wondered, and where is “here”? The trees around him rustled in the breeze, but otherwise offered no answer, and he pushed himself to his feet. Black spots danced in front of his eyes as he did so, his legs unsteady beneath him as he became aware of an overwhelming thirst that seemed to suddenly overtake his very being. The foliage of the area concealed his surroundings to a great degree, but in the distance, Ein thought he could hear the gentle rushing of water. That, or I’m going crazy. With a shake of his head, he began to walk.
I have a lot on things on my to-do list. Some of them are practical and necessary, such as calling the auto body shop to make an appointment for my car after the collision on Thursday. Some of them are whimsical and exist solely for pleasure, such as sitting down to finish a game that I started and never finished. Some of them are chores that have to get done, such as housework.
I’ve found it beneficial to keep a list of these things so that I can reward myself accordingly for achieving them. I think that it’s easy to get lost in the chaos of life pulling us twenty different ways, and to get overwhelmed by what seems like an insurmountable number of tasks. This way, I have a finite document that I can track progress with, and celebrate progress made on the list.
I think everyone should have a list, of sorts. We all have things we need to do, but we all need recognition (even from ourselves) and reward for doing them. Positive motivation and such.
I almost died tonight.
It helps put things into perspective, at least.
Still shaken. Will recover. It’ll be interesting trying to sleep tonight, though.