Behind the sinking, golden sun, she trods a path, dusty and worn. She's not fared as well as she could; her feet are sore and bruised, and her head aches as she keeps it lowered, fast losing energy to continue. But she is almost home, and so, dragging her long shadow behind her, she steps forward time and time again. Her feet padding on the dirt is the only sound for a mile around.
It has been too long since she was home. She's almost forgotten what it looks like. She only knows that no matter how many times she leaves, she will always return to those she loves. So she plods on, through forests of pine and fields of wheat, knowing that this is the way she will always be. She will never know whether she will be able to return or not; but if she is, nothing short of death will stand in her way.
In a little town, people go about their business. They sell their wares, they tend their gardens, and they converse with their neighbors. They do not lack, but they miss. They know one of their number still has not returned, and they wonder if she ever will.
The townspeople go silent when she rounds the bend. Her feet are scratched and bloody. Her head hangs low. Her arms are limp at her sides. She is alive, but she is not triumphant. Wearily, she lifts her head and surveys the crowd--old friends, and family, people she thought she might never see again. But how will they receive her?
To be continued...
To sum it all up, folks...