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TITLE: A Fork in the Road

AUTHOR: Hannurdock


WARNINGS: Mental Angst / Depression

STORY TYPE: Point of View / First Person (Faceman)


LENGTH: One-off

DISCLAIMER: The characters are property of Cannell and company.

The lonely footsteps echo my empty heart as I trudge wearily along the sidewalk. The path is wet, and the sudden light of a streetlamp makes the path look glassy and unreal. Its night, and I am alone. Its cold and I have no comfort in the fact I will soon be home. Its my life, but it feels empty and over already.

These feelings have enshrouded me like a coffin for the last three weeks. I feel close to the turmoil brewing below the surface, ready to scream and wave my hands in the air. I want everyone to know that I am not who I was. Not any more.

Depression hits like a wave of sadness, sapping your strength. I could feel the strength leaving my body this morning, how painful was the effort to simply move. I turned away from the small alarm clock, a rising panic that I had to get up swelling in my heart.

My imagination has always been my most treasured comfort in lonely times, dark times. Most people would not understand the solace I have in my own little worlds, comprising of a thousand scenarious and situations. I am alone. I have chosen this life. This solitude in my thoughts. I push them all away suddenly. Damn the thoughts! Damn me! Damn this life.

I believe (only becuase believing in something will give me a little comfort) that life is one long test. Its a battle from here on to reach the destination. And the current destination looks bleak indeed. Trust me to talk about life like a journey on a train, but I feel it is. I feel grey, without colour. I feel drained, without life.

And here I am, at the crossroads of my life. I have several choices ahead of me to make. Think of it as a fork road if you will. I am standing at the very beginning, where the two roads seperate and head into cloudy darkness. I know not which road I should take. I know not what is the right road. But I must make a choice.

And the choice is simple, life or death. Its the cloudy darkness into either that I am terrified of. Suicide has never been so real to me, never been such an option. Now, I am deciding my life upon little experience and I can't do this alone. I take solice. I read a book about eternity. And I know the choice I must make is life. Becuase any other choice is selfish. Whatever the road leads to, I must see the end of the drama, see the battle to its rightful conclusion.

Let me tell you about these two choices. Death. The road into murky fog, where everything is unknown. Its a crossroads to a higher plane perhaps. Or it might be nothingness and my spirit will wither as my body rots in the ground. Decayed. Alone. In utter darkness. Life. This opens more paths for me, more options. As much as I hate it at the moment, I must choose that route. Becuase the other option is selfish. Purely selfish.

I take the route of life. The choice, now made, is a burden I am happy to be relieved of. Such a terrible choice to make, with terrible repercussions if this is not the correct choice. Its the right one, but my feelings suggest it is not the correct one. And now with several winding paths, each leading to similar densely foggy futures is filling me with dread.

Dread. Of the future. Of my life. I cannot believe I feel so young and spent. I should curl myself in a coffin and be done with it. Once and for all. No, I must be stronger than that.

Strength. A strange concept. What is strength? In a physical sense, strength is brawn. Powerful, muscular, strong. In a mental sense, strength is the willpower and conviction. I need willpower to move on, to take one of these roads I am destined to take. But which one?

I choose the road of knowledge. I brace myself to learn all I can about life and love. I want to discover, I want to know, I want to learn. I will do this. I will become stronger in both body and mind, and I shall overcome this tragic song.

The door of the little cabin opens and Hannibal stands there watching me intently. Then he opens his arms.

I have at last arrived home.

---- Lieutenant "Tempelton" Peck, 1969


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