Once there lived a boy, lost and forgotten in woods dark.

He had no friends who shared the same interests as him and so pursued his passions alone. He had a few who sympathized with his interests, but the fear of the wild and the unknown kept them from having complete faith in him. Advice and recommendations were showered upon him along with an equal share of doubt and fear.

The negatives took their toll, and he too doubted his path. Whether the world thought of him as foolhardy mattered not. He was afraid he would let down those who had his back, afraid that his incursions might take a heavy toll.

Yet he moved on, conquering his torn heart and poisoned mind, and closed his ears to the sound of prevalent whispers.

___

One day, he left the village alone on a hike trying to reach the tallest point in the vicinity of his native land.

He walked at an easy pace but alert to the surroundings. No trail existed. It was for him to leave a trail behind. At mid afternoon, an unsettling feeling took over. The blazing sun was shrouded by fast approaching clouds. The light around faded away and an eerie quiet settled upon the entire region. He looked up and found that the Gods had blotted out the white sky with black ink. Then it began to rain, and rain it did so heavily that he found it difficult to see ahead.

Within half hour he was soaked to the skin, but he did not let the flame within his hear extinguish and slowly moved forward, step by step. He found the presence of nature comforting and spoke to the trees, as if they would speak back. But the unrequited reply did not matter to him. He did it for his own joy. It was his own faith.

A loud and distant sound broke the monotony of the downpour. It was long, almost sad, and it sent the chills down his cold spine. Wolves, thought the boy. He began to hurry, as he heard the call answered, this time closer. He began to walk faster, and as the threat grew with every minute, he began to move as fast as the rain and his feet would carry him.         He remembered the words of those who doubted his decisions. He thought about how different he was compared to the rest, different in mind and heart. He was a radical- a rebel against the system that sought to define the right and the wrong, a system that deemed to be liberal but was tainted with autocracy. How disheartened was he when the thought of his believers came to him. If he failed here. If he was killed by the wolves, unable to return safely back, it would only establish what his non believers had always maintained, that his exploits were in vain, that it was better tread a path that was common.

But he wanted to defy all odds, even to death. He wanted to disprove theories. He wanted to initiate change.

____

The wolves were closer than ever. Despite that, he managed to reach the summit. He fell face first into the damp ground, tired of his escape. He was breathing hard, gasping for air. He could hear the wolves a few feet away from him. Despair took over. If I die, I shall die believing in my ideals and my beliefs. Let them have me, I’ll fight take at least one along with me. He heard a low growl and the wolves approached his body. He braced himself, ready to get torn apart. A large wolf looked right into his eyes and growled at him.

____

It was close to evening time. It was darker than ever before. The boy was slowly walking down the hill, covered in deep gashes and bite marks. He survived, but was bleeding all over. He felt delirious. His mind told him to give up and just die. His heart was slowly giving in. Only the memory of his loved ones kept him going. He could not die, they would be so torn if that happened. They loved him. He loved them. He survived only for their joy, and for the joy of his clan members, his sisters and brothers, his pet stray, his only friend who had gone away to the borders to fight the enemy. For them, he must go on. Life had only that meaning for him now. For the sake of realizing that meaning, he must live. When death comes, he thought, it will.

But that was not the day.

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