Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Bridge


 
“The Bridge”
by Ariel DeAngelis
[originally written May 6, 2013]
They stood at their end of the ancient bridge looking across to the other side, as they had done many times. They held each other’s hands tightly, their fingers intertwined like the branches of two trees that had grown tall together over many years, until one was nearly indistinguishable from the other. Always before they had stood and looked, wondering what adventures were beyond the crumbling ramparts of that anachronism – a bridge from the far distant past which beckoned them on now to an uncertain future, and yet one which they knew they must undertake at some point.
The other side, from their vantage point, didn’t appear appreciably different from where they now stood, but the titillation and promise of a whole new way of being made it seem almost as if magic were happening on the other side. And yet they had to cross if they were ever to find out what that might entail. Nobody knew exactly when the bridge had been constructed, and although they had watched as many had passed across ahead of them, and no ill had befallen those who went, still somehow it looked as if it might only barely hold their weight combined together – or perhaps they might reach midpoint and it would simply fall out from under them leaving them to catch breath in mid-air and realize their fate on the craggy rocks below.
And still the other side and all the adventure it promised beckoned them on.
She squeezed his hand lightly, prompting him to look down and smile like the sun at her. She looked up at him, “… for luck” she said with a little smirk on her mouth. Oh, how he Loved it when she did that… it just made him want to kiss her there…  and she knew it.
They started out together; he had to curtail his gate quite a bit in order for them to walk together at the same pace, her legs being much shorter than his, but he didn’t mind. They did, after all, have all the time in the Universe to make this crossing, and though at any one point prior to this either of them might have had their qualms about how long their wait had been, they were here now. Here in this “now” moment that as far as either of them were concerned COULD last forever, and neither would be disappointed, because at least they were together, as they always had been.
Small stones that had loosened over eons skittered away from under their feet as they walked cautiously out onto the first part of the bridge. So far so good. Not even a hint of any structural anomalies to worry about. And so they continued until they reached the apex in the center of the bridge where they stopped briefly. They looked at each other and then turned and looked out over the river that was now under them as they stood there. She moved a little closer to the edge, and a portion of the edge broke away and fell into the silent dark water below making a huge SPLOOSH! as stone contacted water. He tightened his grip on her hand, pulling her back from the edge; she looked up at him a bit sheepishly, and he grinned back at her stating in a facetious tone that only he could master, “… for luck!” And she laughed a hearty laugh that made him laugh too.
They turned and continued on, making certain that their footing was as sure as could be. Well onto the second half of the bridge, which had now become their final portal to the future, they stopped one more time just as they reached the end of it and right before stepping onto the ground on the other side, turned and looked one last time in the direction they had just come from. A dense mist now rose from the waters of the river totally obscuring the other side. And time ceased to be.
Turning around and facing the future one more time they stepped from the bridge onto the path into this new “now” moment where the grass and the trees were greener, the sky bluer, the sun brighter and all the colors of the rainbow in the flowers and everything around them were brighter and more colorful that they had ever been. They knew that they had always been “home” together in their hearts, but now, NOW … this … this was truly Home with a capital “H” and nothing would ever take them away from it again…
Up ahead an amazing castle rose up out of the forest…