FOLLOWING IN FOOTPRINTS

WHAT IT IS

The target, both exceptional and intense, was the mission Miles Hobbson chose for himself. Knowing complete failure was a strong possibility, this result did not completely deter Hobbson from the task of tacitly altering pieces of  human direction, but it did offer moments of self doubt, that he, and many others experience. A younger Hobbson imagined notches on a leather belt, a Colt six shooter his vehicle of persuasion, dirt covered Olathe cowboy boots a testament to his mission and a herd of mustangs ready to tame only to be released back into the congregation to disseminate the message.

The truth of it was, Hobbson named his piece of miraculous hardware the Jesus drive after the person who’s path he believed he could both follow and dislodge. The older Hobbson, of course, knew the deep scares of a Messiah would not be dislodged and following an imaginary path into someone’s constructed vision of the world might not be the wisest maneuver. The only logical thing for Hobbson to do, was to slice his ambition into wafer thin pieces and execute these resolutions, dispensing the word like a priest from a pulpit.

Knowing nothing for sure, gambling on uncertain outcomes and puzzling over possibilities, Hobbson was left to watch No. 1 and a billion insects hold up in a stand of white ash trees. A bustling gravel airport nearby hosted three crop dusters and a slew of INSECT agents mulled about the place. Seemingly random people walked down neighbouring roads, some with ducks, roosters, and horses, all converging on a piece of land near the airport. Hobbson looked down at a deep lobed plant at his feet and wondered if it was sarsaparilla, then more importantly, wondered if it would survive.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Wild plants with edible roots and leaves, mushrooms for gourmet feasts, berries to create tempting deserts and all this sniffed out by Jackson and then magically created by Mrs. B.  over an open fire as the translucent man salivated in anticipation of the evening meal. The translucent man had done well since the arrival of Jackson and Mrs. B. With improved strength and vigor, most days saw him rise early, walk strong and allocate nuggets of advise to those around him. He was unconcerned that this artificial bubble of foraged foods, local harvests and unsolicited fates of fortune could not be sustained in the real world where real people suffered and slogged through a predicament much different from his own, because he was, after all, a messenger of doom not the purveyor. He admired these tiny bubbles of idealists and wishful thinkers and believed that in a different place and time their views might hold specs of truth, not enough to slay the drive of industrial creation and consumption, but at least offer a meaningful alternative that up to this point only existed in the catacombs of our dreary expectations. The translucent man knew well the banner of the just cause and the unjust consequence that walked in its footprint, allowing him the latitude to embrace and digest the endless parade of causes from the dethroned king to the triumphant peasant story.

The doomsday clock that was the translucent man, now burdened down by extra hefty issues and fools dressed in presidential garb, rattled him greatly, to the point where they began to slip from his grasp, leaving him to float in a quagmire resembling apathy until he saw the simple offerings from Mrs. B. and the looks of humility from the others; the translucent man knew his way forward was possible.

Author: whatitiswhatitisnot

Member of Camerauthor, a cooperative that writes on the blog What It Is/What It is not. Our membership includes a fantasy writer, a general fiction writer (Ellie) and two amateur photographers. All photos on the blog belong to Camerauthor.

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