the unanswered question

The man looked at the worn piece of paper that the little man had given him. He hadn’t seen this in ages. And as he looked at it he was still astonished that he was holding it his hands once again.

“How did you find this?”

“It was given to me…”

The little man grabbed his wrist.

“…and I was told to give it to you.”

On this paper was an unanswered question. It was something that the man had wanted to know for as long as he could remember. He had never given up looking for the answer, but at some point long ago, this paper was separated from him. 

He told all this to the little man that night as they sat watching the embers of the fire glow. The little man was silently attentive, half expecting, half gauging each response. 

Night had fallen quickly and before he knew it. He looked out realizing he would have to wait it out. The little man knew this too. He nodded and skuttled off to find a blanket for the man.

The man sat watching the fire. Looking at the old piece of paper wondering how it had made its journey here. 

Outside within the forest, he could hear a far off cry of a wolf. His gaze narrowed in concentration as he listened. He was familiar with this being’s cry and he knew its secret. Just as others knew his secrets and still others he knew too. As if endlessly reaching out, everyone was connected by something they knew about another, but would never tell. He looked back in the direction the little man had wandered off into. 

Now he knows my secret too.

And then a part of him became lighter, as if a heavy burden was lifted from his shoulders. His eyes drooped while watching the flames rise and hearing the wood crackle. 

He would need to find the being within the forest. This he knew. He would need to reach out to it as best as he could.

The little man returned with a dark grey scratchy blanket. The man thanked him for his hospitality. He had not slept in the village for a very long time, but it was no matter tonight. It seemed like before he had even finished lying down, and poof! He was asleep. Into the dreamline where he too, like the girl who found clarity from visions, might also fid solice in the images that played out in front of his eyes. 

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