No Remedy Love
Upon my horse I ride, I ride through the dense woods of Willows Path. Past the tombs of the Barely family and through the trails of Hallows Peak. Treacherous be this ride but everything depends upon it. My wife is deathly ill and winter is at the cusp of the mountains.
Soon we shall be blanketed by snow up to our thighs. Winds so unforgiving will rush upon the valley like a cold plague. The hairs upon your body will freeze beneath the falling rains if so you dare to walk bare into the wild.
So I ride, I ride with determination and fear at my back. I ride with my eyes adjusted to the stars and my heart to faith. It has been two days and the doctor is only another days ride. How frightful be this Christmas eve.
Unfortunate be this day, a day of deathly tribulation. But I will not give up on my love. I will not let her soft voice be taken by ill will of sickness. I refuse with my boiling chest of grit to allow the suffering of my love to continue.
It would be vile of me to sit idle and pray she makes it through the winter. We are but a couple in hard times. Struggles of life have beaten us down but we refuse to quite. So I ride, I ride with tired eyes and a heavy heart.
The hooves of my horse penetrate the earth with powerful grace. No death shall come upon this family and no angels shall descend to take her from me. I ride day and night, keeping hunger at bay with fortitude.
I deal not in sleep for rest will only delay and shall surely give death a head start. My horse, Ruth, is no fool to long rides. She is as determined as I, if not more. She has battled through many winters and many wandering nights through deserts.
The howl of the wind brushes over my ears like shrieks of a banshee, but I do not shiver. I do not weep in the fear of the bitter cold. I do not falter to elements of nature, for jealous she be of my legs, my feet.
I give in to no shadows that hoot like the owls in the forest. My mind is steady and no hallucinations from thirst shall strike my mind into madness. I am focused like an arrow flung from the bow of Cupid. Let loose the string and I shall fly steadily through the air. Never missing my target.
I am deadly as the edge of an ax in defense of my love. I shall swing my blade till suffering surrenders and death returns to its chambers.
Riding, I reach the doctor and there he stands, his small glasses resting upon his nose. His eyes peering over with concern. Ruth halts and I dismount, my heart pounds and my chest heaves with exhaustion. I say no words, I approach the doc with firm steps nabbing the vial of medicine from his hand.
He neither moves nor says anything to me. He merely nods and returns to his home. The sun is now cresting over the mountain tops and just south at least two days ride hangs the dark clouds of winter. I can already hear them, I can hear the thunderous roar of their deep throats.
I can feel the bitter wind that follows it with rage. I can feel the stinging rain shatter upon my hands like ice. But I am not deterred by natures rage. I press on, Ruth darts back upon the path home. We travel back through the deadliest of terrains.
We hug cliffs upon narrow paths. We climb hills of loose sands where many have fallen. Plummeting to earth like stone. How wild be our fight home. How unforgiving be the paths we must take to win? To hold steady and keep my love alive.
But there is no other, no other love to be. There is no other to keep me pushing, to keep me breathing and living. There is no other upon this earth that can turn such a stubborn man into soft gel upon their presence.
There is no other and I'll be damned if I do no rescue her. If I shall die, let me die at her side upon my return. If thirst shall be my demise, let me dream of one last kiss. Let delusions of love envelope my vision and heart.
Let her voice be the angels that take me to the heavens and let her eyes be the path I take. The sun is now high and yet it is cold. My breath quickly dissipates as our speed increases. A day goes by and my body is becoming weak.
My entire being aches for food, for water and comfort. But I must resist. I must keep my thoughts to my love and my eyes to the stars. It is now day two and winter is surely on its way. The dark clouds now cast a shadow upon my path.
The trees are bare and the leaves are shriveled in spots of black. No creature walks about the woods, the open plains nor do they hide in the foliage of the valley's. Thunder rumbles in the distance and I can feel my horse grow tired.
Hold for one more day Ruth, be my bringer of victory. It is now raining and it falls with no remorse. Our vision is skewed and paths are now muddied. It is a battle now to keep sense of our direction. The stars are gone and the paths are washing away.
It is night but we are almost there. The rain has frozen upon my cap, my clothes and my horse. Icicles hang from us like clear stalactites. I break them from their hold and feed them to my horse, drink Ruth, we are almost their.
The cold ice suffices well for our thirst but only for so long. They freeze the lips and tongue bitterly. We are almost there, the wind is now roaring through the air. I have lost my hat and my grip is being forced by the wind.
I am steady upon the rein as I guide Ruth. Constantly we stumble but I can now see our valley. I can see our cottage that sits lonely between two large trees. The winter air crisps my lungs and Ruth is sluggish.
" A little more Ruth and we are free, my love will be saved, and I shall stoke us a fire."
We now aim ourselves down the final decent. Darkness and rain greatly hinders our eyes. So we must walk blindly and pray our memory suits us well. Lightning strikes in the distance giving us momentary sight.
Suddenly Ruth loses footing, we fall and become tangled in the rein. We tumble together, my arm wrapped tightly. I cannot get free. Will this be my death? Will I fail my love, will we both be left to die in silence alone?
Falling and falling I can hear Ruth bellow in fright. We stop, I struggle about trying to gain focus. I grumble in pain as I hear Ruth whimper. I untie my hand from the reins and with panic I check the medicine in my satchel.
I thumb around feeling for it, I cannot feel it, where is it? I struggle to my feet but I can barely see. The clouds hide any sign of light. I look to Ruth and she is not moving nor is she making a sound. Another bolt of lightning strikes.
I quickly look around and I see a reflection. I walk over and there, hidden partially in the mud is the medicine. Its condition appears well, I pry it from the sticking mud. I clear it best I can and feel it is still whole. I feel nothing, no cracks, no splits, no sharp edges.
I am overcome with relief and return to Ruth. I place my hand upon her side to feel if she is breathing. But her ribs do not rise. I kneel beside her face and place a final kiss upon her head and praise her of her strength and companionship for the many years we shared.
I turn and trudge through the thick mud and flooded lands of the valley. I reach the cottage, swing open the door, and there kneeling before the fire is my love, my wife. She turns slowly with ill eyes and smiles.
I smile back, present her the medicine. She does her best to make her way to me, I tell her to stay still. "Do not waste your energy my dear. I will come to you."
She smiles as tears run down her face. I make my way to her opening the bottle kneel beside her and place the bottle before her lips. "Drink my love, drink and let us rest together."
I watch her weary self drink, a face of disgust overcomes her and I hold her dearly as she fights the urge to emit the remedy. A few gulps and she is done. I take the bottle from her lips placing it on the ground. I remove my soaked coat and toss it by the fire.
I help my love to her feet as she shakes I grasp her in a helpful hug. We make our way over to the bed and we lay together. Night passes on as winter howls at our door. And in the morning, neither of us wake.
What would you be willing to do to save your loved one?
It is the end that should drive you to keep going, A Man's Traveled Heart
Coming soon, The Bleeding Of Words
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