Michael Pavio

Journey to the Pond

The sun is a radiating ball of fire shining its malice upon my forehead as I struggle down the rough terrain. Sticky liquid profusely drips from my body and hits the ground with perfect synchronization of every short protracted stride. The sand and pebbles crunch beneath me as they beg for mercy from the ruthless heat and stumble down upon the earth. As I toil myself down nature’s backbone, the cliff, my leg muscles contract and liquefy in each step, and I can feel the refreshing chill penetrate my body as I imagine the tranquil body of water beneath me; glistening various hues of blue and green. Although the pond is only a few meters in front with the content trees overseeing this body of water, the distance seems endless with the pounding heat. It appears that time tends to slow down drastically as hardship enhances.

My vision is brusquely interrupted by the sun pulsating against my exposed forehead. I am lightheaded, perhaps through my dehydration, and I start to lose focus and awareness. My surroundings become a blur and my senses become impaired as if I was in a measly childhood nightmare. The numerous colors of nature are distorted as I begin to only see dark dyes taunting my sense.  Suddenly, I am transformed to an oxen stumbling upon the barren desert with a fireball scorching its flames upon my bare back. The interminable seas of desolate sand engulf my body. The prolific foliage deserts me as I am now left with repugnant cacti irately aiming their swords fiercely at my vulnerable hide. My mind is bombarded with anxiety as I frantically hull my massive body through this inhospitable land.  Vultures encircle me, shrieking the sound of death as they await me to stagger to my demise. Their red eyes blaze in the sun as they envision themselves ravaging through my luscious corpse consisting of plentiful muscle and copious fat. My legs become unresponsive as I wobble across the land. I struggle to keep my eyes open and functioning as I gaze at the hypnotizing depths of sand as they caustically laugh at my trembling corpse. My surroundings slowly move as I become overwhelmed with fatigue.

Within the very near distance an oasis glimmers as a refuge. There the succulent fauna and convivial flora greet my oxen hide as they call. Inside my mind I revive the motivation for survival and know this is a competitive mental battle. I gradually progress to my sanctuary, I could hear the playful birds of the oasis encouraging me and I could see the mighty palms spying on the distilled water. Finally, I have reached my destination after a long journey over a few meters consisting of hardship and labor. I jump in as the cool rush of the pond snaps my body back to reality and I then recover all my previously impaired sense. A burst of bliss besieges my body as I reach my safe haven.




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