My footsteps keep looking behind me, and I am reluctant to move on from the soothing call of the stream and those strange eyes of the forest. He keeps looking back at me, and my eyes must roll in my head twelve hundred times that hour.
"I'm fine. Just watch where we're going," I tell him, nudging him on.
Next thing, I run straight into his back. I stand back rubbing my nose, and he's teetering like he's on the edge of a cliff. Peering around his shoulders, I see that he is on the edge a cliff. Sharp peaks rise above and below us. Neither of us can breathe for a full three minutes.
"Well I guess that stream was leading us up," he says, feeling me out.
"Yeah, we're way up now. Way up, and nowhere to go."
A heavy cloud passes over the mountain below us, searing a dark division into the skin of it. Light and dark lay clearly marked before us. And here I'm standing in the bright sun, while the cloud blots out his face.
photo by Jocelyn Catterson.