Prompt: A Compass

It was dark enough now that sight was irrelevant, probably inhibiting because she was trying to see, putting so much effort into willing to see what was in front of her that she was ignoring her other senses. This was dangerous, for smell, touch, hearing, these were things that could help her. The compass had long since failed her, or her it. It was trying to tell her where to go she was just too inexperienced and scared to understand. As the dark pressed in making her eyes ache she had the wisdom to simply shut them. Shut them and rely on other things. The sound of water bubbling over rocks, that was to her right, the bird to the left, the rustling behind. Or was the water on the left? It seemed like the harder she tried to make out where sounds were coming from the more impossible it was to determine. She started breathing more quickly now, just a bit, and once that seemed OK, once she convinced herself she wasn’t panicking, her breath came quicker still. The ground beneath her feet rose and fell unevenly. What in the daylight were irregularities on the path became mountains and valleys. She stumbled, started to reach out to grab something but thought the better of it. Was this a joke? Was this really happening to her? It was cold and she was sure she was no longer on the path, but she could hear the water. The water. Keep following the water.

One Response to “Prompt: A Compass”
  1. This is an amazing piece about senses: relying on them as animal instinct in a situation where thinking can get in the way. That reliance, I think, really increases the tension, since when would we be so instinct-driven except when we feel we are in mortal danger? There is so much tension in this piece, so much fear. I clench for the narrator as I read it.

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