After She Has Gone

Walking out into the woods there was no moon overhead to guide him. Bumping into the trees, he wound his way deep into the forest, tripping over roots that herniated through the dirt. The darkness wrapped around him and he went on walking, the gun dangling from the end of his right hand, and his legs kept moving. He thought it would be easy to give up now that everything is gone—the money spent, his job an echo, her essence reduced to a figment. It should be easy to just roll over and die. He found that at the center of this forest, the depths of his own morass of fear and remorse, that maybe he didn’t want to do that. There was a rustling in the bushes, a flutter of wings, and something expansive spread out against the dark sky, black on black, no discernible shape, only the feeling of movement and a sense of great speed, a brush of wind on his face, and he tried to breathe again.