Sam grabbed her arm and weaved it through his. She sagged under the weight of her pack. In fairness they both were. He had more strength than she did. He could see that at more extreme levels than when they had started this journey. Sam looked down at his legs that were longer and thicker than Emily’s. He led her to a large root of a tree that was so huge, the earth could not contain it. He took the pack off her shoulders. Emily stifled a sob. Sam felt a twinge of guilt. He had insisted that they walk a few hours longer a day since they had cleared the last mountain chain. It was all mostly downhill from there he had said. There had been hills to climb all the same, even if they still descended in elevation.
“I can feel a change in the air,” Sam said, scanning the tree-veiled sky above them.
The sky was thick with damp and was a blanket of gray above them. Emily lay down and looked up at the sky. She stared above her for a full minute.
“You’re right. The birds have changed. The gulls are much bigger here.” She turned her head and scanned the forest. “Over the last several days the trees have gotten bigger and there’s more moss hanging from them and covering rocks. The ground is softer and has more clay.”
“Perhaps we will see blue ocean tomorrow or the next.” He smiled examining her sallow complexion. He knelt beside her and handed her his canteen. She sat up and leaned against his leg and drank. “I think we need to rest for the day. Maybe tomorrow as well.”
Emily sipped at the water. He hoped that that was something she’d appreciate. She’d been speaking less and less as the days wore on and on. He wasn’t sure what the right thing was to do anymore. He sat next to her, supporting her back with his own.
“What should I look for? What can I gather here to eat?” He waited for her response. He could feel her ribs expanding as they sucked in air. She finally shrugged.
“I can’t even think. Give me some time to rest.” She slunk down to rest her head on his thigh. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I’m sure there are probably mushrooms and ferns. I have a book in my pack.”
I used “Blue” as my prompt today. 12 minutes. Pick a word and write. It’s fun. You’ll like it.