In which Burgher Russ finds an abandoned colony
Russell Degnan

The path to Daniel's abode along the beach was short and pleasant. Waves pushed at the shore, before receding to show glimpses of discarded debris. Someone had not only lived here, but lived amongst a community, a small one, but for a time anyway, a vibrant one, that failed to settle, and dispersed.

The house, dark and foreboding back in amongst low scrubby trees, provided further evidence. This was a household doomed to failure, forever apologetic for its meagre resources and dependence on others, but never able to generate enough itself to justify its existence without periodic support from its friends.

At some point, either the friends stopped trying or he did, drifting away, returning occasionally, apologetic as always, but apologising, ultimately, to himself, at his own failure to live up to his own expectations that he could live and thrive on this lonely beach.

That was well in the past though, and now there stood only Burgher Russ, pondering which of several paths might lead him towards something other than deserted homesteads and fragments of a forgotten life.

One path, while remaining overgrown, and clearly older, retained evidence of more recent traversal than the others. Bereft of better options, Burgher Russ shut the door for the final time on someone else's life and pressed on...

A Burgher in Absentia 21st November, 2010 11:11:34   [#]