Choices in Escape
The past chases at a leisurely pace yet does not waver. Carried along by the winds of chance a balloon proffers itself as good a means of escape as any. Clear days bring slow travel. Stormy weather speeds progress until spelling its doom.
Thus Girard thinks nothing of the precipitous end to a night’s journey. He dusts off his waistcoat and searches among the now scattered contents for his overcoat. A chuckle escapes his mouth, a broken lullaby of forsaken dreams. Strong hands, accustomed to hard labor and little reward, heft two bags over broad shoulders.
Supplies, maps, extra clothes, and bedding all remain behind. While in the balloon they represented acceptable weight, conveniences along the way. Now with two feet upon solid earth, little else matters save the contents of the packs, clandestine items pilfered from countless sources.
They would not feed him.
They would not warm his lonely body in the night.
They would not ultimately belong to him.
They would, God willing, save the known world.