"The Field Where I Died"
Benign earth. Dirt and plants. Totally harmless.
Hardly the location for a life-changing event. Corn fields do not come to mind when one is picturing the backdrop for the turning point of a life.
Dark earth and dried vegetation are crushed beneath expensive shoes as the solitary figure walks the length of the field. The young man makes no sound as he moves, ghost-like, along the rows. His head, ordinarily held high with a near-arrogance, is bowed and his posture is that of a man humbled.
The way he walks is not lost on him. A part of him knows this place, and that day so many years ago, still holds a powerful sway over him. This place irrevocably changed him, altered him, transformed him.
He reaches the place, the spot where his father found him on that day. He cannot forget this spot. It physically is no different than the dirt that surrounds it but he knows. Feels it in his gut. This is the place.
The place of his death and resurrection.
He crouches, brushes his fingers across the cool, damp earth. With vivid clarity he recalls those first few moments, curled beneath the fallen cornstalks, shivering with shock and fear. Remembers how the damp ground leeched the heat from his small body.
It had been his grave, his tomb. It was the place he left the old, weak and fearful version of himself behind, the place that had given birth to the new, strong and unrepentant version that took his place.
Rising, he brushes the earth from his hands and focuses his gaze on the horizon. It takes little concentration to bring to mind the memory of the impact cloud hurtling toward him, the feel of it lifting him off his feet, So strong is the memory, he moves back a step instinctively.
The events of that day have been with him ever since, a constant presence in the back of his mind. A reminder of his beginnings, his origins, the place he came from.
He turns in a slow circle, coat whispering about his legs, his intense eyes taking in the expanse of corn, his mind superimposing the image of the ruined, violated field of over a decade before.
It is the place, he knows, where the man he has become was born. But, a small voice whispers, it is also the field where the child he was, died.
This place, this innocent looking field, is the grave that holds what little innocence he'd had.
His youthful face expressionless, the solitary man turns and retraces his steps. He does not look back until he reaches his car. Standing next to the open driver's side door, his unreadable gaze rests on the field once more.
Time seems to pause in it's unending march, allowing him one small eternity to live within his memories before moving on. He gets into his car and allowing it to carry him forward, ushering him into the future. Away from his past. Away from this place.
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