There isn’t much around our parts, so it’s no surprise folks have a hard time keeping their sanity. I guess it keeps the place peaceful, but aren’t we here for living? Not according to Father Herman we aren’t. The good man had himself convinced our little town plays a role of sacrifice in God’s schemes. Not because of anything about the place itself, but it’s location rather. Those who walk more than a couple steps northward will find themselves on climbing. Apparently we’re right next to Heaven.
I’m not really sure how to feel about all that. For a while, Father Herman seemed to be having a hard time. Battling his inner demons or something, nobody really knew. He got better though, after telling us he had heard from God. What reason there was I don’t recall, but reaching that top of the hill up north would be rewarded with instant access into Paradise, no questions asked.
And so after spreading the word, like the good Father would do, he headed up there. It was the weirdest sight. Without carrying anything of value, he just walked off and left, without taking anything, into the sky’s mist. Our Father didn’t make it home that night. Actually, he never did. The next day, and the day after, we went out with the strongest of us and looked for him. All around the peak, not a sign of his life. The plateau itself was nearly impossible for us to reach, and at his age Father Herman wouldn’t have been able to reach it. None of us bothered to look up there. Or maybe none of us dared?
At first I saw little reason to believe the tales told by our “aging geezer”, as the town grump once called him. But he was nowhere to be found, and he can’t have covered all the distance we did during our search. I haven’t found any explanation for that other than what he told us before he left. Is there something divine happening here? Should we follow in his footsteps?
I don’t know, but I can’t think of anything better to do.
Special thanks to
~sipser_nidret for the prompt that inspired this.