The Traveler's sandaled feet kicked out dust clouds that lazily dropped just a few inches away like a ripple that impossibly paused before reaching shore. He stopped, not just to sweep the sweat from his forehead, and not because he was tired, but because he was tired. Tired of not really getting anywhere. Tired of being, let alone feeling, so alone. Tired of the Promise being out there -- so far out there. Tired of the road, tired of walking this stinking road, smelling its dust, and tasting its emptiness.
How long had it been since the Prince had shown him the Path and assured him of the City, and in the city, The Promise? Sometimes, like now, he wondered if he had even really met the man. The Traveler was tempted to stay stopped, to sit in the dirt and... "And what?" he thought.
His head bowed and the anguish of too much sun, not enough water, and too little sleep stung his eyes and caused him to grind his teeth. His hands became fists and his body shook. His initial fury spent, the Traveler willed himself to relax. He blew a long breath. Hoping for something, though he no longer expected to see it, he lifted his head.