Him (Extracts from a Fire Damaged Journal – One)

Just to be in his presence was enough to know it was different. Things were different. It is hard to describe him and thinking back now I’m not sure if he was tall or short or had dark or light hair or even the cut of it. But that was the nature of him. And if you wonder why I call him “him”, it is because I no longer remember his name. Maybe I never knew it. I could say it will come to me soon but I’m sure I would be lying. But although that may sound strange to you, with him it was normal. If you never met him, if you were never there, you probably wouldn’t understand anyway.

Of those who knew him or more correctly those who came into contact with or encountered him, there were those who worshipped him, those who disbelieved him, those who feared him, those who challenged him but very few who felt nothing towards him. Adam was one of those who challenged him and there weren’t many. There were even fewer or maybe even none after Adam. Or maybe there wer but that would have been well after the period I experienced.

He was standing motionless over near the start of the woods. The old oak and elm gnarled and twisted and rising high. It may have been night. No I think it was dusk or was it just daytime? And where he stood away from the three of us the air was like it was on one of those hot days where there seems to be some wavering or movement above the ground. Like over the hot tarmac or over a desert in far off lands. But this was England and it wasnt even hot by those standards. In fact it was cold and the wavering in the air, the chill air, continued for a second or two as a haze and obscurity and from where he stood a single swallow flew straight and fast high into the air away from the woods. When the wavering air was gone he was no longer stood there.

Approaching the woods they seemed as a solid wall of trees and shrubbery. But as you neared a small dark brown path could be seen starting and then meandering into somewhere within the dense dark green and brown foliage. Not inviting or romantic but twisting and turning with archaic roots rasing and falling the pentameter of the path. But to follow it down would lead to the place, but it wasnt a path many took on their own or even in company. It didn’t feel bad or anything but when you faced it you just had no desire to go that way and would usually find a reason to go in the opposite direction. However weak the reason was it always seemed sensible at the time. But on occasions we did explore that path and all it led to.

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