Silent tears rolled down the boy’s face. His father laid one hand on the boy’s shoulder, gentle but firm, the other pointing into the distance.
“Where do I go?” the boy asked softly.
“Where we all must go. The journey is long and dangerous. But you are ready.”
“Why must I go alone?”
“We are all alone, my son.”
The boy tried to turn, but his father’s hand kept him firmly turned to the horizon.
“Go now, my beloved son. We will see each other again one day. Until then, look to the end, and walk, do not run, until you get there. Go. And no matter what you see or hear along the way, never look back.”
The weight of his father’s hand lifted. The boy took one step, and then another.
A dull thud echoed from behind and to the left, and the breeze carried his father’s voice, whispering the boy’s name.
“I love you, too, Father.”
The boy’s words were lost on the wind as he walked onward, his gaze never turning from the horizon.