I am one. I am all. I am nothing. I am everything. I am 11. He has instructed this of me and I will complete it so that I may be with my family. They are so far away. I can feel them calling to me; they yearn for my presence, and I, for theirs. I was tasked with standing here and that is my purpose. I will go home when He deems me worthy. This is the only way home. It is imperative. It is for God; I will be judged. It is a long way home, but that bothers me not. This body is disconnected from my mind. I am certain I am speaking, but have no comprehension of it. I do not understand myself. It does not matter.
The hands feel lighter. It is time; my purpose is fulfilled. The time for judgment is nigh. It is time to see my family. I must reach the destination, no matter the obstacle. It is merely a matter of time now, as I watch the body move to its conclusion.
It moves, and I, along with it. The pilgrimage begins across this winding path. The earth set before it is exiguous. I do not feel, save His will. My desires are of little consequence. This is what I shall do. It has peaked and we now descend.
The earth is unforgiving; the leg is cut open. Blood pours. This body isn't mine. It is a vessel. It is simply a means to an end. An end which He has chosen for me.
The water is calming. It glides across it with ease. His influence is fading. I don't know how I got here. I was brought here to serve God; of this, I'm certain. I need to please him in order to get what I want. Or is it His desires? They seem one in the same. Regardless, we travel together, this vessel and I. My family is calling and I heed their call.
Everywhere it looks there is snow, except for one cabin. I’m certain it is warm inside. It presses on. It does what He wants. Has my God betrayed me? Was he ever my God? Where are we headed, to where it began? To where it will end? These are questions I have yet to answer, that it seems to have no concern for. The face of the mountain is daunting but it ascends so smoothly. I don't trust it anymore.
The cliffs are monstrous; everything is becoming apparent; this is the calamity. I'm noticing more about it, this vessel. How did I not notice this before? Its legs are tattered and torn. Its feet are bloodied, bruised and blackened from the terrain. It hunches as it walks, hood up and staring at the ground in front of it. I don't want to be here. I strain to move muscles that, to my dismay, I do not own. Something is in here with me; something is corrupting my thoughts. Is it Him? Is he God? It climbs, effortlessly. Does it ever tire? Is it capable of such a thing?
Its mission is not the same as mine. Send me back and give me another try. Mother nature has played a cruel trick on me; or was it nature's choice to begin with? No, it can't be. This is His will, not Hers.
It peaks the cliff and we stare into the abyss. Its brothers stand before it. It has arrived - and I see its god. I pull with every ounce of my willpower to force it to turn around; it is no use. No! Turn around! It descends. It joins the line and strains to complete the journey. This is the first time I've noticed it stifled by anything, but it is patient. It waits for the right moment and crosses the stone bridge.
One by one, they meet their god. For once, we take the winding trail. But why? A ritual of some kind? I see my fate. It doesn't seem to care. I would cry, were it my choice. This is not how I envisioned my next life. Its judgment day has come and I am just an unwilling passenger. It kneels before its god. The sword is raised. My will is no match for its will; no match for his will!
It speaks its god's name and I cringe:
(Co-Authored by Tim T.)