There he was. Sitting like nothing had happened. Like the past few days had meant nothing. How could a man go through so much and react so little?
The trees of the cemetery were bristling with an energy that wasn’t their own. She glanced once more over at him, simply to see if any new movement was detectable, nothing.
Why he was still wearing that awful piece was beyond her. She took a quick look around at the stones and the names upon them. Men and women and children all long forgotten and yet still fighting to be recognized among the masses that once filled the surrounding town.
The grave markers stood strongly and defiantly in the midst of nature’s grasp, standing together as one; one message and many voices.
“Come look at this one!” he said. “See how the chisel cut away what wasn’t wanted?”
“Take that thing off so I can at least pretend to understand what you’re saying.” She said.
He lifted the mask and revealed his true identity for all to see. But no one but her was there to cringe at the site. She tried not to look. Her eyes focused on the stone before her.
“This is where the future will ponder the past.” He said.
Of all the markers to focus on he rightfully always chose this one. It meant the most. It stirred his thoughts. It scared him enough never to forget.
Sliding his contraption back on, he led me out of the graveyard that rested in the middle of an abandoned society. The people had left long ago. As we walked the empty street covered in browning leaves and patches of dying grass, the sky loomed close to the ground. The clouds were hovering like a tattered blanket.
The shop fronts were frozen in time by dust and debris.
“Where are you taking me this time?” she asked.
“To show you what is unimportant, what is distinctly useless,” he said.
His true identity wasn’t immediately recognized when he had come to her a few days ago, but now what he is was becoming more and more evident to her. At first, she had fought off the idea because she wasn’t one to believe in such purposes. However, as the days passed and the sights had come and gone, she couldn’t help but begin to at least entertain the thought.
Her memory was short, going back to only a few hours before he had shown up. This certainly bothered her, but she could come up with no rational explanation.
He led her out of town and down a crumbling road pointing here and there and commenting about the state of what was left to be seen in no particular tone of voice that hinted at any meaning at all at what he chose to narrate on.
The trip was going on for what seemed like days, but the sun never set, which made it hard to determine how much time had passed. A moonlit night tugged on her imagination as one might squint to see a distant figure just out of focus. She mostly kept her gaze at his flowing movement. Trying to place all he was saying into some semblance of a comfortable context.
“Stop!” he said. “What are you thinking at this very moment?”
Shuffling to a standstill, she said, “That no matter how far you take me, I can’t help but feel that I’m getting closer, but to what I still haven’t figured out.”
He just turned his head and continued on.
Our walk finally came to an end at the edge of the stone wall that reached out in both directions until the stones reached the horizon on either side.
“Here, I must leave you.” He said.
“Why have you led me here?” she asked.
Taking off his mask once again, he came close to her and whispered into her ear. Once what was to be said was said, he vanished.
Stunned, she stood stiffly with confusion. Quickly snapping back, she kneeled and started to draw a figure in the dirt. What was this to be? Why was she to do it?
This was for certain, though; she knew where it was to be done and when it was to be completed. She turned her back to the wall and began her journey back to the dead stones. Making her way down the broken road remembering the sights he had pointed out before she reached the deserted town that was filled with empty storefronts and vacant houses and moved along the lonely street towards the cemetery.
Standing at the entrance, she once again knelt and outlined the object that was described to her. Lifting her hand and staring curiously at the figure scribbled in the loose dirt, a faint smile filled her lips. The triangular shape that rested before her was confusing and exciting.
“Build them a pyramid.” He had said.
She sounded out the last word and tried to give meaning to it.
She stood up and looked around at the standing stones, and if she was to finish in time, she had to get started.