"This way is the right way, the other way is the wrong way."
I could hear the voice echoing around me, I could suddenly see a smooth path before my feet. I even seemed to see an arrow in the sky, pointing to the right. But the road was open in front of me, while, on the right, was a hill whose top disappeared into the clouds.
"This way is the right way, the other way is the wrong way," the voice insisted.
But I was tired, and the hill was I-knew-not-how-high. Surely, if there were a town nearby, it would be somewhere along the road ahead of me, possibly behind those trees at the end of the lake, I reasoned, so I hesitated.
"He who hesitates is lost," said another voice, probably the one in my own head.
The smooth path in front of my feet shimmered for a moment, then disappeared. The arrow, which couldn't possibly have been real, disappeared also.
I continued along the road in the direction I'd been traveling all day. Exhausted, I slipped. Unable to regain my balance, I fell, and tumbled downhill toward the lake. As I felt the ice break under my weight, I heard the voice again.
"This way was the right way, your way was the wrong way."
As I felt the cold water closing around me, I looked up, and saw a castle appear as the clouds rose away from the top of the hill. Castles are built on hills to discourage newcomers.
Posted for Magpie Tales, hosted every week by Tess, who provides us with a picture and lets our imaginations do the rest. Thanks, Tess!
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