A free serial story
by Siri Paulson
The city that Payut walked through was empty and not-empty at the same time. Its wide canals and narrow streets lay vacant, free of the chaotic bustle that flickered at the edges of his memory. The people had fled, driven away by the imbalance in the five elements that sickened the land. But he was not alone.
He would turn down a street where nothing moved, but the echo of large wings faded away ahead of him. Or he would catch motion out of the corner of his eye, but when he turned, only blank windows and closed doors met his gaze. Crossing a bridge over a canal, he saw something moving under the water, long and dark, bigger than the boat he had left at the city gate while getting past the guards. It paced him until he reached the far end of the bridge, then disappeared.
Remember the resolutions you made a month ago? How are you doing on them -- are you still going strong? Did they fizzle and die right away? Or are you somewhere in between, struggling along, weighed down by the cold and dark and sheer endlessness of January?
That last one is where I'm at right now.
My goals for this year have to do with making space -- clearing out physical, mental, and time-filling clutter so I can refocus on what's important to me. The very first step in that goal was to spend more time writing.
Instead, I'm spending less time writing and more time...renovating my house?
I'm doing a writing challenge that involves twice-weekly check-ins on my blog. If you read those posts, you might notice a lot of what sound like rationalizations or excuses. I'm busy with Real Life. I'm not writing a lot but it's quality over quantity. Renovations also relate to my goal of "making space".
But all of that is deliberate.
All my life, I've been held back by fear - fear of failure, fear of injury, fear of the unknown. When I thought about it, I realized that most of the circumstances in my life that I don't like are due to those fears.