One step fades into another. How many miles I have covered is anyone's guess. This trail feels like a labyrinth.
Where it began and where it ends is an enigma wrapped in a conundrum. Every twist and turn leads me to yet another stretch that feels like a dead end. I feel the Minotaur breathing down my neck.
The fog is thick and suffocating. This doesn't help as my peripheral vision begins to fade, the latest victim of the stifling fatigue of countless miles. But, ignorance is bliss.
Not seeing what lies ahead is a gift. Yet another mile, yet another hill, and yet another death blow undoubtedly lies ahead. Leaden and lethargic, I take another step and another breath.
Overhead I see them circling. In the fog and haze of fatigue, they look like vultures. Impatient, they wait for my imminent collapse, my imminent failure, and ultimate demise.
They are just hawks. This bird of prey isn't seeking me. But, they remind me how close I am to the edge.
The tank has been empty for some time. The wheels barely turn over. It's become a game of inches.
If only I had inches to go. But, such is not my luck. There are too many inches in a mile to count and an inch already feels like a mile.
While hunger has not completely seized me yet, it makes its presence known. The desperate cry for fuel becomes louder with each step. It lurks in a dark corner impatiently waiting for the wheels to stop.
Blind instinct carries me forward yet another inch. The wind carries a scent that is vaguely familiar. It is a scent that suggests there is some faint hope of me finishing this. It is a scent that reminds me of home.
The fog begins to fade. The trail begins to end. The hunt is nearly over. My prey is close.
I segue into a walk that is more of a stagger. The closeted hunger takes over. The wait is over.
Coated with salt, caked in mud, and drenched in sweat, I labor through a few more slow steps. I lean over, close my eyes, and exhale.
My number is called and I slowly lift my head. Before me is that which will quiet the hunger. It will satiate. It will bring me back from the dead.
My prey has finally succumbed. It lies before me. It is a potent melange of grilled beef, melted cheese, caramelized onions, and bacon.
It is the finest meal I have ever had.
I run because I am a persistence hunter...