He struggled through the last section of the rock outcropping. He was sweating as though he had been hiking for days. Instead it had barely been one.
At the end of the boulder pathway, through the densest part of the woods, he could see the clearing. This was it. This was the clearing he could see from hundreds of feet below only hours earlier. It was this spot he had been striving for, an open place to see the valley below, the end of his journey.
As he pushed apart the trees, the young man stepped onto the ledge hanging over the world below. From this vantage point there was little doubt. It was true. The world he had known just twenty-four hours before, the people whom he had eaten supper with just three meals ago, everything that ever mattered to him was laid to waste beneath his feet.