“Are you lost?”

The voice came from behind him, but he didn’t want to turn around. In fact he was almost afraid to turn around, thinking that if he did then it would mean being redirected somehow and finally put where he was supposed to go. The voice sounded masculine in a way, but also kind of high to be completely male, carrying an almost androgynous sound that confused him for the moment.

“No,” was all he could reply with at that time as he kept walking, his footing upon the long, red-tinged road sure and steady as from behind him the voice came again.

“Perhaps you should turn and look at where you’ve come from,” the voice said in a conversational sort of way. It was the type of manner that said “you should really look” and created a horrible temptation in him to do just that. But being a he was this close to what he perceived as hell and likely would be sucked into the fire if he so much as gave in was enough to keep him walking forward. And obviously it was enough to keep the voice at his back from veering off as it came again.

“This is the road that leads you past that place,” he could imagine the figure, whoever it was, pointing off to the left, or the right, he couldn’t tell, perhaps to make him look out of curiosity. But he wasn’t having it. He wanted to go straight along this road, no matter where it took him, as the warmth radiating from either side of the road was far more temperate where he was now.

“Then I’m on the right road,” he replied, feeling his nerve strengthen just a bit as he kept moving.

“Are you?” the voice asked, the seductive tone pulling at his mind as it tried to insist that he needed to turn around, that this was not the direction he needed to go in, that he was destined for something else. But still he didn’t turn.

He had a good idea of what was off that way, and he didn’t feel like turning to see it.

(to be continued)

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