At the Overlook
Panting, Eric reached the overlook. He sat down on a rock and contemplated the scenery. Below him, the lake shimmered like diamonds dancing in a smooth mirror. Purple mountains touched the azure sky, while the forest that surrounded the lake vibrated with life. This was his childhood, and his heart filled with happiness and remembrance of those innocent days. The rocks emanated the afternoon heat, but a soft rumble of thunder announced an oncoming storm. Eric gazed around him and noticed the black clouds racing across the horizon, darkening the world in their wake. He must hurry, because storms were best enjoyed through the windows near the cozy fireplace of his home.
He started down the path at a brisk yet cautious speed; an injury would be his undoing. The estate was vast, and it could be several days before someone found him. Wheezing, Eric soon felt a pang of pain in his side. He was out of shape because of the long sojourn in the city, where hiking was impossible. Eric took a deep breath, wiped the sweat from his forehead with his sleeve, and continued. When he reached the lakefront, the water was now angry and dark and the gunmetal clouds hovered over the lake. He paused, placing his hands on his knees and waiting for his breath to settle.
Erik rubbed his back and shook out his legs, and in doing so, kicked something, which glinted as it flew into a bush by the wayside. Curious, Eric searched the tangle of roots and leaves and pulled out a metal goblet, tarnished and embossed with a simple design. A cool breeze whispered, ululating tragedy and despair, and dampened his heart with portent. It blew into the forest, and in the distance, Eric saw a woman shimmering in a pallid beam among the dense trees. Eric placed the goblet in his jacket pocket and followed the rustling leaves until he came upon a hermitage; a small stone chapel, overgrown with moss and winding plants, and devoured by the thick forest. He saw no trace of the woman. Lightning flashed through the patch of sky above him, humid darkness surrounded him, and thunder clapped, trumpeting the storm’s arrival. Certain he could find the hermitage again, Eric darted home while the wind whooshed with the sorrowful wail of a woman.