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(a story of her)
The Distant Future
she is capable. she discovers her own strength. she lives at the watermill, gathering water in a wooden pail. she is not the miller's daughter. she is not of this country. her bare feet touch grass as she walks to the riverbank. there are little yellow butterflies.
she is sick with sadness.
another is a man who comes from a distant time. he has lived a long time but he is not old. his face is as chiseled stone and his eyes are dead white. his memories of a different world haunt him. she will encounter this man during a time of upheaval. there will be uncertainty.
he does not believe in the gods of her people.
in the next part of the story they are together. they have a quest they must fulfill. there are adversaries at every side who try to thwart them. It is dangerous. It seems impossible. Why are they on such a quest? something great is at stake. she believes that it is something greater than themselves. he believes in nothing. only the quest sustains him.
of course there must be a sacrifice. there can be no meaningful triumph without an accompanying great loss. he will die. he will perish so that she might live to fulfill the quest. she will wonder if he ever believed in anything, if he came to believe in some greater purpose in his final hour. he didn't.
of course there must be doubt. she must question her purpose and almost relinquish. enemies will confuse her and discourage her and she will believe their words. she will abandon the quest. she will stop cherishing delusions.
but his sacrifice will inspire her at last. in her final moments of doubt she will think of it. and in so doing conclude that she must continue, though not for her sake and not for his, but for the sake of an idea.
of course she must fail. she will be defeated at last by adversaries that had always been too powerful for her to vanquish.
of course she must, in the end, triumph. the initial defeat only serves to steel her resolve. she is unconquerable. her will is idominatable. she strikes down her foes and faces her final adversary.
of course that adversary must be herself. this is usually done with some kind of metaphor. such as a mirror or a strange doppleganger. but in this story there is no visage. her final adversary is simply the doubt and fear of failure that holds her back. she must learn an important lesson. there must be a moral to the story. the moral must be uplifting, even if the ending is not.
the ending is not uplifting.
she survives but remains a broken and crippled shell of her former self. she returns to the water mill and her bare feet touch the grass. she sees the wooden pail upturned on the porch and picks it up to gather water.
there are little yellow butterflies.


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