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The Never-ending Search -- Flash Fiction 200222

The Fiction Writers Group on Facebook posts a visual prompt every week for flash fiction (<=300 words). This week's prompt is:

My response is an even shorter than necessary -- it just seemed right.

The Never-ending Search, 233 words, YA-ish

The Never-ending Search

Nolan paused to cinch up the laces of his boots and the straps of his pack. Inhaling deeply the cold air sliding down the flanks of the mountains, he closed his eyes and reveled in the sweet smell of the heather lining the path. Some called him a fool for setting out this late in summer, when the snows were already covering the rocky peaks and dusting the high meadows. But when the wanderlust set upon him, he had no choice but to pick up and move.

He was not running from anything or anyone in particular. In fact, he rarely stayed in one place long enough to make either friends or enemies. Rather, it was his own need to be somewhere else, to be someone else, that drove him. The long days and cold nights spent on the trail to ‘somewhere’ did little, though, to quell the compulsion to be ‘someone’.

He was not seeking enlightenment, nor life’s meaning, nor any secret knowledge. He simply sought freedom. Freedom to walk where he wished. To talk to those who interested him. To dream of the future. To love.

Perhaps it was being orphaned so young, or having his heart broken and his spirit crushed again and again that made him wander. None of that mattered. All he knew was that it was time. Time to walk. Time to search. Time to find himself.

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