The old man woke early, as usual. He slowly pulled his heavy frame out of bed and stood upright. He sighed.
Spring was beginning to give way to Summer, he could feel the warmth in the morning air. Work, his life's work, would begin again as well.
He lumbered across the shack he called home. The place was disgusting, but it had always been so. He paid no mind to such things and wasn't about to start this late in the game.
Out the door he went, unsure whether the creaking sound came from the rotting wood or from his weary bones, and not caring.
He stood silent, listening, inhaling and feeling the air. His work wasn't really work, in the basic sense. It was more who he was, why he was. It was instinct. It was his life.
They were coming, and he needed to prepare. Yet, for the first time his simple mind could recall, the journey was daunting. His legs felt huge and heavy. He looked off, past the trees. So far away.
He wanted to be the man his mother always said he was, to live up to her expectations. But he was tired.
The work never ended. No matter how much of himself he put into it, there was always more. More people, more work, more exhaustion.
He plodded, dragging his feet through leaves, slowly making his way forward. It was all he knew.
In his simple way, he thought about how easy it had all become. He had been successful in his work, year after year after year. No one had bested him for so long, he had nearly forgotten what it was like to lose.
Loss. The thought ignited a spark in his small brain.
When he was younger, he had lost, occasionally. Had been out-smarted or out-witted by a few. And the defeats had been tough, demeaning.
But, when he returned from those losses, he always came back stronger, better.
As he ambled up and over the small hill towards the campground, his mother's voice once again rose in his mind: "My special, special boy. You have a gift."
He knew, as much as he knew anything, that what he needed now was not to succeed, but to fail.
It would be painful and he hated the thought of letting them win. But, inevitably, he would be back. Stronger, healthier.
The old man he had become would be gone. Jason Voorhees would rise again.
I was quite stumped by Theme Thursday this week, until I thought of "over the hill" being sort of the opposite of a previous topic, "beginning". The idea of doing a companion piece for my post on that topic was born.
Check out the other TT participants here.