Marches Naturelles – Microfiction

A Stranger takes a journey of a lifetime.

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Marches Naturelles

“We can take you sir.  Although the passage will not be easy”, the man said across the tavern table.

Melvin was poised now and listening.  Part of his mind tracing how he arrived here on the frontier with his brother.  If only he could see him again; hold him close as when they trekked in the vales of Berkeley on a distant shore, in a distant time.

The three men left the tavern together, leaving behind the rising songs and ribaldry of the others.  Alone now, men against the landscape with everything they needed in the canoe.  Melvin, a lawyer, had drawn up the contract – he had paid the men for passage there and back in safety.

In the evenings they told stories of their lives and things they believed to be true.  His guides told of the “Chasse Galerie”, the bewitched canoe that flew its occupants home through the night.  In the glow of the fire the men huddled against the cold.

They arrived at the place after six days out.  They climbed a ridge, a series of limestone steps overlooking the rush of the river.  The sound and fury of the place and the smell of the spray filling their senses.

Melvin said, “I know this place.”  In that moment he held his brother closer than he had done in some time.

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