Photo credit: Rablem22 at Flickr
Kawali squeezed into the palm’s meager shade, staring across the bright street at the door. It looked the same. More weathered, like himself. He tried to brush the road from his legs, but the dirt was a part of him now.
He had no idea if Azal still lived there.
How young had he been, to expect he could make his fortune so quickly? To promise her such success? To leave her laughing eyes, for even a day?
Failure is a tumble down a slow slope. A snagged foot becomes a stumble becomes a slide.
Kawali was returning with less than before, with nothing gained except scars.
Failure is a weakening of the will, a shaking of the knees, an aging of the heart. Each step not taken feeds the fear, until the feared-for result is inevitable, burned onto the soles of his feet.
What if she’d fallen ill, and he was not here to help? What if she’d gotten sick of waiting and married someone else?
Failure is a series of doors, entered for the wrong reasons, knocking where he didn’t belong. Locking him out, or locking him in.
Kawali pulled his sand-cowl over his face, and limped away.
Word count: 200. Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. Big thanks to Al Forbes for hosting, and to J. Hardy Carroll for providing the original photo prompt, below. Click on the link to read the other stories written for this challenge, or to add your own!
Photo © J. Hardy Carroll