(A multi-part fictionalized account of the truth)
Anticipation coiled around Jason's neck. With each step, he slowed a bit more. The knowledge he was going bump into something blindly was building like a palpable force in front of him. His hand trembled with the desire to pull back. If it didn't come soon, he was going to have to--
His fingers stubbed against stone.
Lichen-covered stone. Rough and cool. Jason rested his hand on the top of the old retaining wall. It stood barely more than waist height. He filled his chest with a huge, full breath, then tried to exhale his uneasiness.
Walking his fingers over the shelf, Jason inched along. The soles of his shoes rasped against flakes of stone and eroded mortar. Then, he felt the structure branch outward into the open air. He had arrived.
Jason planted two secure handholds, then hoisted himself up. The forest, listening to Jason's progress, heard the scrape of his jeans as he cleared the top and stood. Then, silently, Jason eased out onto the spur, where a swath of wall swept from the roadway and soared over the falling mountainside below. Around him, the night settled, and silence returned.
At one time, the buttress helped to hold the road bed, but Jason's eyes saw only a narrow walkway to a secret, protected place--a small stone platform hovering in the emptiness. In truth, the height was uncomfortable, even dangerous. But in the dark, the edge of stone felt as cataclysmic as the teetering end of the Earth itself.
On to the Final Part
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