Care to walk with me? *shortstory*

quadraptor's picture
Inspired by the description of the deer totem, and based on an actual dream I had...


(Thanks again to Pega for the artwork)

"In meditation or day dream, go on a spiritual hike with the deer. See yourself walking in the woods with the deer leading you into amazing depths within your soul. Each step you and the deer take will lead you deeper into your spiritual knowing, and to limitless treasure within."

Chris came home from a long day of work. Finishing everything he needed to do for the night, he set his alarm clock for 6:00 and rested his head. The week hadn't been the best, and at times he had been doubting himself and wondering who he was.

He recalled a conversation he had with a coworker, who was part Native American. "Your favorite animal is your totem - your spiritual guide in life.", he said. Chris closed his eyes. He already thought of his favorite animal...someone in particular...

He opened his eyes and sat up. He wasn't in his bed but rather was laying on a path in the woods. He sat up and looked around - it seemed very real, maybe he slept walked outside.

He began to walk the path, hoping he would end up somewhere he knew, but the deeper he went, the more lost he was becoming. He finally decided to call out, and see if anyone would respond. "Hello? Anyone here?", he called.

Nearby, he heard something rustle. He took a step back as a figure appeared before him. "...Quad?", Chris asked.

There stood the stag Chris had created from The Endless Forest, in the flesh and fur. His dark blue and white fur shone a little in the rays of sunlight that penetrated the canopy. His great red antlers caught some of the light as well - he had to maneuver them between the trees as he stepped forward. His brown deer-snout mask hid the human-shaped face beneath, and two brown eyes stared out from behind. The man was a startled to see the deer before him. Quad smiled when he spotted the human there, "Hello, Chris.", he spoke, "Care to walk with me?"

Chris cleared his throat, "Uhh...sure.", he replied. The stag looked down the path and then motioned for Chris to follow. The two walked down the path together. They went for a few moments before Quad asked him, "You seem kind of down. Anything you want to talk about?"

The human sighed, "Life's been tough lately. I feel trapped sometimes, and other times I feel completely worthless.", he admitted. The stag stopped and looked at him, "Oh don't think that, Chris. You have so much to live for, and you're certainly not worthless.", he replied.

"I guess...I don't know what I'm good at.", Chris said back. The stag smiled and nuzzled him, "One of your best qualities is generosity. You have such a kind heart, and it makes me proud that you look out for others when so many only worry about themselves.", Quad said, "I mean, you were afraid of needles, right? But you were brave and donated blood to help save people's lives. You overcame your fear and now are a regular donor. That's something even I think is very noble."

Chris nodded, "Yeah, that is true...but...", he began, but Quad interrupted him, "You also believe in things being fair, and you go out of your way to help those in need. You are an example of honor and kindness, and far beyond worthless!"

The stag continued to walk then, motioning Chris to follow. The man didn't say a word but continued on. He was slowly thinking about the things his deer guide said.

The two arrived at a small pond near the path, where there swam another animal. "Hello there, goose!", Quad said to the bird. The goose walked out of the pond, shaking his feathers before approaching the two. He was a Canadian variety, and staring up at them, he spoke, "Hello, may I walk with you two?" Quad nodded happily, and the trio continued to walk the path.

For a few moments, they walked in silence. Finally, the goose asked Chris, "What's on your mind?" The man thought once again, and then replied to the bird, "I guess I don't know where my life is leading me." The goose nodded, "There was a time when you were excited about your future. What has happened to that aspiration?" "That was when I thought things would be easier.", Chris replied.

"Listen. Nothing is easy. There was a time I flew with my own kind, and one of my close friends fell from the formation. I let the others fly off and went to his side.", the goose said, stopping and lowering his head for a moment, "His life left him that day, but he knew that was not the end of his story. I assured him that he had a good life, and that nature would treat him kindly. It wasn't easy, but it had to be done.", the goose said.

Chris lowered his head, "I wish I had that chance...", he began. "Tell us, Chris.", Quad assured him. "Well, I had a similar situation. A good friend of mine took his own life.", the man said. "Oh...", Quad frowned just a little, "I'm so sorry." Chris nodded, "It was about five years ago. I went to school one day in February and found out he had committed suicide. I wish I would have known...I wish I would have been there to talk him out of it."

The goose raised his head, "It's not your fault. There was nothing that could have been done...but you can always remember him and how great of a friend he was.", he said. "Do you have a keepsake of him?", Quad asked. "Yeah, he drew a picture of a knight. I keep it in a safe place.", Chris replied. The goose nodded, "Treasure that drawing. It will keep him in your heart." Chris smiled, "I will. I'll never forget Nick."

They went deeper into the woods, where they found an old bench. "Rest. You need it.", the goose said to Chris. He suddenly became very tired, and he sat on the bench. He took a breath and reached out to Quad, who stepped forward and nuzzled his arm. The deer then said something strange to him, "Don't be afraid." "Afraid of what?", Chris began when his blood froze - something latched onto the back of his leg and crawled around to the other side. A large wasp was there, its little legs walking down the human's leg and finally stopping on his shoe, where the insect began to clean itself.

"I...", Chris began, "I'm terrified of them.", he said, but Quad nuzzled his arm again, "I said don't be afraid." The wasp then looked to him and asked, "Your life is in disorder. You fear the future, you fear your potential." "Don't listen to it, Chris.", the goose stepped in, "You're not a coward."

Chris sighed, "It's right, actually. I don't know what I will become.", he said, "But I think Quad understands why it is here. As my coworker said, 'you have a light totem and a dark. The light is your favorite animal, and the dark is one you fear. You eventually have to learn a lesson from your dark totem.' The wasp wants to help, but I've refused its help."

"It's time to listen to it, then.", Quad said.

The wasp looked up to Chris. "It's time for you to step out of your shell. You know what you want to do with your life, but you don't allow yourself to reach that level. You need to work harder, and you need to make your own decisions.", it said. Looking over to the goose, it continued, "You've proven that you can decide things on your own already. That is the first step. Now, continue on the path, continue to work, never doubt yourself."

The wasp flew off of his shoe and hovered before him for one more moment, "Your life, your destiny is in your hands and not anyone else's. Never forget what you are here for. You are a son of nature, and we will be there to guide you along the way. Don't fear the future." At that moment, the insect flew off.

Chris stood as the wasp vanished into the trees. "Wise words.", Quad said to him. "Yeah...", he replied. "The path continues this way. It will be dawn soon.", the goose said. The trio kept going on the trail, their minds fixed on the new development.

Near the end of the trail, the goose stopped them. "I must depart.", he began, then turned to Chris, "Don't forget what you have been told today. You are a good person, and your life is just beginning. Don't make any mistakes." Chris smiled, "I won't, not anymore." The goose bowed its head to them, and then stretching its' wings, the bird flew off, breaching the canopy and calling out a farewell to them.

"Come, Chris. The end of the trail is here.", Quad said to him. The human nodded and followed the deer down the last few steps of the trail. They reached the last bit of the path, stepping out into an open plain, where the sunlight hit their eyes and glistened the strands of grass. There many beautiful creatures grazed and played - stags, does, fawns, and even other animals such as goats, pronghorns, and gazelles. Chris said, "It's beautiful. How did you know such a place was here?" Quad smiled, "It's always been here - such wonders take a guide to find." The stag continued, "Do you know what this plain represents?" The man shook his head. "It's you, Chris. This is your soul."

"My soul?", he asked. "Noone knows the extent of their soul until they are shown.", Quad explained to him, "Only a child of the earth would have a soul like this. Treasure it, Chris - this is who you will always be."

This touched the man so much that he said, "I love you, Quad..." The deer smiled happily, nuzzling him as he said, "NOW YOUR LOCAL FIFTEEN WEATHER. THE HIGH WILL BE IN THE MID-SEVENTIES..."

Chris opened his eyes and sat up in his room. The radio woke him up with the radio broadcast, and his dachshund stretched near him on the bed as she awoke as well. Chris rubbed his eyes and noticed something laying on his bed.

A little plush animal sat on the pillow next to him, a blue and white deer with a little brown mask. The button eyes seemed to stare at him in an almost loving manner. It was a handmade plush of his deer that a good friend made him.

Chris picked up the stuffed deer and smiled, "I love you, Quad.", he said.
Verycrazygirl's picture

Tracking. Lovely so far!

Lovely so far! Smiling

quadraptor's picture

I wrote a little bit more.

I wrote a little bit more. Trying to decide how I will end the story, so that's why I didn't finish it yet.
quadraptor's picture

I finished this story today

I finished this story today
Pegasicorn's picture

=] The radio interrupting


The radio interrupting amused me. |D
Ephra's picture

That's really touching.

That's really touching. Smiling Beautiful story, beautiful inspiration, and of course beautiful illustration, Pega!