Ten Thousand Walks
A Legend Is Born
Chapter 1: The Realization
Many eons ago when time was still new, a curse of life was placed on a man; who was so full of pride and greed thought himself to be above God himself. He thought that everything that has ever gone wrong in his life was God trying to keep him down. He saw himself as the one that should rule the entire universe and he tried to do so going to war with the world to make it bow before him. However, In his thirst for power, he destroyed most of the world and turned what he didn’t destroy into a dying wasteland.
Even after destroying most of the world and dooming the rest of it, he still thought himself to be right. So on his deathbed he cursed God and all that was created with his last breath, but instead of dying God dealt him a curse worse than death. Forever trapping him in his dying body, but never to die, instead he had to rebuild the world, which he destroyed, then forever fix the mistakes of man while staying unseen. However, as interesting as his story is this isn’t it that one is for another time.
This story is about that poor soul’s first-born son, Daniel. He grew up like any other normal boy with nothing out of the ordinary, going to school and having friends, getting in trouble like normal boys. Soon he grew into a man of great character because of his father’s teachings. Intelligent and kind, always helping those around him, with a very reckless side, and a thirst for adventure, always exploring and seeking out new things to do and learn.
However, as he grew older time began to show him that he was not like everyone else. This was made obvious on his fiftieth birthday. When a party was thrown for him by his old classmates, which he hadn’t seen in years. As he walked into the room there was complete silence; as a man who looked as though he was turning twenty, walked into a room filled with people that looked as if they were his parents and grandparents. Everyone was shocked by what they were seeing, Daniel had not changed much since the last time they saw him. Which for some that was when they were still in school more than thirty-five years ago. As he looked around the room of what seem to be old forks he thought something was off.
Then he realized they weren’t the ones that were off, it was him. He realized that he was the one that was odd as his best friend from school walked up to him. “Wow, we all knew you were different, but man we didn’t think you were that different. Come on tell us your secret how do you stay looking so young?” His friend said to him laughing and pushing him more into the room with everyone else.
The party lasted a few hours, though it didn’t seem to long to Daniel, seeing that he was lost in thought the whole time. He had been so busy with his life exploring and learning that he never noticed the people around him aging and himself not aging the same. He didn’t even realize how long it had been since he left school and started his little quest for knowledge.
The only person he had seen since he was in school was his father, after leaving to go see the world his father would find him from time to time to visit him. However, he hadn’t seen anyone else from his childhood for more than 35 years. Which made this was a very odd birthday for him to say the least, making him think back over his life. He knew now that he was the one aging differently from everyone else, but why was it that his father was always the same just as he was. He left the party with this thought in mind, and he knew he had to find out the truth from his father. As he thought about this, he wandered in search of his father, he was going to ask him about what was going on. He knew one way or the other he was going to find out what made him so different from everyone else, and what his father was keeping from him his whole life.
He set out searching for his father like he had done many times before, This time as he searched, for his father it was much different, he couldn’t find him anywhere he looked, whereas before he would run into him all over the world without having to look at all. Nevertheless, he continued to look; year after year, he searched. He had to know what made him and his father different. What was special about them , and why they aged so slow in comparison to the rest of the world.
However, it wasn’t an easy search; he faced mortal danger the likes of which he had never encountered in all his years of exploring. It was as if the universe was trying to stop him from finding his father at any cost, danger was at every turn he made, and his search became more dangerous with each passing year. Bring him within inches of death time after time, but every time he would survive against all odds. For 150 years, he searched high and low for his father, loosing track of time and at times even forgetting who he was looking for, as he was caught up by the wonders of the world while searching.
The day before his 200th birthday came without him even realizing, he laid in the tall, soft grass of the valley he was crossing; lost in thought about the next day, and how it would be a great birthday gift to see his father, and ask him all the questions he had waited so long to ask him.
Even though he had been looking for his father for such a long time, he knew he had not even covered half of the world yet. Searching the world on foot for a person was a very time consuming task, and no matter how fast he tried to move it was never fast enough. He would always have to stop for some reason, rumors of his father being nearby, people who said they knew his location and helping those that were in danger. Making it seem as if his father was always one-step away from him just at the next city looking back at him hiding from his sight. Leaving a trail for him to follow endlessly around the world, making him feel like a kite on a string.
As his thoughts wandered, he began to think it was time for him to give up on his father and just think about himself. He would find the answers he wanted on his own or not at all, he didn’t care either way, he just wanted the endless search to be over with now. His eyes opened with the thought of going on with his life however he was pleased by what he saw.
He saw a figure above him and as the face came into focus, he saw his father’s face floating above him and he just started to laugh. “I must really be tired of searching if I’m starting to see things now.” He said as he continued to laugh. “Really, what are you seeing?” Replayed his father, Daniel jumped up to find his father was actually real and standing right before him.
“No this isn’t fair, this can’t be real, you can’t be real. After all this time it just can’t be happening like this.” Daniel said to his father, a bit annoyed, but his father just looked at him with a smile. “I thought you wanted to find me and have a chat with your dear old dad. So why are you upset now that I’m right here in front of you?” His father said as he helped him to his feet. “Really? I should be happy to see you when I’ve been searching for you for the last 150 years and you just happen to show up when I’m done searching for you.” Daniel said getting more annoyed as he spoke.
Though he was upset, he was still very happy to see his father after so long, but more importantly he had a lot of questions for him, but he wanted to catch up first. So they spent the rest of the afternoon and all of the night catching up. They shared all the new adventures they went on over the years they hadn’t seen each other. His father even told him how he stayed close by to him the whole time.
Turns out that he was always in the same city he was in. Just dropping clues as to where he wanted his son to go next. Moreover, the times his son was seriously injured, he would show up, dress, and clean the wounds without him knowing. Leaving him in the same place so he would think it was his own doing. The conviction made Daniel mad, but at the same time, it made him feel as though his search wasn’t a total waste of time seeing that his father was with him watching over him the whole time.
They talked and talked, catching up on all the things in their lives and what they were planning on doing over the next few years. Before they knew it, the sun was starting to peak its head over the horizon. Daniel’s father looked at him and gestured for him to follow him as they walked out of the valley they were in the night before. His father’s expression changed from a fun mood to a serious mood, he was about to tell him something very important.
What happened next caught Daniel completely off guard. “My son, you are now 200 years old and by now I would assume that you have figured out that you age much slower than everyone around you and for some reason you survive a lot more than a normal human would.” Said Carlton to Daniel, who was left speechless by what his father had just said. It was as if he took the words right out of his mind; after a few seconds of speechlessness, he spoke. “Yes, I have noticed that it was the reason I started searching for you, and it’s the reason I kept searching for so long, I need to know why I am like this. I need to know what makes me so different from everyone else.” Daniel Said.
Carlton smiled at his son, and then he turned his face to the sun as it slowly and lazily lifted itself higher into the sky, almost as if it didn’t want to be climbing into the skies. “Well, as I watched you at your birthday party I realized that you were starting to feel different from everyone else. I knew then that you needed to know the truth about what you are, but I didn’t just want to go out and tell you everything and you don’t believe me. So, I headed off right in front of you making sure to stay just a step in front of you, also making sure you followed the path I set for you. Then I made sure to keep pushing you past your limits as much as I could without having you think I was the one setting you up.”
Carlton slowly walked to the center of the valley as if searching for something; his son followed close behind him expecting something to answer his questions. Carlton stopped and bent down to one knee, then he started to move his hands through the grass looking for something. Daniel looked at him, wondering what he was looking for; he didn’t see anything in the valley the many times he passed it looking for his father.
Click. A sound came from under the grass. “There it is, let’s finish talking inside. I know you may not remember playing in my lab when you were just a little boy after all it was so long ago.” Carlton said as he stood to his feet. The ground under them began to move apart, opening up to a stairway that led down into a dark room.
Carlton stepped down first. His feet touched the first step, and the room light up. Daniel followed after his father down into the lab, as he looked around, he could remember playing around the tables and with the odd devices that were on the tables. His father looked back with a smile on his face. “You remember now don’t you, I haven’t been to this one since the last time we were both in here. That’s why I brought you to this lab instead of any of the others, it’s the last place we were both truly ourselves.” Said Carlton as he walked over to one of the desks in the lab.
“Come, my boy sit with me and I’ll explain everything to you.” Said Carlton to Daniel as he sat in a nearby chair, gesturing for Danielle to sit in the chair across from him. Daniel sat in the chair that was across from his father and looked around. As he sat, he thought back to his childhood and the times he spent in the lab, but for some reason he didn’t remember the lab being so huge. He couldn’t even see the walls as he looked around. He did however remember where he was sitting. He would sit at this table while having lunch whenever he came to work with his father.
Carlton leaned back in the chair and relaxed, he closed his eyes and with a smile began to speak. “50,000 years ago I was a well known and brilliant scientist; I worked hard day and night on my greatest invention. It took me years, but I did it and I was proud of it, so much so in fact that I tried to use it to take over the world. However, in my arrogance, I almost destroyed the earth, and all life on this planet.
Luckily, my plans failed and I was left sick and dying, yet still I didn’t admit that I was at fault. Even in my mind I still felt as if it was my right to be ruler and I did nothing wrong. Because of this, I cursed God on my deathbed. I blamed God for all I had done wrong, and for all the destruction, pain, and sickness. I had caused.
Then I took my last breath, only to have it and my soul pushed right back into my body. Then cursed with never-ending life by God as punishment for what I had done. Which at first thought made me feel like I was the one doing the punishing, I felt as if I was making God give me never ending life. However, the truth about the curse was felt as my pain grew. I was in a body that would never die, but would still age and get sick, and if that wasn’t enough, I had to undo the damage I had done to the earth or grow even sicker.”
Daniel only looked on at his father wondering why he was not told about all of this much earlier. “I know you must be wondering right about now why I have never told you about the curse. It’s just that I wanted you to be old enough to understand how lonely it is to have everything you care about fade all around you. That and I had to be absolutely sure you were cursed as I was before I told you about it. Once I was sure I came up with this long trip in order to prove everything I am telling you now, after all being told You will live forever and nothing will ever be able to kill you isn’t easy to believe.”
Daniel jumped up from the chair. “Oh wow so that’s why I age so slowly and why I can survive all hell breaking loose. I knew I was different I just knew it, but I would have never guessed that I was immortal this is awesome!” Daniel said with excitement, as his father sat across from him calmly smiling. Carlton realized that his son did not fully understand why this was a curse mainly because his son was much too young to understand, as he watched him celebrate the news. Even so, he knew it was still the best choise that he had told him now before he figured it out on his own. However, for now, it was his birthday and he was going to let him enjoy it as much as possible. After all, he would soon begin to hate them as time passed and each one reminded him of the life he had.
Once Daniel and his father finish talking they headed back up to the surface. The opening in the ground closed back as the two walked back into the valley. “Well, I know I just dropped a lot on you, but I must go. Seems as though I am needed elsewhere, Humans are so needy sometimes. Hope you enjoy the rest of your birthday, after all, you only turn 200 once.” Carlton said with a smile on his face as he walked off into the valley, and soon vanished from sight.
Daniel watched as his father faded in the distance, he didn’t really care where his father was going off to or what he meant by needy Humans. He was just too overwhelmed, and lost in the news he had just gotten, he felt like a completely new man in a completely new body.
Although he knew he was different before, and that nothing had really changed, he felt as if he was just given a completely new life. Nothing had changed yet somehow it felt as if everything had changed, that odd feeling of not fitting in, the feeling of being different his entire life, it all started to make sense now. As he continued to think about his new life, he started to walk out of the valley; his mind wondered about what his dad told him, and how his life was a cursed one.
Soon he was walking alongside a clear blue river. As he did, he turned and gazed into the flowing waters, he smiled at his reflection as he thought this could not possibly be a curse. This wasn’t a curse this was the greatest gift anyone had ever given or would ever give him. He could do anything and everything he had ever thought of doing no matter how dangerous it was or how long it would take him to do.
Daniel’s mind overflowed with possibilities, as the realization of never-ending life finally set in. His mind quickly filled up with all the things he wanted to do but never had time to do. However, now he had all the time in the universe to do everything and anything he could think of doing. He looked around, and then sat on the bank of the river, staring at his shimmering reflection. Knowing he could do all the things he had ever wanted to do made him very excited for his future. However, for the time being he just wanted to relax and enjoy the moment, before he set out on the journey of his new life.
Continues in Chapter 2
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