Step of the Tides

Her foot crashed on the ground, as she stepped forward, the sand of her toes cracking reverberating through the air. She stepped again, her next pace equally as powerful. She sighed, weariness overcoming her. A daily task was this walk, and only two steps into the job had tired her. She was forever walking, and yet at the beginning of her task. Her foot size was unfathomable, beyond colossal, her stride spanning for infinite miles, yet she moved only inches at a time. She could retreat for days, she knew, conserve her strength and complete her task in seconds, but she favored the choice of endless hours of labor.

The sun beat down upon her as she raised her mighty feet. Its heat baked her as she made her way, slowing her pace. The heat of the sun seemed to bring her to a shuffle as she went on. It was like a Cyclops in the sky, glaring viciously, but she kept her gaze forward, her hopes of the cool night moon keeping her going.

The sun was not her only enemy. In her path lay innumerable obstacles. Big barriers, small annoyances, they all added to her burden of her travels. The enemies fought united against her, depleting her fragile reserves of strength. Large barriers jutted out from the path to block her, but she easily cut through them, easily bypassing her first challenge. The second obstacle swarmed over her path, leaving no openings to allow her through. She could not dodge it, for her mass dwarfed theirs. The second obstacle was strewn around her, combating her advance. And while her pace did not waver, the effort to counter the obstacle strained her. She had reached the apogee of her strength, and reasoned it was best to retreat. The obstacles beat her back, slowly stealing her rightful path. The invaders were pests. She had dealt with them many times, but they still managed to weaken her. And so she inched back to where they could only try to follow her.

Night would bring her better promises of reaching her goal. The pests would be gone, the sun would depart, and her friend, the moon, would watch over her. This she though t of as the day ticked by and the sun lowered itself in the sky. She retreated to the beginning of the path, leaving with light steps to conserve her energy. Tiredly, she glanced behind her, seeing the sun retreating in the opposite direction. Her ally the moon rested on the edge of the horizon, a blue translucent sphere in the sky. It watched from afar, omniscient of her destiny and all obstacles on the path. She rested, waiting for the darkness to come.

Like a flicked switch, night came. Distantly she saw the pests almost trickle away, leaving the path clear. And as the black sky locked itself into place, she set off onto her task. Progressing at her former rate, she began to climb up the path. Up and over the firm ground she accelerated, her steps at full strength once more. Her feet smoothly glided over the territory.

An unforeseen obstacle struck her. The smooth firm ground had allowed her an easy journey, but now the path’s substance had turned to a soft and shifting state. She was so close to her goal, she saw, but this new handicap set her so much further away. Her strength was nearly gone, and so she collapsed onto her path. No longer able to walk, she set herself on a crawl towards the end. Weakly she pulled herself forward, desperate to complete her duty. The moon sat among the stars, patiently waiting for her to be finished.

If the moon can wait for me for this long, she thought, then I have the strength to finish. Now she was almost within reach. Only a few more tugs would bring her to the end, and then she would be finished. She was almost fading as she pulled herself once. Her tired body slid with her. She paused, only for a moment. Bracing herself, using every ounce of strength left, she jumped forward and landed on then endpath.
The soft dunes shivered as they felt her touch, cool and smooth. She swept her hand over them once more. Though collapsed, her body still shifted, a force greater than her own dragging her to the smiling moon far, far away.

And she, the ocean, began to slip towards low tide.


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