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Photo owned and copyrighted by Katie Johnson. Photo credit: https://katierenejohnson.com/

Herald rubbed his aching knees and sighed as he stared up at the bridge. He was getting too old to be going on adventures like this. And what would his nurse say when she found him? Well, he would certainly get an earful, he was sure.

But this was worth it. Wasn’t it?

He hobbled over to the railing, admiring the wires that crisscrossed over his head and marveled at the creative genious it took to come up with these designs. At the time, the idea of a bridge like this was impossible. Those inventors were true heros. Herald smiled as a rising sense of wonder filled his chest.

He watched three balloons rise into the air. Somewhere, there was probably a kid upset and a parent trying to figure out how to mollify him. Herald grunted, irritated with the thought. Times had changed. As a kid, he’d seen challenges all around him.

Today, if a kid was challenged, all they had to do was cry and the world changed around him. What kind of world were they crafting?

What kind of world did I help craft? he asked himself. He was, as it were, an adult in this society. His hands had helped create the world around him. Maybe not this bridge. No. But he’d helped shape the people around him.

Like his daughter.

He put his hand to heart, his fingertips digging into his chest as he walked painfully to the railing overlooking the water. He felt the hurt running over him like a freight train. He’d helped shape his daughter, a woman who was so mean and spiteful that she made the world a dark place when she was around. He didn’t even really understand how he’d done it, either. He worked hard, he’d provided for her, shown her how to do things for herself.

But as a woman, she refused to do anything on her own and she shredded the souls of the people closest to her. And she was destroying her son, a boy Herald had tried to help.

And that’s how he’d ended up here. In this city of people where everyone was invisible.

He sighed and looked up at the cloudy, grey sky. Yes. He hoped this walk would be worth something. His soul was heavy. He needed just a shot of life, some spark of it.

He sighed and gripped the railing as tight as his gnarled fingers could. His fuse was spent.

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