He inched along, one step followed by another. Hurry was impossible and determinably uncharacteristic.

Creeping further, a foot at a time, the moon tumbled above. Down here near the earth, the leaves parted or blocked the pale silver light for as long as they sloped overhead. They shifted and moved and broke up the landscape.

Yards passed, and hours, pads of feet falling without sound or thunderously, depending on the listener. Signposts and markers had no place, no function, no significance.

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As the blanket of black and the restless sounds of the wood both faded, he slowed and stopped and slept. Heat implored hiding from the busy rustling of the sun-cheered mirror shift, active and clattering in its own dissimilar mechanisms. How this bright collection of hours held in it a static enigma, a hot pause in progress and a risk of damning discovery.

Then: cooling, waking, rising, proceeding. He moved, ever forward, miles holding hands with nights. One inch, one step, one moment and then one acre, one journey, one lifetime until at last it was night and sleep and nothing more.