The hooded figure sits by the water, staring off into space, lost in thought.

Intrigued, the graying hermit hobbles closer, using his walking staff as a guide, he's seen the still figure from a distance, a solitary being so preoccupied, so aloof and wondered what brought it into such harsh lands. As he moves closer, the figure slowly hunches forward, wraps its arms around its knees, resting its head on top.

He ventures a hesitant, "Are you alright, my child?"

The figure goes still, barely breathing, it turns and looks at him. Through obsidian eyes that glitter with tears and a voice wizened with years, it whispers, "No, but that is no concern of yours. Pain is something that we do not seek yet it comes to us either through our own actions or through circumstances. It hits us and reveals our vulnerabilities. It humbles and humanizes."

The figure turns back, retreating into itself.

The hermit nods, for pain is an old friend, it ravages his body, eats at his mind and yet, also comforts.

He places a sympathetic, gnarled hand on the figure's head.

"Then, my child, it is time to let go. For pain can only be embraced for a short while, and cannot be left to stay.
All we can do is breathe it in, let it flow through us completely, embrace it and then set it free."

The figure nods once, shudders and fades away. The hermit sighs, turns and slowly hobbles away, knowing that pain is never truly far away.

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Ever prodded a sleeping dragon, only to have it whip up and bite you in the ass? Well, neither have I. But I advocate that you should try everything...once ;P


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