He streaked the rough hewn surface of his beard, he hadn’t shaved in a week. Revolutions of wilderness wash and wild temptation to go south, to the nether realms of the unknown rubbed like sandpaper against the surface of his brain. The pen of believable hopes and suppressed desires deposited their task in his lap and the enigma remained an enigma. Mystery upon mystery and secret upon dark secret, a symbol of life and the signifier of death, the cruciform was an ambiguous challenge.
He dusted off the bits of dried clay that clung to the stone tablet and traced his finger across the secret script. Blind in distinctions of history, the possibilities plagued his every waking moment and shapes in shadow played near the corners of his weary eyes. The evasive passage was a delirium of contradiction. The stone seemed to vibrate as he slowly unraveled the secret. “ A breath of life and never-ending eternity….” it had read.
He looked at his hands for a moment, unlined and youthful as they had been for one hundred and twenty years. It had been that long he realized with a touch of nostalgia. The secret had been revealed to him years ago, the enigma in stone, he thanked the gods.
Sipping at his cold black coffee he considered the bitter sweet sustenance and its wont for a palette, its desire for the dawn and its nascent beginning, the start of a new day.