The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window.
Benjamin had neither seen the candle being lit nor was he inclined that evening to peer across the park.
He was more enthralled with the rubber molded ball, tracking it against the soft glowing stars above his bed.
The rhythmic thud dulls away in his mind as he fades back into earlier affairs.
Excelling had been associated with Benjamin's development in the creative sense, but school proved problematic.
Regarding the conceptualization of ideas, he enjoyed the larger picture over minute details.
On the other hand, his teachers deemed this rather objective view an authoritative challenge.
With reports scheduled out mid-semester, Benjamin knew that there would be consequences due to his 'mediocre' work.
"Look, Benji," his father disapprovingly said with a sigh, "school isn't easy for everyone, but it's important for your future."
"There needs to be more effort on your end...,".
Benjamin has listened to this many times before, and his attention loosely contracted and released.
After some mumbled acceptance that he would try better next semester and a mush of peas and potatoes he headed upstairs for the night.
He wanted to craft his future. To explore and develop a world that existed seemingly just beyond reach.
Losing track of the arc, the ball thumps against his forehead and bounces across the room.
He blinks a couple of times, but the all too familiar frown bites his lip. A soft breeze rolls across his face while the gentle osculation of the curtains persuades him to investigate.
A moment passes. Then he recognizes a soft glow beyond the horizon. "What could this mean?" mused Benjamin.
Adventure waits for no one. This is precisely why, thirty minutes before bed, we see Benjamin climbing out onto the porch roof and climbing down the vine siding with a backpack and flashlight.
The rocket on his bag soars up towards the matching cap, bright and crisp with color.
Preparing for this excursion had not crossed his mind in the least. The call to explore was a natural reflex.
Yet here we see young Benji slowly proceeding through the park. He rubs the palm of his hand against the nape of his neck and whispers to himself, "should have brought a jacket...".
His teeth chattering overcast the rustling of leaves, and the park bellows shadows of doubt against the dense foliage along the path.
For now the light he holds casts away these lurking beasts and diminishes them to their true form. But, the forest offers no respite from thoughts of what could be and what is.
Instead, he remains silent as he continues to wander down the only path he knows. Gnawing bones grow heavy under his strut. He continues forward even though exhaustion finds rest within his contour.
He knew that these days would come. That there would be obstacles along the way. Challenges, he thinks, make us stronger.
They build us up, and the only thing left to do is to tighten our bootstraps. Benjamin hears the reassuring voice of his father in this thought.
It was enough to bring him to the clearing on the opposing side of the park. While the park held the noise of many nights, not a single rustle more was made.
The cabin was an unassuming ranch-style living space. It suited the service requested of it by the single owner.
Benjamin didn't think much of it himself. He had come from a home of love and support with directed guidance and encouragement to this tiny abode beyond the cul de sac.
Light still flowed from the second-story window, but nothing else had been noted. A crinkle of his brow and a slight still in movement echoed the candle.
He stood there listening to the wind and had proceeded only when encouraged by the chilling breeze.
For a house that had been abandoned well before his childhood had come to fruition, it held the weight of previous generations well.
The walls were worn with occasional markings, a floorboard ajar, and a whistling breeze ever-present.
Furniture was strewn across the room, but lain out to invite a goodbye rather than a conversation.
Sheets covered the couches and a bag had hung from the solitary lamp stationed at the center of the room.
Poking between the shelves and skimming across the tables illuminated small works of art.
Brush stroke after stroke visible on the tiny canvases as colors dulled into one another. The signature not visible after years of waiting.
The strum of the clock bellowed throughout the expanse. Time proceeded like this many nights while Benjamin resolved himself to continue.
Atop the stairs was a single hallway, stretching beyond his realization. Doors aligned on both sides. What could these hold, Benjamin wondered?
Click. Click. Click. The sound echoed across the torn and tattered figures dancing across the wall. The light flickered, and dimmed.
This feverous noise continued as he slyly rolled across the bare floorboards. Against the door, Benjamin can only hear the thump of his heart within his ears.
He slowly creaks open the door as the tut-ing becomes more pronounced. Clicking away at the machine was an elderly man. He mumbled and typed, having never shifted his gaze away from his work.
Benjamin shuffled across the floor and began his encirclement of the desk. Papers crunching against the soles of his shoes. Every sentence crossed, word replaced, and line shifted held the weight of worlds.
He arches his glaze to the simple desk—an abode of comfort for those with the patience to clamor against the night and find new grounds.
He casts his eyes against the typewriter. Curled fingers rhythmically dance across the instrument, and a small ding of excitement at every new sentence.
Intrigued by the deliberate crafting, Benjamin stood, wondering if the spotted fingers would hold enough vigor to spring back after each eternal press.
Continuing to move in front of this figure, Benjamin can only hear the increasing ferocity of typing as if the man was compelled to an unseen destination.
Hunched over, the figure holds darkness within his breath. Only a slight whisper ambles across the room. "Only the best."
The light that guided Benjamin here had died. With a thump, the flashlight struck the boards beneath his feet.
Benjamin arches his heels and firmly grasps the edge of the desk. He pulls himself up enough to peer across the surface.
The small light grants a glimmer of vison. More papers sprawl against books, pens lay askew, and a small picture frame faces towards the man.
A cap sits upon the table. Worn from use, Benji is only faintly able to make out the ringed structure ironed against the cloth.
Shifting his gaze, Benjamin traces a line from the cap to the face of the man. Galaxies peer out against him.
The room has become still. Time stopped.
Benjamin yelps as the realization struck him. The man sitting behind the typewriter was himself.