It’s a vignette based on one of my favourite books, Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’.
Much of the book is written in an abbreviated third person style, with references to "the father" and "the son" or to "the man" and "the boy."
Realizing that they cannot survive the oncoming winter, the father takes his boy south, along desolate roads, towards the sea, carrying their meager possessions in their knapsacks.
The father struggles to protect his son from the constant threats of attack, exposure, and starvation. In the face of these obstacles, the man repeatedly reassures the boy that they are "the good guys" who are "carrying the fire". On their journey, the pair scrounge for food, evade roving bands, and contend with many horrors. An old man they discover on the road acts as seer for them and says that the boy has a glow about him – inferring that he is blessed. As the story moves forward the father feels he has to do things that are insensitive if not inhumane in order to keep his son safe. This progresses to the point where the reader is left with the impression that The Father is perhaps is no longer ‘carrying the fire’ but one can only sympathize with his situation as we ask ourselves, ‘How far would we go to keep the ones we love safe?’
Over the next few weeks I’ll be awarding a bunch of prizes and posting polls for Challengers Choice and People’s Choice. There will also be selections for Judge’s Choice and Sarah’s Choice. I just love giving out treats!
In closing, I want to thank all the participants for both their incredible enthusiasm and support for the event. It's folks like you that make the Challenge the good-natured fun that it is. We are not the Golden Daemon, nor are we the Crystal Brush. No, we are The Challenge and it stands quite unique and proud on its own. I doff my hat to you all.
With Warm Regards,