The bridge seemed to go on forever. Don walked for what he thought must have been half an hour. He looked back, unable to see through the mist to the forgotten hollow where George was running FutureSim Labs. No use looking back, he told himself. Stay in the moment. Ahead, the bridge still rose upward in a gentle incline. He continued on, meeting no one or thing with only the occasional sound of a bird high over head, until he realized the bridge was now sloping downward. In the distance, Don could see land through the low clouds. He hastened his steps and soon reached a sandy shore.
When Don turned back, he could only see water and the bridge’s disappearing into a thick fog only a few steps away. He’d made it. Now to continue with his mission.Don hiked up the path that led away from the beach and the gently lapping waves. As he climbed, the dry grass rustled in the sea breeze and butterflies flitted in the sunshine. The sun was less intense than in Oasis Springs, the wind gentle, and Don felt a sense of peace in this undisturbed land. There were no footsteps on the path, no sign of anyone. Never before had Don been so utterly alone for so long. He didn’t mind, which surprised him.He continued walking until he came to what appeared to be ruins. The sun was high overhead, and he was beginning to feel fatigued. And hungry. He paused, looking around in this serene place, there were several grassy paths from which to choose. Don decided to follow the ruined walls; perhaps that would lead him to civilization.Don’s plan seemed to have been sound, for after only a short while, the ruins came to an end and Don saw a low stone wall — and a house. He cautiously approached. The gate swung open and Don walked into what looked like a farm. People lived here; it was obvious from the smoke rising from the chimney and the well-tended garden.No one seemed about, so Don peered through the window. He saw someone inside and knocked on the door. “Just a minute,” called a voice. “Emery, get the door! Someone has crossed the Bridge to Nowhere!”