Little Strokes

Another scene from Keenan’s story, this time inspired by a word prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth (epigram).  I used an epigram from Benjamin Franklin as a stepping off point for the story.


“There’s just no way,” Hollis said, his voice strained.  He shook his head firmly as he and Keenan moved through the tunnel.  “Even if you can make it out of here, you will have to find a way to pass through his forest unnoticed.”

Keenan chewed at his lip thoughtful.  “One thing at a time, my friend,” he said, his voice soft.  He glanced over at his companion.  “Focus on getting from here to there unnoticed,” he added, pointing to the door that led out of the specific tunnel they were walking through.  “Looking at the whole problem is daunting, but if you break it down piece by piece, it’s a lot less worrisome.”

As they reached the door, he smiled.  “See,” he said, “one piece of the puzzle is done.  Now, on to the next.”  He eased the door opened and peered into the corridor beyond.  Seeing no one, he beckoned to Hollis and slipped out into the open.

Hollis eased the door closed in their wake and followed closely beside Keenan.  “Where do you get this… confidence from?” he breathed.

“Little strokes, fell great oaks, a wise man once said,” Keenan murmured back.  He shook his head.  “You can’t expect to chop down a giant tree with one swing of an axe, but, if you take it a bit at a time…” he trailed off.

Nodding, Hollis paused while Keenan listened at the entrance to the next passage.  As they passed that obstacle, Hollis realized that Keenan was right.  It was all in how you looked at the problem.  He couldn’t look at it as escaping the forest.  He had to see it as getting from one point to the next.  That made it far less disheartening.

In a faint voice, he said, “You may just manage it.”

Keenan gave him a playful wink.  “That’s the spirit, Hollis,” he said, nodding in approval.


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