Raining. It was raining.
He hardly noticed anymore.
The battered leather overcoat had once been fairly waterproof, but age and use and use and use had reduced it to nothing, and water soaked through like sound. He plodded onwards, heading into nowhere, across the wastes. He moved not so much forwards as away.
Mud caked the old trousers, the broken boots, the blistered feet inside. The rivulets of water running down his face ran into his open mouth, and he thought without thinking that he should swallow, and save what little water he carried for later. He stumbled, catching himself half-inches above the ground. The world was mud, and what wasn't was pain, and what wasn't was water and tiredness mixed into more mud, just like the stuff on his trousers.
He didn't know where he was going. He'd never known, not since he set out. He knew precisely, though, where he'd been.
The smell of woodsmoke drifted through the rain, suffering a thousand battle wounds from the piercing drops, but still there. He almost, almost woke up from the trance of one-foot-forward at that, lifting his eyes from the broken, muddy ground to stare blankly at the forest around him, not sure what he intended to see. Nothing, nothing, ever nothing, and he looked back down.
His pack was heavy, slung over one shoulder. It didn't hold much; a little food, a little water, a lot of rain. Two books, soaked through and useless. A needle, black thread. Nothing.
He thought, his mind fighting against the stupor, that he could hear children laughing—somewhere, elsewhere, probably only in his memories. There was little enough laughter there, maybe it could use a little more.
He stumbled again, as his exhausted feet lagged behind where his mind said they should be, and fell this time. He pushed himself back up, wiping the mud from the scarlet mark on his face with a sleeve so dirty it hardly made a difference before he plodded onward, upwards, away.
This isn't exactly finished, but I like this part. It's a lot shorter than most of my stuff, but hey.