the wordsmith

He was an exceptional storyteller and he loved telling them to her. He could pick the mundane little pieces of everyday life and spin golden webs of tales, mysterious, magical, and mirthful. He would talk of mammoth white monsters that killed for pineapple pastries and of little pixies that lived on lotus leaves. He could recite the life of old man as if it were his own, and could relate the nightmares of a tiny tot like he dreamt them himself. He talked, and she listened. This was the relationship they shared.

the wordsmith

teller of tales

Every morning she rose with the first call of the rooster, washed her face, brushed her hair, and slipped on her flat shoes that were noiseless even on the pebbles outside. She slipped out of the back door and quietly made her way to the orange grove.  He would be waiting at the edge of the grove, his lips curled in a happy smile and his eyes twinkling with joy. She always ran the last few steps to get to him faster, sooner.

Hand in hand they walked through the deep orange grove until they reached the lazy river. She would take off her flat shoes and dip her feet in the cool water. He would sit beside her, and tell her about the shooting stars and the nine-thousand years old genie in a bottle. She would listen with rapt attention, eyes opening wide every time his voice reached a higher note. When the story grew bluer, her eyes would well up and she would refuse to speak for the fear of hearing her cracked voice. He would laugh out loud when he would see her struggling to hide her tears, and this would make her giggle as well. As the sun came up, they would get up and walk back into the grove and then part ways at the edge.

This was a happy beginning of her day but as soon as she reached home, she would feel the hunger for more amusing stories, more delightful words. So, she would go about her day looking forward to tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow morning was always joyous until today.

She had reached the orange grove at the crack of dawn and for the first time she was there before him. This thrilled her to no end, for he forever joked about being the one who waited. She stood there thinking of various quips she could use today and the time passed. Soon other people appeared on the otherwise deserted street. She looked at the sky, and the sun was already there, all plump and dazzling. She decided to walk into the grove and wait for some more time, but ultimately had to walk back home when the tenants started to walk in with their tools. As she walked home, her heart felt heavy with an emotion she could not articulate. Was she saddened, was she livid, was she disheartened? She was uncertain.

The afternoon was very cool today. As she lay on the ground next to her mother, she could smell the jasmine flowers from the bush in the backyard. She decided that she must keep her hope up and go to the grove again next morning. She felt sure that he would come back, for he had promised forever to her. But then again, had he promised her anything at all? For he was a teller of tales, his sweet words were not to be believed. He spoke of desires, of optimism, of fondness but he never spoke of tomorrow. He always spoke of forever.

And that is how her wait began. A wait that would go on, forever.


3 Responses to “the wordsmith”

  1. Beautiful, beautiful tale. So inspiring & magical.
    I’m glad I checked NaBloWRiMo feed today. 🙂

  2. Beautifully written this!

  3. Loved this one. LOVED IT.

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