April 23, 2008

The Bait.

The river creased like liquid glass through the plains and the forest, the sun dancing on its waves like an orchestra of gems. Reeds waved to the current and their leaves' tips dipped under the river surface like the hands of little children playing with the water. Joshua walked along the bank, by the reeds and the watergrass. The forest around him was whispering him a thousand secrets at a time, secrets of passion, poison, blood and gold, but Joshua did not care much; he was more attentive to its silence as it caressed the river's evenflow and the sound of the water blushing under the sun. His feet were unaware of all this, the sounds and the smell, the strange colors that ran through the world...but they were attentive, through the shoe, they could sense every grass shoot that went under, every shape of every leaf that they trampled. Like Argus, Joshua's entire being becomes eyes, perceptive and awake...like a rosefilter, beautifying everything...beautiful the world was, as beautiful as him.
A snake, black like the night sky, his scales gleaming under the afternoon sun - the stars; slid into the current and disappeared, as if it were a stream of ink. Joshua stopped and stared at which he was looking all along, he sensed the pull inside his stomach and sat down. He was hungry. The canvas carrier was laid to rest, now on the grass; his body stretched till he saw his face in the stream, kissed himself and drank the sweet water that carried the smell of grass. Rolled over and he sat up, readied his dagger, a flint and his bamboo fishing bow.
The fishing bow was an arm long bamboo shoot, that was dried till 'twas yellow, a friend had made it for him, because Joshua always made him laugh. It had a fine silk string fixed at the paler end of the bamboo, the other end of which harnessed the pike-end hook. The bow threw the hook back and lashed it into the water with a plop. The traveler backed onto his canvas back-pack and lay there watching string dance in the current...erratic but melodious. A dead leaf fell from an unknown tree on the watersheet like a drifting boat; it swiveled and ran along the current, passing his fishing line, ignoring the happy leaves above; Josh found it awfully familiar. And as the leaf turned around, the forestwhispers, the afternoonshade and the waterdance put him to sleep.
After sometime he felt someone by his side and opened his eyes. Josh saw a face in the mist, very near to his. It was a small girl with the most charming face and the most disarming smile he had ever seen. The little one still looking at him...
'You forgot the bait...'
The vision collapsed back into sleep and after a moment's silence Josh startled up to find no mist, but line still in the water and an absent child. Standing up he withdraws the silken string to see a naked hook. A cool breeze wipes his face and looking at the sky, where the sun has neared the western end; he rolls up the silk and puts it in the bag, conjures up his flint and blade, he slings the canvas pouch over his shoulder. Looks at the running stream with dancing goldflakes on her hair, laughing at him, laughing to herself...
'I forgot the bait'
Joshua burst out in laughter, unable to believe himself; he laughs. Tears tumble down his eyes and now regaining his composure he wipes them off and looks at the sky again.
'Well...I forgot the bait'
The light was receding from the sky like a huge tide and he needed to get to the village quickly if he must sleep under a roof...if lucky. Smiling and shaking his head he thrust himself upstream. This is not the first time that he had been without a meal, he thought to himself and walking toward the humbling sun he smiled and marched along.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It really was as amazing as the first one
Lived up to my expectations! Great work, keep the series going