Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Holy Water

My father barged into my room that morning.
He shook me out of my sleep and pulled the thick blankets off of me, constantly saying: "Killian, Killian! Wake up, son, wake up!"
But I didn't want to wake up, so I kept pulling back the blankets, growling.
My father eventually grew tired, but he wouldn't let his pride be damaged. "Fine, fine. I'll let you win. But get out of bed in five minutes; I have to tell you something before you go to school!" He giggled mischievously, "and you're going to miss out on a lot if you don't hear it!"
With that he closed the door, but he opened the one to my curiousity. It was really strange, actually, that my father was excited about something. Ever since his back got damaged, preventing him from working, leaving the job of delivering food to my mother, all he could do was lie in bed all day, depressed and full of guilt.
Which reminds me... Did father wake me up?!
I immediately jumped out of bed as it struck me that my father had just woken me up, full of excitement.
Not bothering to put on my uniform first, I ran down the flights, jumped of the last step and went straight for the living room. There I saw a man dancing and singing.
It took me a while to realise that it was father who was dancing and singing, dancing and singing.
"Father!" I cried out, scared to death, because he probably wasn't dancing and singing, but getting attacks in his back and crying.
I ran towards him, bracing myself - I was going to need all my power to catch a man twice as big as me, if he were to fall.
But he simply kept on dancing and singing - and laughing!
He even made a pirouette!
"Oh, my son! Do you see it, too? Your father isn't the old inactive baboon anymore! He can do anyting now! All thanks to the Holy Water, the water directly from Mother Nature's core!"
I looked at him questioningly.
"Holy Water?"
"Ah, yes," he stopped dancing to pull out a tiny flask out of his pocket. It looked old and dirty and it was chipped at the top and painted in this ugly yellow. 
It was truly disgusting.
Father took off the lif and took in the Holy Water and breathed out peacefully, as if it was the most delicious moon cake, fresh out of the oven - which was father's favorite.
He made me smell it, too, put I stepped away immediately and held back the urge to puke.
"It's disgusting, father! Who made you drink that?"
He pulled it back protectively, as if the flask had a sensitive soul. 
"How dare you be so rude, son!"
He looked at me with such hurt and anger in his eyes, that I immediately glanced down at my feet. "Sorry, father," I mumbled.
"Yes, you'd better be sorry," he sighed and his angry face disappeared.
"Because it was this water that has cured your father."
I looked up at him, surprised. That smelly water had cured my father?!
"Really?! But how?"
"Who can say, son, who can say. Only Mother Nature can who has gifted it to me! Just one gulp of this water and a good night's sleep can make all your troubles go away!"
"Can it even help me with my English test tomorrow?"I asked hopefully.
He laughed loudly. "Who can say, son, who can say. You can try it, if you want."
He handed it to me and I took it in my hands carefully.
"Are you sure, father?"
"Why, of course!" he patted me on my head and then cupped my face.
He whispered: "Now go tell all your friends and everyone else you know that the Holy Water has cured your crippled father!"
I smiled at him and nodded. "I will!"
"Good boy," he said and then pushed me out of the living room. "Now get dressed, will you. You can't tell your friends if you're late for school.

At school the teacher taught us things about medicine. She said that most medicine were made in labs with chemicals and very expensive equipment. She even showed us pictures of men in white coats working in one of those labs.
Then the bell rang and recess started. My friends said that today our class got to use the soccerfield so they'd get the ball quickly before the other boys do.
I said I needed to talk to the teacher first.
"Uh, okay, we'll wait for you outside."
I then walked to teacher who was cleaning the chalk board with a brush. I reached for the flask in my pocket and held it tightly in my hands.
She turned around, a bit startled. "O, Killian. Aren't you going to play outside with your classmates?"
"Yes, but," I pulled out the flask from my pocket and showed it to her.
"What's that?"
"It's Holy Water," I said, just as excited as father, "this water cured my crippled father. It was gifted to him by Mother Nature. Can those men in labs make this water, too?"
She took the flask and turned it around and even smelled it. She made a disgusting face and quickly gave it back to me.
"I don't think this has cured your father, Killian."
"It didn't?" I was a bit disappointed.
She shook her head. "Anyone can see it simply dirty water - it has nothing of medicine in it. It's simply impossible."
"So my father lied to me?"
"Ah," she sighed. "Well, that doesn't have to be the case. He might've confused it with real medicine."
I wasn't really convinced and looked down at my feet. So the Holy Water was fake...
"Come now, Killian," she said, "don't be sad. I'm sure it's just a mistake - just ask your father about it when you get home."
I nodded and then walked out of the classroom.

My friends were sitting around at the soccerfield.
I scurried over and apologised for being so late.
"What were you talking to miss about, anyway?" asked Charlie who was trying keep the ball in the air with his feet.
I pulled out the flask and told them about the Holy Water. I also told them that miss didn't think it was what cured my father.
"Miss is right! There is no such thing as Holy Water!" Gunter yelled out, who was pulling at the grass of the soccerfield.
"Well," Walt with the glasses said, "my sister did tell me something about Holy Water, once. She said that it makes you prettier."
"Yeah, but your sister is stupid," Ralph said, who lay on the grass with his eyes closed.
"She is not!"
"She is."
"You are stupid!"
"No, you are."
Suddenly Charlie dropped his ball and yelled: "Shut up, you two! I don't care about your sister or that water. I want to play soccer!"
And so we did.

After school, in the late afternoon, I walked back home and I was thinking about the Holy Water. Was Miss really right? Did father lie to me? But my friends weren't sure, either...
"Oi! You're the boy from 37, right?"
A man in blue clothes and a bag with papers sticking out approached me and handed me a few letters.
"How's your pops doing, kid? Still crippled?" the mailman asked.
"No," I said, "actually..."
I told the mailman about the Holy Water and about how it cured my father. I told him that my teacher thought that he might be confusing it with some other medicine and that my friends had mixed feelings about it.
He simplt shrugged when I finished. "Dunno, kid. It seems too good to be true," he then leaned in and put a hand for his mouth, "besides, that pops of yours has been lying in bed for years now, so he's probably gotten pretty delusional. It wouldn't surprise me if he had just made it up."
"But I saw him dancing and singing this morning...," I said, getting even more confused and more unsure of the power of the Holy Water.
He shrugged again and started to walk away. "Maybe he was just trying to make you happy! But I've got more mail to deliver, so bye!"
I waved him goodbye and sighed. That hadn't made anything clearer.
I was going to have to ask father myself then.

The sun started to disappear behind the thick woods close to my neighbourhood. The street lights were turned on and had put the street in one of those creepy places where ghosts and people in dark clothes with knifes appeared. I knew it only happened in books and in films, but I still wanted to get home quickly. Just to ask father about the water, of course.
I walked closely to the lampposts and kept my head low.
Then I saw the beggar who held out his hands all day, all night. Everybody said he was a dirty old man and didn't deserve any money.
But then I saw a picture of a woman embracing two girls and couldn't help but pity him. So I put a coin in his hand.
He slowly looked up to me and grabbed my hand. He shook it very hard and kept mumbling "thank you, thank you".
I quickly let go and nodded politely. Then I started to walk away again, but he yelled: "Wait!" and I was forced to turn back.
A bit awkwardly I stood before him once again and he then bared his yellow teeth in a smile.
"You are the first one," he said and his shaking finger was pointed at me, "you are the first, boy, you are the first. This is a miracle. A gift," he looked up at darkening sky, "thank you, too, God."
Then he turned to me again. "Is there anything I can do for you, boy?"
I scratched my cheek and thought about this. Father always told me not let a favor go unreturned, especially when the other insists. 
"Oh," I pulled out the flask. "But there is."
I told him how the Holy Water had cured my crippled father. I told him that my teacher thought he had confused it with some other medicine and that my friends weren't sure. I told him that the mailman thought he had made it up.
The beggar started to laugh and took my hand. "Look up at the sky, boy."
I did as he said.
"This entire world is envelopped with this sky. You know why? Because it is the gate to heaven where God sits and watches over us. He looks at every single one of us, He looks at you and me and sees how we live. And if you have lived as He wanted you to, He will give you a miracle, a miracle that can change your life."
"A miracle? Can God really do that?"
"Yes!" the beggar exclaimed. "Yes, of course! He just did! You and your coin were my miracle. And your father's miracle was that Holy Water! Your teacher, friends and that mailman haven't had their miracle, yet, so they cannot understand His power and the power of His gifts. God has cured your father, boy!"
God had cured my father...
God had cured my father!
Of course! Miss also said that a lot of people believe in God and that they pray to him all the time. Perhaps father had done that, too, and had gotten this gift in return! 
I thanked the old beggar and then ran home excitedly.

And then another miracle took place right in front of my house.
A fancy car was parked before my house and a tall man stepped out of it. Under the lamppost light I could see his glossy hair and glasses and his neat clothes.
"Brother!" I yelled and I ran straight at him.
He kneeled down and spread his arms. He caught me in an embrace.
"This is a miracle!" I said and then looked at him. "God has also given me a miracle!"
He looked at me questioningly. "God has? Since when are you religious?"
He then sighed. "What did father make you believe this time?"
"Nothing!" I said excitingly, "but there was this beggar..."
I told him the entire story. I told him about father and his Holy Water that had cured him of his crippleness. I told him that my teacher didn't think it true and said he just confused it with real medicine. I told him my friends weren't sure. I told him the mailman thought that father just made it up. And then I told him about the beggar who said it was a miracle of God and that my friends, teacher and the mailman couldn't know any better, because they haven't experienced such a miracle yet - that explained why father was so miraculously cured and why he was here!
He wore a frown on his face when I finished my story. "O, Killian, what have all those people put into your head?"
I looked at him angrily - he always said such things. "They didn't do anything to my head."
"Look, Killian, actually that beggar and father don't differ too much from each other. Actually, all of the people you spoke to today are all the same."
"Father is not a beggar! Miss and my friends neither!" I cried out. How could brother say that! He couldn't speak about the people I cared about like that.
"Okay, Killian," he said an held up his hand. "You're right, I'm sorry. But here's the thing - what they all have in common is that they believe in something, in something special.
"People always need something special to believe in. It must either be scientific - your teacher who thinks only medicine can cure diseases - or divine - the beggar who thinks that you giving him money is God's gift to him - or magical - father who thinks some expensive water has cured him. It's not good or bad - it just is. That's why some people do believe in the Holy Water and others don't."
I didn't say anything, because I knew he wasn't done yet. He never was.
He got up and looked down at me. "The important thing is this," he tapped his forehead, "it is you, your mind, your soul. That is something you can always be sure of - as long as you stay true to yourself, as long as you believe in yourself, it doesn't matter whether it's 'Holy Water' that cures you or good medicine."
We started to walk towards to front door and after waiting for a while, I was sure he was done.
"I don't get it," I said. "Is the Holy Water real or not?"
He laughed softly. "When you're older, you'll understand. For now, let's just say that father just got sick of lying in bed all day. You just tell him that all your friends and even your teacher couldn't believe it and that it must've been a miracle."
"Uhm, okay."
Father opened the door and screamed when he saw brother in front of him. He took him in his embrace and yelled for mother to come and see what kind of  magical gift Mother Nature had given him this time. He also gave me a hand and told me to get in and tell me all about what my friends and everyone else I knew, said about the Holy Water.
"They couldn't believe it, " I said, "it must've been a miracle."
My brother winked at me.

I hope you enjoyed today's "short" story! (Hehe... Very short indeed...)
See you on the next page!
[Pic origin:; made by rainbowboo]

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Oasis of Oblivion

They never noticed him, though their group was so small and the people very close.
Even in this neverending desert, where nothing grew, where there was nothing but yellow sand, they failed to notice him. 
In their caravan he was always to last one to join on his camel and not because he was so slow - he always was the first to get up and get on his camel or the first to do the things he was asked to do - but simply because they all walked over him and pushed him away, giving him these annoyed glances.
"Can't you see where you're riding your camel, boy?"
When they were continuing their journey to the Great Oasis, the only place with water and plants and all other great things, and the sun stood high up in the sky, they all shared a tiny bottle of water with each other. 
He waited impatiently, while the sun was burning on his skin and the sweat was dripping on his forehead. "Baba, please, could you hurry up?" he asked, trying to overwhelm the gurgling of the old man before him.
Of course, he didn't hear him and as teh very last drop fell in his mouth, he dropped the flask and followed the rest of the caravan.
The poor boy, dying of thirst, could do nothing but follow as well.

A few years flew by and the boy eventually became a man.
The man, together with his caravan, finally reached the Great Oasis.
It was truly as breathtaking as they said it would be.
They stood oon dunes of sand and looked out over some kind of tiny city, with in its core a massive pool with water of the clearest of blues.. You could see the various fish, big and small, swim there peacefully and the plants that grew in it, dancing due to the fish swimming by.
The city even had buildings!
Though they were broken and ruined and overgrown by the plants that surrounded them, they were still the best they've ever seen. 
As they walked further into the Great Oasis, they discovered that it was even bigger than they had expected. There was entire forest that stretched out behind the city with monkeys screeching and moving from tree to tree; with lions growling from green hills; with swines and hogs running by with their babies, their flesh thick and oily.
This was really paradise and all of them were overjoyed.
They wanted to thank their gods for this miracle and so they made altars, spread of their new home. They made houses of the fallen bricks and rocks, the dark, sticky mud and the gigantic leaves of particular trees. They made patches of grains, fruits and vegetables on the fertile mud that covered most of their ground.
They made a real home out of this paradise and everyday they thanked their gods and prayed for them to not take it away.
But the man always stood on the sideline, even though he worked just as hard for all of this.
As the city kept flourishing year in and year out, as the population kept growing, he tasted nothing of it all.
He didn't taste the thrill of the hunt, though he was always there, because no one ever let him actually go after the animals.
He didn't taste the deliciousness of the food, though he ate, because no one asked him to join the meals.
He didn't taste the feeling of happiness or love, though he kissed a girl once or twice and laughed at others' jokes, because no one let him in.
This city had flourished also because of him, but he still didn't feel like he was a part of it. He wasn't allowed to, it seemed.

The man eventually grew bitter; he grew sick of their ignorance, he grew sick of their happiness without him. So he decided to leave his people - it wouldn't make any difference anyway.
He decided to reside in the depths of the woods, where he found a big den. He soon discovered it was a lions' den and as the lions approached him, growling and baring their teeth, he smoothly cut all of them down. He then skinned them of their pelts and used them to keep him warm in that cold den. He used their flesh to keep his stomach full and happy.
Days passed in which he simply went out hunting, came back, ate and slept. As he thought: no one had even come to look for him.
Though he didn't want to admit it, it did hurt him. He had left them and had gone far away from them, leaving every memory shared from birth behind, they still failed to notice him.
It angered him. It filled his heart with hate.
And that hate made him do cruel things.

Another day he went out hunting again, but this time he hunted the entire day and much closer to the city. He knew his people fed off the swines and hogs there, so he went and killed all of them - even the fertile females and their babies.
He had a bit of trouble with tying all the bodies together and dragging them back to their den, so he decided to cut them into big chunks and tie those together. Then he dragged different heaps of meat back to his den where he used them to fill his stomach.
He ate and he ate, even though his stomach was too full and he vomited after every piece he  had put in his mouth. 
Then he slept, claiming to be at peace, but actually twisting and turning for his stomach was aching.

The next day he went back to the city, around the time that the hunting party went out.
He had hidden behind a tree and grinned as he saw the men taking in their positions and waiting silently. For minutes. For hours. The entire morning.
Then one got up and said: "It's no good. Let us come back again tomorrow."
And they came again and waited again and went back home empty handed again.
They did so every day, during which they went even deeper into the forest, hoping to find their food there. But they never knew that the night before the man they never noticed had already hunted them down before them.
He had eaten them, too, even though his stomach was too full and he was vomiting after every piece of meat he had put in his mouth. Then he had slept, claiming to be at peace but actually twisting and turning for his stomach ache grew worse.
And soon there was no animal left in the forest.

They didn't come back to the forest anymore.
Instead, they decided to live off the fish in thier massive pool and the patches of grains, fruits and vegetables. 
Just like they had forgotten the existence of the man, they had forgotten the forest once so oveflowing with animals. They even cut down some trees and used them to make better rods to catch fish with and to make to houses stronger.
It didn't even surprise the man anymore - he only saw new opportunities to thwart them. 
With a dark cloud of hate and anger floating above him he went and stole all the pots they had filled with the harvested grains, fruits and vegetables of the houses and broke the rods of the fishers.
He decided to move his home to a different den, one closer to the city, where he could watch them suffer. 
"Now they will notice me," he said to himself.
But his people simply remade the pots and filled them again. They simply cut down more trees to make rods again.
And they once again forgot what happened to their old pots and rods. 
And they once again didn't notice the man.
And the man became more furious than ever.

He didn't even bother to wait for the night when everyone slept.
He walked straight into the city.
He walked by the pool where the fishermen fished and yelled: "I'll take away your fish!"
He jumped in with his hands turned into claws and teared the fish with his long nails.
The men threw annoyed glances at him and said: "Young man, get out of the way; you're scaring the fish."
He screamed in agitation and started to tear through the fish again, reddening the clear blue water. Then he pulled them out of the water and gobbled the fish, raw and scaley, up into his too full stomach, right in front of them.
"You will have fish no more!"
The men booed at him, told him not to eat them so raw, yelled at him for being so seflish - there was barely anything left to eat! Luckily they got the patches, otherwise they would eat him!
"You will?! Well, that would be the first time you'd notice me!"

He jumped out the pool and ran straight at the houses. Behind them he saw both men and women and laughing children working on the land, while the sun was burning their skin.
He ran over the patches with wet, dirty feet and took away their equipment.
He yelled: "I'll take away all of your grains and fruits and vegetables!"
Upon which they said with annoyed glances: "Young man, get out of the way; you're keeping us from working."
He screamed out of agitation and started to dig through the fertile mud ferociously, pulverizing the seeds that were sown, destroying the growing plants. 
"You will have food no more!"
Again, they simply booed at him, told him not dig like that through the mud, yelled at him for being so selfish - there was barely anything left to eat! Luckily they had the pool full of fish, otherwise they'd eat him!
"You will?! After all this time, you only want to notice me now?!"

He ran away and was back at the houses again. The fishermen had come, too, and were approaching him, while waving their rods angrily in the air. But they were approaching him.
Behind him, he saw the farmers coming for him. They were coming for him.
They yelled various things at him, they blamed him, they hated him, they wanted him to fix this, they wanted to punish him.
They looked at him. All of them.
He couldn't believe it - finally they saw him! He laughed and danced and the tears rolled down his cheeks; they were really looking at him!
They drew closer and closer and even started throwing sticks and stones, so many at once that he had to run away. He had to be chased by them.
Adn he laughed all the way and looked up to the skies above. He thanked the gods, because finally, finally, they had done something good for him.
When the yells and the footsteps receded, he came to a halt and looked behing him.
The people of the city where trailing back to the city.
But he knew they'd come back to find him.

And they did.
They did so for weeks, months even. 
They even spotted him sometimes, chased him down for hours and injured the laughing maniac who seemed to enjoy it all with their spears and stones.
But they grew tured, eventually, especially with those empty stomachs and dry throats, and were forced to come back again.
The next day they did the same; they chased him down, injured him, grew tired and went back.
They grew tired quicklier and quicklier every day, leaving the man running for hours only to realise that it was only the wind that was chasing him down.
Soon it really was only the wind that chased him down, that gave him false hope by making the leaves rustle and the branches break and fall.
Soon he was left on his own again, forgotten as always.
No, he thought. No, not again!

So he ran straight back towards the city again.
It was quiet.
He walked by and in the pool, splashing around and making sounds.
It had no effect.
He walked over the fields, stomped on the mud, pulled out the - rotting - plants and yelled again.
It did nothing.
He slammed on the the doors of the houses, went in a few on broke their belongings.
No one came to scold him.
He had even found dead corpses.

He was taken aback by the dead.
The once lively city, the Great Oasis they had been searching for, had become dead and abandoned.
He then ran quickly to the edge of the city, to the dunes where they had stood when they had found the oasis.
He looked out over the desert that he had been journeying on his entire childhoof.
In the burning sunlight he saw a few black dots on the yellow sand, marching their way to a new paradise, leaving him here.
This time they would never come back.
"WHY?" he screamed at those dots, at the sky from where the gods looked down on him. "WHY ARE YOU LEAVING ME?"

On a dark and rainy night the man lay in his den with his stomach too full and bursting.
His body couldn't handle the pressure and made him vomit on such a high force that he started spitting out parts of his insides and blood.
There in his dirty, stinking den he died in oblivion, that which he had been trying to escape all this time.

Thank you for reading!
See you on the next page! :)

[Pic origin:]