As he approached the bunch of sheds forming the only habitat for humans within a
radius of 400 miles, he scanned his surroundings for any hostility. But everybody was
gathered around a fire, watching some cacti fruit being slowly roasted on sticks,
oblivious to the strange presence upon their threshold. Then a small boy, gazing at the
clouds from his father’s lap spotted him and started to blabber incoherently. The
villagers stared at him, some standing up, brandishing sharp spears, their tips clearly
laced with a poison of sort. That he could tell by the evil green glint on the whetted flint.
“I mean you no harm”, he projected his voice and as a sign of peace presented the small
loaf of bread. Suddenly the whole mood shifted, the elders sitting near the fire started
crying while the younger ones were dumbfounded by this token from a past, they thought
was long lost between the rubbles. “I wish to share this loaf with you,” he continued
“and I know where to get more of it.” One of the tall, spear-wielding women stepped ahead,
the fire reflected fiercely in her hooded eyes, the colour of amber. “We know the likes of
you wandering salesmen and we have nothing to give you in exchange. So if you want to
march about spreading false hope I’d urge you to leave the same way you came.” Some of
her fellows nodded and mumbled their agreement, others were looking quizzical at his
strange appearance, the hat, the goggles, the weird tools hanging from his belt made of
a shiny blue material, that seemed intricately folded and at the same time somehow
woven. With a soft sigh he continued to speak: ” I am neither a salesman nor am I
spreading hope. The only reason I came to you is to refill my flask, share my food and
listen to your stories.”.
“Our stories have been distorted and used by the demons who made our world into this.”
She waved her right hand, showing the surrounding desert, the shabby huts and ragged
clothes. “How do you think we are interested in telling you our story? What could that
possibly benefit our tribe?” She gazed at him in anger and also a little confusion. Why
wasn’t he leaving? Was his persistence a sign of danger (probably) or was he worthy of
her trust? The stranger withstood her gaze and replied: “Then maybe you
would allow me to share my own story first?”
(to be continued)
Listen to my recording of the story over here
© Matthias Grupe, 21st July 2017
Note: The change in perspective is intended.
Bear with me to find out about the story of the wanderer.