Tuesday, April 14, 2009

30 Days: "The Desert"

The Desert
By Jacob Wyatt

Once upon a very, VERY long time ago, there was a city. The City stood alone in the middle of a vast and empty desert surrounded by dust, jackals, and more dust.

The City had no name. The Desert had no name. Or, I suppose their names were the City and the Desert, because that's what the people called them. The people probably would have given them both nice, proper, respectable names had they been aware that there were other cities and other deserts in the world, but they hadn't the faintest idea about the world outside the Desert, and so they didn't.

They didn't know any better. And since they didn't know any better, they were all perfectly happy living in the City, which was a beautiful place on any account. It was full of colorful spires and tall towers all decorated with stones that glistened in the sunlight and cheerful murals and wall-paintings that seemed to dance in the heat of the day. Inside the city were lush gardens full of palms and figs and olive-trees and pomegranates and all sorts of good things for the people of the city to eat. They even grew asparagus, because, although nobody in the city was too fond of eating asparagus, it was supposed to be good for you.

So the people lived in their beautiful city eating all sorts of delicious things (and occasionally asparagus), admiring the colorful spires and tall towers all decorated with stones that glistened in the sunlight, looking fondly at the cheerful murals and wall-paintings that seemed to dance in the heat of the day, and they were happy. I wish I could tell you that they were all happy, dear one, but I can't. A near-deaf washer-woman who lived in the southeast corner of the city would tell you that she was miserable on account of the three screaming children that lived in the room above her and all the racket they made. Secretly, she really liked them. She just liked complaining more. And a certain tailor who lived slightly north of her occasionally suffered because of the rude comments one particularly fat lady made about the dresses he sewed for her, something about how the material made her look big, but he was a good sport about it.

Aside from these two, however, the people of the city lived in a state of miraculous and unending happiness that you and I will never experience unless we visit the City, which is rather unlikely, and unfortunate, for it was truly wondrous.

Thus life continued in a cycle of almost uninterrupted happiness until the King of the City had a dream that woke him in the night and stole his peace. He dreamed of endless waters and great white birds, big as houses.

The dreams of kings, you see, become the troubles of lesser men. And so it was with this dream.

Copyrighted 2009 by Jacob Wyatt; author retains all rights to the story.


Kiirsi said...

Intriguing! I like the oral-storyteller-feel. And I want to know what happens next!

Taffy said...

Way to leave a cliffhanger! I like the way the story started too.

Yamile said...

Me too! I want to know what he dreamt about! I hope you write that one day (if you haven't already) and share it with us!

Cathy Witbeck said...

What a great sense of humor you have. I love your writing. Write lots more.

Sarah said...

I've been reading books about story tellers and thinking that I like that old style of "Once Upon a Time" and here it is! Good job. I like the stories that are woven through words and pictures and told by a master teller. I wish we could hear it in your voice because I think it would be more powerful.