Weight: An old shepherd tugged on the ropes that had bonded with his waist. Daisy-chained were an ashen woman, boy, and girl, presumably his family. They had sullen looks and a world-weariness of those who had lost their home. Together they scaled a pass that spiraled up and down a mountain to an uplifting tune that went nowhere.
Lightness: A pit-bull grew up tied to an oak tree. His world was a nine-foot circle of dirt, acorns, and taunting squirrels. Having given up on escape, he fell into a deep slumber and dreamed of the pearly gates. A voice told him to come forth, but he couldn’t. The clouds turned dark and erupted with rage. The smell of burnt ash then woke him up. Tugging at his leash for the first time in years, he found it slack.
The clock struck twelve on Sunday’s tail.
Hypnos taunts me from a loud corner.
So I take up my sneakers and hit the road.
Drown out the gabber with a midnight stroll.
And find myself lost in the deep of woods.
Where two hoots sound behind foggy veils.
Good or bad company I welcome.
Roberto had no idea what he’d gotten himself into after the casting crew told him to strip down. The audition was for a sidekick role on a pilot of a cross-over sci-fi detective series between Sherlock Holmes meeting inter-galactic crime syndicate. He felt a slight chill in his briefs after the cameras started rolling.
“Recite these lines” commanded a female producer as she pointed to a page on the script.
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” Roberto uttered in his best Watson imitation.
“Again” ordered the producer, “this time with rage.”
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!” Roberto yelled, channeling Taxi driver.
“Again! With sorrow and disgust!” dictated the producer.
Several hours after the audition, an exhausted Roberto stumbled back to his flat. Upon entering, he found a DVD and letter by his TV. The video showed Roberto starring in a live-action trailer of the upcoming pilot with lines and scenes that he neither spoke nor shot in. The backside of the letter revealed a contract, signing away all rights to his façade. Dotted lines hovered below a signature, undoubtedly his. Beneath that was a simple order…
The separatists drew lines in the sand after the cold-blooded assassination of their leader. Once a prosperous colony, Damos was on the verge of fracturing in two after an early winter wiped out the harvest and unyielding blizzards decimated the population. Late spring trickled in but arguments for abandoning the settlement started long before. Southward raged the young separatists who dreamt of green pastures and wild game roaming the countryside. Nay voiced the old majority who recalled nothing but desolation over those grounds from whence they traversed long ago. Two shots were fired at the pulpit and mayhem ensued. By next spring, there were no survivors.
The house had a long line of owners. Twelve families in all from counts and dukes, merchants and bankers, to peasants and squatters. It outlasted fires and floods, mice and bugs, several wars even. The newest owner however was a real-estate mogul who wanted to raze the area and erect a skyscraper. Hiring a team of demolishers, the titan planned for a huge spectacle on the fourth of July. The fateful day arrived but miraculously, no demolition took place for the stock market had crashed and land value plummeted. Liquidating the assets, the government took ownership but eventually gave it up to nature by which the house promptly collapsed to rest in peace.
A student of the Buddha once mediated on a rock by a lake. Day in, day out he would arrive before dawn, rest his feet in the lotus position, and contemplate atop the boulder till dusk.
*I am the rock, the rock is me… I am the rock, the rock is me… he would chant but his concentration would always break at the slightest distraction.
Frustrated, he picked up a nearby pebble and threw it into the waters below.
*ploop the sound it made as the pebble struck the surface and sank to the depths. A long silence then ensued.
The next day, the student arrived atop the boulder and to his surprise discovered the same pebble that he had previously thrown. Understanding the significance, he threw himself into the lake and to survive, suspended himself in a deep meditation. Centuries later after the lake had dried, some archaeologists discovered a statue of the Buddha on site. It was made out of solid rock.
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The trees… They used to walk you know. Across the land they roamed, over tall mountains, under deep canyons, beneath great lakes even. Drawn they were to the whims of a sun that could never sit still, forever rising, forever falling.
O’Mighty star, they implored. Won’t you be still and grant us reprieve? For we are weary of eternal march, trek, and quest. The sun who had heard their pleas grinned and acquiesced. Slowly it drifted to a halt, suspending motion and flight for as far as the eye could see. The trees, exasperated yet rejoiced, fell into an immense slumber, eager to rest and feed.
Eons had passed and the sun remained still; a drop in a bucket within one lifetime but a thousand generations in another. The trees had wedded themselves to the ground for their roots dug deep and their trunks grew tall. Asleep they all were when the destined day arrived and the sun imperceptibly moved. Little by little it accelerated, regaining the flight it once had ages yonder. And so the slumbering trees woke up to a frosty dew and a new witness. Day and night had been born.
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Avalon’s gardens held a unique attraction. Every fall, the old caretaker would hang lanterns filled to the brim with delicious seeds, grains, and nuts. Birds of all varieties would take a detour from their annual migration to visit Avalon and enjoy the respite. Such had been the case for generations that they eventually referred to the garden as paradise, the land of bounty, song, and rest.
One season however, the lanterns turned empty. The caretaker, in old age and poor health, was bed-ridden and had fallen into a deep coma. Sensing the time was near, the birds one by one perched on top the lanterns to mourn the caretaker’s passing. Some recounted the time they first met their loved ones within the garden cloisters. Others spoke of distant homes and their long journeys to the outer terrace. Those who had personally met the caretaker hummed a requiem into the night. Alas, when no more chirps could be uttered and further lamentations spent, the caretaker took a final breath, grinned, and then vanished.
From that day onward, the lanterns of Avalon would be everflowing.
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A single tether.
Oh how fragile life treats her children.
That fear has gripped you.
What once nourished now imprisons
As youth wilts into old age untested.
But fear not for these petals are more than just show.
And the seed you carry will become more than its predecessor.
So ready yourself,
The gust has come.
Jack found a tiny hook by the edge of a small pond. Tying a piece of string to its end, he threw it into the water and in short order, the pond offered him a fish. Impressed, Jack bought up a hundred tiny hooks and threw them into the pond. Not a single fish was caught. Puzzled, he asked the captive fish why the others didn’t bite. The fish replied that its siblings were young and haven’t yet lived out their lives. Not believing the fish, Jack bought a large hook and rowed out to the center of the pond. As soon as he dropped the line, three rows of giant teeth sprang from the depths and swallowed him and the boat whole.