The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Two – The Bastard 3
Serial Short Story
‘Can we go this way?’ One of them said.
‘There is nowhere to go. It’s only this path I made this morning.’ He pointed to the straight shovel sticking out from the mud.
The tourists looked pass him to his fishing rods and then back into his eyes.
‘We come from far and we need to fish at the best possible spot. You can come back here tomorrow.’ The man took a step forward.
‘No.’ Mandor’s eyes turned milky and absent.
He faced his very first confrontation. He didn’t have a ready answer from experience. His mind’s library was limited. This unprecedented situation pulled together everything he knew about life. All his established principles raged in a whirlwind. They seemed helpless to the observer but in fact they were not. He controlled the apparatus to make a sound decision based on his life so far. So he made the decision best suited to his universe. Not the universe, my universe or your universe, his only. His heart was beating normally and his compass firmly pointed in one direction. His eyes still milky and absent. His universe was about to contract and expand immensely.
He took a grip on the straight shovel and buried its front edge into the face of the tourist in front of him. The man fell on his knees, blood gushing, and collapsed into the mud. The other man choked on his own breath. He dropped the bananas and his knees gave up bending to the ground. He kept himself up propped on one hand and vomited everything that was in his stomach.
He didn’t even see the shovel coming.
Mandor’s universe took another giant swallow of unknown matter.
His home became foreign to him. His parents’ advice or guidance coming from a world much smaller that his own sounded almost insulting. They noticed the vast distance he kept for himself. His mother took it to heart and convinced herself that he was not the son they raised. She believed that he was possessed by one of the gypsy women and her family would kill him for it. His silent condescension towards them made her smoke more tobacco. Her face dried up. Her universe turned from grey to black. She didn’t see right in anything. Everything was wrong to her. His ignorance to her desperate appeal for attention made her wither away. Retribution wasn’t headed her way.
His father worked hard and kept to himself.
His mother and her pain took a walk one day. She was smoking more than healthy. Her heart was fat and weak. She had no destination. She was alone in her universe. She had managed during her long life to close every single outlet and inlet of her shrinking bubble of a world. Now she was suffocating in it. New tears streamed down her cheeks on top of already dried once.
She was passing by a nice house with a pretty green lawn in the front. Its static beauty gave her a heartburn and she felt a sudden burst of weakness starting with her legs giving up. She swung herself on the grass sat down and instantly felt ten years older. She still had a cigarette in hand. Giant drops of sweat surfaced on her forehead. She was breathing heavily, the world quiet.
An energetic housewife in a black dress approached her from the side, busy and ignorant.
‘You cannot be stinking up my garden with smoke! Go somewhere else. This is not right!’ She said.
Mandor’s mother didn’t have the energy to argue, talk or move. This tiny confrontation was one of countless in her long life that she considered irrelevant to her universe. She refused to fight them. She believed in her own right and refused to hear the opposition. Foreign opinions to her meant expansion of her own soul even only by hearing them out. In her absolute world everything she didn’t already know was wrong.
She had only limited amount of real estate available to store away these tiny arguments and confrontations. She had only so many tiny corks to fill in the cracks on the dome of her universe. It seemed she had run out of both.
‘This is not right!’ The women in black repeated.
This is not right echoed ten fold in her tired head.
This is not right was all she could hear for her universe fell apart and the world poured in.
Her heart stopped.
more by PETER ODEON
photograph by Jens Lelie