The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Two – The Bastard 2
His internal glow was an effect from the engraving of the previously vacant slot on his moral compass. His previous experiences in limited environment were inconclusive on the matter of good and evil.
The horse beating in itself was rather ignorable and insignificant in the face of the universe. The knowledge of history and the world at its current state would leave a citizen of the world unimpressed and unmoved by it.
Individual universes, however, came in all sizes. They tend to expand. A small child confined to the limited universe of its parents has only so much material to build its own.
An event well familiar to the average size universe seems extraordinary and mind altering to a child. He had never encountered anything more aggressively threatening. His universe contracted and let new particles fill its vacant void.
Particles unknown to his mind. Particles that triggered an uncontrolled reaction in his nuclear. His unconditioned mind was a blank canvas. No rules, no regulations, no knowledge of its capacity for it was never tested. The limitation of his parents’ universe did not let them understand the importance of setting general guidelines to their beloved’s development.
His endowed mind could have been painted pink. The horse beating (chance) had painted it black.
Power through blood and zero humility for the weak was sharply etched into the fundamental principles of his subconscious. It became a reflex, a given, set in stone.
There were not fireworks around his head or taps on the back, only loneliness. Loneliness and unrealized change of perspective. Less childish smiles and play. More grey thoughts.
The mind and body had no choice but to satisfy the expanded universe with an experiment. The newly established normal needed a test. The new particles freely mingles with the old and started an itch.
Everything new that came in, teachings, experiences, was filtered and diffracted by the lens of the horse blood. Gloomy was his head.
Mandor liked fishing for it dulled the itch of his restless mind. His universe had a mind of its own for it didn’t expand for a very long time. All he wanted was an expansion, a test.
His itch grew.
He was earning for something bigger and more meaningful. His universe could hardly fit into his repetitive world.
He didn’t have access to books. His parents wanted him to be a farmer so they bought him firm shoes, durable clothes and a pocketknife. Their blind goal was to shrink his universe so he would never leave. They wanted him to take care of them.
Mandor didn’t. Chance had already introduced him to the wind. The horse blood filled the gaps of his mind with coded messages. A drop of blood caries life in itself. It tells the history and potential future of its bearer. It speaks of strengths and weaknesses, of paths, roads and legends of love. Mandor didn’t have the tools to decode these messages but he felt he could acquire them. The more his world tried to chain him down and take away the possibility of answers the more he resented it.
He reached a point where he couldn’t sleep well. He would wake up several times each night. He would wake up just before down take some food and leave for the river, fishing. One of those early morning fishing expeditions he was at the river before sunrise. He kneeled in the mud under a patch of trees and dug into the ground with a large tablespoon looking for worms. It took him an hour to fill up a small glass jar. He put some wet soil on top of them and screwed the lid on, previously perforated with several small breathing holes. He possessed two fishing rods, consisting of wooden stick, a cord and hook.
The old fishermen would often preach that the best spots were around fallen trees where the branches are in the water. Fish hid there they would say. There was a place with a very steep bank between two fallen trees that would often come up in conversations. But! It was inaccessible.
Mandor got as close as possible to it from one side and spend several hours making a goat path by layering dirt from the steep slope with a straight shovel. When he reached in-between the two fallen trees he dug deeper into the slope and crafted a small patio, just big enough for him and the jar with worms.
He loaded the hooks with live bait and threw them in the water. Before the cords could settle he heard voices. He looked up and saw two men peeking down at him from the high edge of the riverbank. They smiled and walked around and down to the water. He left his sticks and went out to meet them.
They met at the beginning of his goat path. They were not locals. They carried big bags, fancy gear, metal water flasks hanging from their belts. One of them carried a bunch of yellow fruit in hand. He handed him one. Mandor took it and held the curved fruit with both hands from the sides. He looked at the men, looked at the fruit and attempted to take a bite from the middle. He bit through the skin and flesh and started chewing vigorously.
The two men looked at each other and smiled, realizing that he had never seen a banana before.
more by PETER ODEON
photograph by Jo Vangrinderbeek