The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part One: The Baker 17

short stories about mentorship

Serial Fiction

‘I was beginning to think that my host must be aware of my presence by now when the breathing of a second set of lungs became evident to me. Naturally, I turned around and there he was standing between me and his rubber copy on the garden table. I looked him in the eyes and he replied with the same. He read exactly what I was thinking and I could tell he did. I will never forget his eyes, deep and cold but not in control as they used to be. I could spot the insanity in them, the subtle play of intellectual overdose. They were shining a little too bright, trembling independently in their dark sockets. They looked as if they were smiling while the entire face was still and cool. If I had to animate them they would be endless spinning black and white spirals of an optical illusion.’

‘My strong hold bore some fruits as he gave in and blinked a couple of times. His eyes almost changed color. For a moment they cooled down to sanity and a reminisce of a smile appeared on his face like he was happy to see me. That only lasted an instant and the Devil took hold of him promptly. Like a shadow, the black and white spirals reemerged in his eyes. He was fighting them back in, I thought.’

“‘You seem to have enjoyed the trip.’ He started.”

“‘It has been insightful so far and I only hope it will get better.’ I stood a firm ground.”

‘‘You are in for a treat. But! Come along with me this conversation needs some lubrication on both sides.’’

‘He invited me in his study, a very bright room with books, classical music and glass floor. It was dark beneath our feet but I knew that something spectacular was coming my way. Two armchairs by the fireplace were more than inviting.’

‘‘I assume you have brought 1982. I hope the desert was kind to it. When you start trusting me again we’ll drink my wine.’’

‘He knew me well. I had carefully guarded the bottle of wine in my bag for I knew we will need to break the ice and we both knew that I wouldn’t eat or drink anything local until I reestablish trust. Hence, I produced the fine bottle of Bordeaux. I carefully inspected the glassware cabinet and picked my own drinking tools. Luckily the wine was fine and after a week in the desert it tasted like heaven.’

‘‘Extreme solitude and those crazy eyes! This is either very good or very bad.’ I started as casual as I could manage.”

“‘Crazy eyes,’ that is a mild way to put it. Thank you! I am well aware that I have reached the edge of sanity and perhaps dipped into the other side. It is all born by over solitude, overwork and overstress with my exit arrangements from this world. But it is all for a greater good. I hope the fruits of my work here to rehabilitate me in your eyes, the very least. For, you are the future of the world. You seem to be uniquely situated to influence a great deal of political entities. My work will lay safe in your hands and you will decide weather to use it or hold it until the world is ready for it. After you digest it you will realize that my heart has had better intentions than Gandhi and Mandela together.’’

‘‘What kind of work needs all this secrecy?’ I uttered as I sipped on the wine focusing on the tears forming on the glass. I still felt like a pupil in front of this man. I imagined the distance I have gone and how incomparable was to his achievements as he pushed to the extreme, beyond the point of human understanding and acceptance.’

‘‘It will appear ludacris and outlandish at first glance. You have to look pass the surface and understand the purpose of it. You from all people have the capacity to understand. It will take some refinement but I have reached very high levels of productivity.’ He spoke with great passion about what appeared to be the work of his life.’

‘‘Does it have something to do with your work in Central Africa? I have admired the years you invested in crop development and animal domestication experiments that you undertook.’ I played a nostalgia card hoping to warm him up.’

‘‘Aha, Africa! Your nose is serving you well.’ I stroke even a deeper accord quite by accident but he gave me credit for it.’

‘‘So this has something to do with Mozambique! Please go on.’’

‘At a press of a bottom the floor of the room lit up and we could observe the working lab beneath our feet. The dull white and grey gave room to the bright yellow, green and blue. There were three separate compartments in the lab each painted exclusively in one of the three bright colors. Furthermore in each room was an African mammal bearing the same color painted from head to butt. There was and yellow Gnu, a green Gazelle and a blue Zebra. I found it hard to take this experiment serious at first. I looked up into the old man’s eyes appealing for further explanation.’




Photograph from

The Writers Manifesto


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