Friday, April 01, 2005

Sample Chapter of one of my short stories called Mirrors

“Well sir, thank you so much,” the flustered woman sputtered out. “This is so nice of you!”

“You’re welcome,” came the reply from the ancient but sturdy man behind the counter. His voice was soft and somewhat distracted. He turned away from her and moved slowly to the rear of his workshop as though she weren’t there anymore. He had become accustomed to the praise and gratitude of his customers. He was still very much appreciative of their praise, but he was too old to bask in it any further.

His walk was very deliberate. He took only purposeful steps, never a step or movement out of place, as was his speech. He rarely spoke beyond what was necessary. His eyes were very kind but heavy and weighted under a very ancient brow that had seen centuries of life.

Not much gave him joy anymore except for his craft and his only son. Gratis, his son, was born to him 500 years ago, but still had the appearance and stature of a young boy. The ancient man lived through his son it seemed. For Gratis, it was as though his father’s love and joy in him sustained him and kept him forever young. He adored his father and could never stand to be apart from him for too long.

“How is the mirror coming, son?” The ancient one asked.

“It is beautiful. I refit the frame and polished the wood, all that needs to be done is cleansing of the glass.”

Gratis looked at his aging father, as though looking for a response or answer.

“My son, when the time comes for you to cleanse the mirror you will learn.”

“But how will I learn if you never show me how?”

The ancient smiled again as though to himself as he set himself down and engrossed himself in his work. Up front, the lady was still marveling at her mirror.

“I’ll go check on her father.”

The ancient, settled in his worn work chair, ignored his son as he prepared to cleanse the mirror his son had just prepared.

“Are you happy with you mirror, ma’am?”

“This is amazing,” the woman was weeping softly. “I can’t explain it but when I look into the mirror, I see the most beautiful image and I wonder, could that be me? I certainly am not that beautiful. But it is me! It’s like there’s a presence radiating from the glass.”

Gratis smiled. He was not unaccustomed to such displays, they often brought him joy. The woman had set the mirror against the wall and was completely enraptured in her image. He noticed that she was already looking much younger and appeared stronger. He then walked back to his father and came just in time to watch his father cleanse the mirror.

It was the most sacred of experiences. The normally sullen and aged man glowed ever so slightly and stood the mirror straight up. Still sitting he began to look intently at it and then his face softened and lit up in full smile. “My darling, I share your life with all as you wished,” he muttered softly. The glass then began to liquefy. The ancient man then reached out and his hand reached into the glass causing a joyful ripple. The ancient’s hands disappeared into the glass and a bright light shone from behind the surface, so bright that the entire workshop was filled with a brilliant light. After a few moments he removed his hands very slowly and gingerly. He continued to sit in front of the mirror until the glass hardened. When he was done, you could feel the life and presence behind the mirror.

The ancient man had been a legend in this country. No one knew how old he was or where he came from. It was rumored that he had lived for at least a millennium, or even longer. The odd thing was that no one thought it particularly strange that he had lived so long. His specialty was mirrors. He could make every kind of mirror conceivable with the most beautiful and intricate wood designs. But there was something unique about his mirrors. They had a presence to them. When people looked into them they said their most beautiful attributes cloaked them like a garment. His mirrors enhanced the beauty of the looker. But even more so, there was a power that radiated from the mirrors that made the users of the mirrors younger and healthier. There was also another unusual feature about his mirrors. He had made mirrors for hundreds of years and none of them had ever been broken.

Copyright 2004 Ono Ekeh

It actually is a finished story, but I'm not sure what to do with it. It is only about 8,500 words which is about 30 pages. I think I have a couple other short stories, and a couple in the works. I may do a short story book thing. Who knows.


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