He fell from the skies, a young and wayward Icarus, ending in the underworld’s darkness. When he woke up, his world of a happy and colourful lushness had disintegrated. The garden of golden apples had vanished. A barren island of rocky outcrops in the midst of an inky-blue sea, and waves bashing against the rocks with a devastating torrent. He slept exhausted and when he woke up he cowered in the entrance to a cave, where others, folded into their layers of clothing, were waiting. Nobody spoke. It would have been futile to raise one’s voice against the stormy seas, and the mad, howling wind.
More newcomers appeared. He sat down next to a woman, whose covered-up face left only the eyes visible. He noticed in their brown colour reflected flickers of the harsh light. At times, he felt her glances on his body with a half-torn clothing wrapped tightly around him. He nodded and then sat down next to her. “I am Pablo,” he said to her. “I’m Ana”, she said and took his outstretched hand. “Are you thirsty?” Ana asked.
“Yes.” He murmured. She handed him a flask with water. He drank greedily. Handing back the flask, their fingers touched. A spark of electricity raced like a flame along his arm. He pulled his hand back. She smiled. “I have watched you many times,” she said.
“Drawing, painting and writing.”
“At the sanctuary of Delphi.” His eyelids were like lead and he could not open them any longer. Was her water scented? He fell to the side like a sack of beans.
When he woke, he couldn’t see anybody. Somebody shouted at him in a strange language. He exited the cave and saw the ferryman, who waved his arms. He had to don his sunglasses, he recalled having bought them at a discount shop. The salesman told him that they were originally modelled for Steve Mc Queen. However, he liked the Italian design and probably so had once the prolific film star as well.
The ferryman asked him for the fare money. He searched his pocket. He fingered on a coin that he offered the tall lean and sunburnt man. He looked at it and pocketed the coin. Pablo wondered if the friendly woman had slipped him the coin. However, he settled back and gazed at the turquoise sea that kept calm. It seemed that they were drifting on a large lake of pure turquoise colour that mingled with light and darker blue. In the far distance a yellow and green strip of land became visible.
Arriving at land he thanked the ferryman and stepped ahead into the warm soft sand. His clothes had dried and he realized he had new clothes on, but he could not remember where he had changed. While he thought back about the mysterious woman with the brown eyes that burned holes into his heart, he walked toward a hill, where a city lay beyond. The world revolved around him, the skies rotated and the hills spun around. He fell exhausted into the warm sand.
He was a small child with golden hair and a sunny nature. Sitting upright on the haywain. Gran entering the yard to their home, when his Mom appeared and shouted: “Duck my child, duck!” At that moment, he felt a rope tightening around his neck and pulling him down in a summersault. He fell and landed on his feet, his knees were shaking. Mom had left the washing line across the yard. When the shock was over they all laughed and joked. “My little Icarus,” Mom said, “but I’m so glad nothing happened to you.” She kissed and hugged him. Gran scolded Mom about leaving the washing line.
Mom taught him drawing. She watched with great interest that he had inherited her talent for drawing and painting and encouraged him. He was dreaming of becoming an artist. An artist who travelled the world and sketched out whatever he would see. He would make one day a great book from all his travels and tell stories about his adventures.
The neighbor’s daughter Rikki, had taken interest in his drawings and they often sat together looking at his drawings. Rikki would ask him to draw her animals and he would draw her anything, mostly elephants, his favourites.
Once he had finished his primary education, he transferred to the capital to take up his studies in art and architecture. He had lost contact with Rikki and his early childhood friends. He had found new friends and fell in love with a dark haired girl, who had brown eyes. Then later he became disappointed with girlfriends and out of the blue he decided to sail to Africa’s Cape of the Good Hope. His childhood dreams should become reality: To see elephants in their natural habitat…
“You will burn in the sun,” a woman’s voice woke him. “Have some water, you are dehydrated already.”
“How come?” He stretched, got up and took the water bottle. Refreshed he introduced himself. “Pablo.” The brown haired woman with an attractive figure and brown, warm eyes smiled. “Like Picasso?” He laughed. “Indeed, my favourite artist.”
“Are you an artist too?”
“I thought so, with your long hair.” He laughed.
“You are pretty. An actress?” She blushed.
“No, but I used to be playing in an amateur theatre. I’m a teacher.”
“Oh, aha, what do you teach?”
“Literature, with a major interest in poetry.”
He rubbed his eyes. It was impossible to eradicate art from his being. However hard his Mom had tried to facilitate him with an education that would allow a good career in architecture, he would drift back time and again into a creative mood, producing art. But then he had been falling off a haywain, a scaffolding, a horse, and had been disappointed with love affairs. Were these happenings the fount for his stories? Were beloved women his Muses who inspired the creation of his art?
Note: From the book ‘The Fabricator’, available at BoD-Books on Demand, Nederstedt – bod.de/home and click on Buchshop and enter ZJ GALOS for author. Happy reading.