Greetings, my intergalactic fans.
Today, I chose not to add another installment to the story of The Knight and The Crazy Old Man. Instead I wrote a single short story as a change. I’m not abandoning the first story. I will continue to add to it tomorrow. But from time to time, I will write different stories, just to keep my mind and energy fresh.
Now, here is the very-short story for today. I call it “The Last Story” Enjoy:
The steps were endless. But Mr. Knowit said “We haven’t even climbed half of the tower.” But that is just absurd. We must have climbed the equivalent of a 50-story building. How much higher does this tower go? I reached a point where I didn’t know if we were moving, or if the tower was turning around itself, giving us the illusion that we were ascending. The outer wall had no windows. It was lit by a candle every ten steps or so. The inner wall had no doors. We kept climbing, and climbing, and climbing. “Mr. Knowit, this is absurd! we must be under some kind of a spell” I said. “I’m sure if we go back down now, it will take us less than ten minutes to reach the ground.” But Mr. Knowit never listen’s to anyone, he knows it all, doesn’t need anyone’s opinion. “Stop your brain from coming up with stupid ideas, and save your energy for the climb” He yells at me.
This is ridiculous. We must have spent half the day climbing. I can’t keep quiet any more “Mr. Knowit, how many steps are remaining?” He responds without slowing down “Knowing how many steps you’ll climb will not make it easier for you. Trust me, I Know.” When Mr. Knowit says that he knows something, don’t argue more with him, bad things happen. I have no choice but to keep quiet and continue to climb these cursed steps.
Now, I’m sure a full day has passed. And nothing has changed inside the tower. The walls, candles, and steps were all the same since we started climbing. When is this going to end?
Mr. Knowit suddenly stops. I almost slammed into him. “Are we at the top?” I eagerly ask. But Mr. Knowit pulls two small bottles of the glowing stuff, and gives one to me “Drink.” I, unwillingly, take the accursed bottle and hold it in my hand. Old man Knowit prompts me “Drink it, quickly. We need to keep moving.” He had given me a similar bottle at the bottom of the tower, said that it will keep the hunger and thirst away. I opened it and drank from it, don’t refuse an offer from Mr. Knowit, they say. We continue our ascend.
Another day has passed. And finally, the sight of a wooden door marked the end of my torment. Mr. Knowit regarded the door. Then he stretched a hand to me “Hand me the key.”
“The key for the door, you imbecile, hand it over, now”
“Why would I have the key for the door? You didn’t give me any key, Mr. Knowit” This is not happening.
“You fool! Now we have to descend all the way back! That’s what I get for depending on a fool like you”
I fell down on my knees. Go back all the way? And then climb again? I can’t take it anymore.
Mr. Knowit suddenly bursts into laughter “You really are a fool! Look at the door, boy! There is no keyhole! Oh, the look on you face!”
I got back up immediately. Nothing I can do about it, other than keep the anger inside. No one confronts Mr. Knowit.
He opens the door, and we step outside. It was night. Or was it morning? We couldn’t tell from our place, at least I couldn’t tell, Mr. Knowit definitely knows.
The moon was too bright. Mr. Knowit pulled two pairs of goggles from his bag, and handed one to me.
“Now let’s hurry up, boy. The moon will not stay here forever”
We walked up to the center of the roof, where the moon was closest to our reach. Mr. Knowit regarded the bright surface. Then he turned to face me, “Now, remember what I told you, jump and flip immediately. Don’t be late with the flipping, unless you want to hurt your head, ok?” I nodded, not knowing exactly why did he insist on this.
“Well, don’t just stand there like a stone, get on with it!”
I walked to the very center of the roof. And I jumped, as hard as my legs would allow. And instead of slowing down to a stop at the height of my jump, I accelerated up, and my head banged hard against the surface of the moon. I forgot to flip.
“No one ever flips. I miss Ramon. Ramon was a good flipper” complained the Old man.
Mr. Knowit, the tower, and the whole world were in the sky now. And the moon was my ground. I stood up, brushed off the silver dust from my hair, and looked up at Mr. Knowit.
I barely dodged the shovel as it fell near my feet. He had tied three silk bags to it. I untied the bags, laid them on the ground, and started filling them with moondust.
After I finished, Mr. Knowit threw a rope to me, while he held on to one end of it. I tied my end to one of the bags, and he pulled it to his side. After pulling the three bags, he threw the rope again to me, “Now, remember, as soon as you feel yourself flying, do the bloody flip!” I held on to the rope as he pulled me up, this time I’ll make the damn flip, I thought. After I reached a certain height, suddenly, up became down, and I fell hard on my head, again, I forgot to flip.
“How stupid can a human be? Oh Ramon, if you hadn’t died in that last experiment, I wouldn’t have to deal with these fools”
I pulled myself up, anger still in check, and I picked up the three heavy bags, and waited for the old man to head for the door.
He didn’t. Instead he went to the edge of the roof, “Come here, boy, you don’t want to miss the view.” So I came to stand beside him. I couldn’t believe that we’ve just climbed this tower. The earth was a huge ball at the other end of the building. I was devastated “So now we’ll have to walk all the way down?”
“Shut your mouth and move your legs, boy. On to the door now”
We went back to the door. I entered first, and he came after. I had taken three steps down when he stopped me. “Wait!” He said. I looked back, my face, despite me, was showing my annoyance. I was carrying three heavy bags.
He opened a small box that was bolted to the wall beside the door, I didn’t notice it when we first came. Inside the box was a small lever. He held the lever, turned to me, was smiling, and said “You’re going to love this,” then he pulled the lever.
Suddenly, all the steps turned to a degree to create a slope. I fell on my back, and down we came sliding.
This, was much easier to write than yesterday’s post. It felt good to write something fresh without the need to keep up with previously written material.
You all have a nice day. And I’ll see you again tomorrow.