A Man Wanders The Desert
I’m not a great storyteller.
My writing skills are fine. But, my storytelling skills are lacking.
It’s my lack of technique that’s the problem.
You see, there are a lot of ideas that I enjoy playing with.
The act of turning those ideas into a good story, though, isn’t always easy.
So, that’s the main thing I struggle with.
Even so, though, storytelling is a lot of fun. And, so, as often as possible, I enjoy coming up with stories and telling them in my own silly, mildly incoherent, way.
The story you are about to read is very much a product of that.
A bizarre story about a man who lives in a desert and, well, does a couple of things.
Really, it’s best to keep it vague.
You might like this story. You might not.
Regardless of that, thank you for giving it a look!
The Man In The Desert
A man walks through a vast, desert plane stained with age.
The man is old. Older than the desert, yet younger than the Sun.
The man walks for many miles.
In the man’s hands, there is a clay pot.
On this clay pot, there are engraved markings, barely visible underneath the dirt and dust.
Eventually, after walking for many miles, the man reaches a shack.
A plain, wooden shack with wooden walls and floors, and a tin roof.
The man walks into the shack.
A cacophony of voices call out; the creaks and groans and footsteps of age, hunger, and travel.
On the bed in the corner, right by a window with a red, dusty curtain obfuscating the crimson rays of the sun, lies a woman.
The woman is named “Mahina”.
Mahina is dying.
Dying from choices made long before the Earth was a word and then a thing and then a place.
On a chair, right by the bed, the man sits down.
The man looks at Mahina, gazing, if only for a moment, at the memories etched within her body.
The man looks away from Mahina, gazing at the memories etched within the shack.
For so very long, Mahina and the man have been together.
Best friends who, quite naturally, just so happen to be wife and partners.
Partners. True partners.
The man takes the clay pot and brings it over to Mahina.
For a moment, Mahina’s eyes open, revealing the richness of their purple-and-green hues.
Even though aging has taken so very much, the light from which Mahina came from remains in a state of perpetual ignition and emanation.
A series of sounds emanate from Mahina’s mouth.
Sounds obfuscated by the pain and strain of speaking, of attempting to speak, of being there.
The man smiles at her, puts his hand on her forehead, tells her not to talk.
A small stream of liquid comes from the clay pot onto Mahina’s forehead.
Mahina opens her mouth, allowing some of the liquid to fall into her mouth.
The man moves to hold Mahina’s hand, only to find that she has grabbed onto his first.
A light smile — the kind of smile that contains a smile far greater than that which can possibly be conveyed or expressed within the moment — forms on Mahina’s mouth.
The man smiles, too. Yet, in smiling, his eyes begin to well up.
For several minutes, the man looks at Mahina, just as Mahina looks at the man.
No words are exchanged in these several minutes.
The two simply look into each other’s eyes, holding one another’s hands, with a smile.
Slowly, Mahina begins to close her eyes.
The man slowly stops smiling and his eyes begin to well up once again.
Eventually, Mahina’s breath slows down and ceases to be.
Mahina is gone.
The man sits onto the chair and begins to cry.
For a long time, the man cries and cries, knowing what has happened and what has been lost.
Eventually, the man stops crying.
The man stands up and grabs a shovel sitting right by the door.
Right after grabbing the shovel, the man walks outside, to the back of the shack.
The man begins to open a passage within the stained, aging landscape.
Several hours later, sweat and dirt adorn the man’s body and shovel.
For a moment, the man sits down, in the falling sunlight.
To rest. To meditate. To reminisce.
The man goes into the shack and grabs Mahina’s body.
Slowly, but surely, Mahina is placed into the passage.
Silent prayers are spoken and moments are reborn, if only for a moment.
The passage is, after this period of mourning, filled.
A wooden sign, consisting of two corroded planks, is buried in the passage.
“Mahina” is carved into the top of the plank.
“A Partner For Life” is carved into the bottom of the plank.
The man walks into the shack, grabs a leather pack, and walks out.
For a moment, the man considers visiting the passage, once more.
Tears well up on the man’s face.
The thought is quenched and, with that, the man walks straight ahead, into the sunlight.
For many days, the man walks.
Eventually, the man reaches a canyon.
The man climbs down the canyon — a task made harder by the man’s age — until reaching the very bottom.
Surrounding the man are structures and spaces that scrape the sky.
For several hours, the man walks.
The canyon floor is older than the ground above, stained with rust and age.
A pleasant sound is heard in the distance.
The man walks and walks, passing through a series of small spaces etched within shadows and nooks that few others can see or traverse.
Right in front of the man, lies a small stream being filled by a gentle waterfall.
The man gets onto his knees and begins to pray.
Silent prayers are spoken, messages are exchanged.
Mahina is gone.
So many lives and so many stories.
The most beautiful life has been lived.
The most beautiful story has been told.
For a moment, the man stands still, without expression.
A sense of peace comes over the man.
Everything is gone. Everything is right.
The man takes off his shoes and walks into the stream.
A gentle current washes away the sweat and dirt on the man’s feet.
The man opens his leather pack and takes out a silver revolver.
Yet another silent prayer is exchanged.
The silent prayer ends and the man places the revolver in his mouth.
A shot is fired.
The man returns to the infinite sea of stories we all emanate from.
The man is no more.
As always, thank you so much for reading this story!
If you would like to reach me, for any reason at all, please feel free to do so at “email@example.com”.
Best wishes, and have a lovely day!