Green Road

Green Road

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Tags

Summary

A person with mysterious past you are traveling across the woods, surrounded by spellbinding unreality.
Share :
Twitter

Tags

Summary

A person with mysterious past you are traveling across the woods, surrounded by spellbinding unreality.

Content

Submitted: May 10, 2017

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: May 10, 2017

A A A

A A A


 

You were walking, tired and hungry, and you didn’t even care to know that the road was called Green Road, although it might as well be called Dust Road, an adequate term as now a young farmer was galloping on horseback behind, making clouds of powdery sand flow into the air. You stopped in anger, confused, vengeful, and using hostile body language when the boy, passing you, turned his smiling face around. Yet, you kept walking again, unaware that you were close to a place called Aspen Edge, with aspen trees growing there since time immemorial. The place was avoided by the locals and tales had been told. If one should be careless enough to be near the Edge at night, driving a horse drawn wagon, the animal would have to strain to pull the vehicle, as if somebody or something heavy had got on it. But it was a warm autumnal day and apart from an occasional call of a rook and shimmering of aspen leaves, there were no other sounds to listen to, and there was nothing in particular to lay eyes on, except for aspen branches swayed gently by the early morning breeze. You stopped again, standing on the moss-covered ground, far from being disturbed by any unfavourable sensations. ‘I would stay here forever if I could,’ you said to yourself. For your bliss to be complete, breathing in the late summer air with a visible pleasure, out of your pocket you took a thick slice of brown bread, wrapped up in a piece of dirty rag and you started to eat greedily. Adding to your contentment you thought it would be nice to sit down on the moss, but you noticed clusters of stonecrop here and there and you remembered the time when your mother had used the plant to make wreaths on Assumption Day, the feast of Our Lady. Later they were hung, those wreaths, down from the ceiling to give off the same smell as in the wood now, only to get dry and, eventually, to be thrown away the next summer to make place for new ones. Your face, so full of delight a moment ago, turned pensive and your hand with the piece of bread stopped in the air. Those wreaths had brought back the sorrowful days of your childhood and now the thought of it weighed heavy upon your heart. Your face and your whole body stiffened; your senses closed off. For a moment there were no sounds, no visions, and no smells for you. For a moment you were again with your mother. Where was she now? You’d had to leave home so suddenly then. But human sadness cannot do without a touch of hope and after a minute you awoke your sight, your hearing, and your smell again to savour the subtle intoxicating vigour of nature getting ready for autumnal slumber. You listened. From far above there came, muffled first, but getting stronger and stronger, the noise of wild geese calling and flapping in the air. ‘Back from the Ukraine’, you thought because the land east of that area was always ‘the Ukraine’ for you. You smelled. ‘Do they carry any scent with them, those geese? Is it the rotten-egg smell of marshes or the scent of the pine?’ The Ukraine was filled with marshes and pine trees, they said. You listened again and now your ear discerned a clatter of wooden wheels and a sound of hoof beats. A horse pulling a wagonload of grain was slowly approaching. The driver’s face was a typical rural face, concealing all unnecessary emotions. And now, when he saw you, none of his facial muscles moved, but he pulled over and said ‘Hop on’. He did not look, reins in his hand, but waited patiently till you finally managed, with some clumsiness, to climb up onto the pile of sacks. Neither of you was ready to speak so you both travelled in silence while sun in vain tried to penetrate the foliage. ‘Five foals she has had so far, the mare’, was the first sentence the driver uttered. You also learned that her name was Ba?ka, a diminutive of Barbara, and that the driver had also a sow that seemed to be barren. You noticed that the peasant assumed that you knew all the people in his village, up-to-dating you on the latest cases of illness, deaths, and family feuds. Yet when the Green Road ended you came into the view of a village, and even closer to you, outside the village, a few dozen yards off the road by a small river, you could see a few shabby wooden buildings, a house and a few sheds all of them thatched, surrounded by meadows and fields. You asked the farmer to stop; the place resembling your childhood village was only too familiar to be passed by. If you were lucky, you might have bumped into that farmstead’s owner, who seeing someone approach usually dashed, always surrounded by a few dogs, more noisy than ferocious, along the grassy drive to greet and to talk to a lonely traveller; there were lots of them at that time. Embarrassed by his sincerity you listened patiently, and it did not take longer than a few minutes for you to know everything about his girlfriends of the long past, his military service, and his bravery during the war. Then, if you were careless enough to go amiss and show even a shade of interest, he would invite you home ‘to have something stronger’. The dogs, seeing that you had become another friend of their master’s, no longer barked at you and waggling their tails showed that unlimited happiness, unique in nature, full of expectations of being petted or even treated to the leftovers. So you followed the stooped and dressed in rags man, tripping over the threshold, invariably too high in those ancient cottages, and you were unable to close the kitchen’s door; the latch seemed not to be in working order. Nobody but the inhabitants of the house managed to operate it. You looked around. There was no floor and you stood on sand. The bed’s legs were supported by a few bricks, for it not to sink into the ground. A woman with eyes hidden behind too big a kerchief was peeling potatoes, while the man walked up to a run-down cupboard and took out two dirty glasses and a bottle.


© Copyright 2017 karol. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Booksie Spring 2017 Flash Fiction Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by karol

Green Road

Short Story / Fantasy

Bartek

Short Story / Historical Fiction

Popular Tags