The Sun in Your Eyes

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Hairs of grass, green at the roots, white at the tips, played at my calves; the wind’s momentum urging the threads of life to dance in the sun. The breeze, careful as to only keep peace, whispered silent calls, the rustling of summer leaves and flapping of vibrant butterfly wings answered. The sky, so clear, was a blue canvas; the yellow pigmented sun at its center. The soil resting under my bare feet radiated warmth, welcoming an old friend. As the air, sprinkled with cool fresh wisps, passed through my lungs, a sort of rejuvenation kissed my withered skin, smoothing out any imperfections, like a hand gently running over the folds in cloth.
A small stone cottage, lying at the bottom of the hill, no longer looked alive. No longer was it exhaling smoke from the chimney. No longer were its eyes open to search for the ballet of the grass or the ladybug’s new spots. No longer did it smell of flour on the baking dough. No longer did it live.
The tenant of the house, the keeper of its heart, the holder of its key, was long gone. But where did he go? Into the wind did he blow? Into the sea did he swim? Into the fire did he fester? Or into the ground did he grieve? It was the ground indeed which embraced him, which stifled his cries and shouts for his love. The earth had taken him in.

************
He was a magician of sorts. Some called him “Yuhne,” a reviver. Others who did not understand his art and would only hear rumor of his alleged gift dared to call him a necromancer. Speculators might have called him a time manipulator, if in fact that could be done. What did he do, what was his trade?
He could breathe life into the dead.
A wilted flower, dry and stiff, would suddenly be thriving; its petals once again vivid after this man had worked his “magic.” A deceased puppy, a lifeless stalk of corn, your favorite spider, if that is what you wished. All dead could be revived, yes yes.
But, there seemed to be rules to his work, many learned. He could not fill a starving man’s belly or mend a broken back. He couldn’t fix a broken wagon or sew together your tattered sack.
“Only the dead, only the dead,” he would say for the hundredth time.
And only the dead would see his good sign.
“What about people? What of my son? Can he live once again?” Every newcomer that would enter through the door of this man’s cottage would ask him this. Fathers would plead, mothers would beg, siblings would cry, and friends would dread, they would dread his answer, for it was this: “If they breathed in fresh air and if they loved another life, if they wondered about the world and if they survived through their strife, then that is how they should stay. Though a corpse might be cold, in your hearts they are warm. Don’t worry my friend, don’t shed any tears. In your heart they should stay. In your heart they should stay.”
Every individual who exited this man’s house, whether they had been full of hopes or skeptical in doubt as they entered, was either satisfied, their golden retriever or the pollen of their favorite flower was once again the sun in their eyes, or they were saddened, the thought of death more prominent on their minds than it ever had been before.
He lived in solitude, preferring to have it quiet enough to listen to floorboards of his porch creak as time strolled by. His stone cottage, a comfortable abode, sat heavily at the bottom of a hill, trees rooted and swaying at their hips nearby, white cotton-tailed bunnies sniffing the man’s home cooked bread he prepared each day. In the fall and the winter, the chimney played its role, the fireplace was alive; creating shadows that might have looked like tribal dancers to an unfocused eye. The man kept no pets nor planted any gardens, nature and the creatures that grew from tiny balls of fur into wise adults in the tall strands of grass were friends enough. He never went into town; this was strange to many for how did he acquire his food. Did he eat at all?
Some would speculate at the numerous mysteries of this gentleman, if that was indeed what he was. Bolder men and women would not only speculate, but they would fit the insidious idea into their minds that he was capable of more than he claimed.
One evening, a father had lost his beloved son to the swift currents of a merciless river came to the house at the bottom of a hill. He knocked on the unpolished, wooden door.
The man opened the entry way and greeted the father, “Good evening to you good sir.”
The grieving father stood strong and answered, “Old man, I need you to give life back to my son. My wife will not live through the night if he can’t breathe again and if he does not live then I won’t have another pair of sturdy arms to work my farm.”
The man looked at the father through his untended white eyebrows, “Good sir, you must have heard already that I am not able to revive any person. If they have breathed in-“
“Old man, spare you meaningless lecture,” the father interrupted. “I think you can do it. I think you can revive people but you’re too afraid to do it. You don’t want everyone in the country coming after you with their corpses, now do you?”
“Sir, I know you have suffered a devastating blow,” the man replied humbly. “And surely, your recovery from this will be rather slow. But, I need you, Sir, to look ahead. Certainly you have already heard what others have said. I cannot do what you ask, it cannot be done. If that is all, I expect you to be gone before the rising of this next sun.” He began to shut the door to his home, but a solid hand stopped it from continuing its path.
“Look here, little magician. I need you to do this for me. I’ll- I’ll give you anything. The largest sack of me finest potatoes. My daughters hand in marriage! Please! I promise I won’t tell anyone!”
The old man’s head was like a pendulum, swinging back and forth. “I’m sorry, Sir, that you had such hopes I could accomplish such a task, but your dead son’s body wears no mask. He is dead, sir, he isn’t coming back. Return to your home and empty your pack.”
The father’s temple bulged in frustration and anger. His voice augmented in fury. “Enough of you rhymes, old man!” he roared. “I know it can be done!” Suddenly, the father’s paw-like hand was around the magician’s throat; cutting off his air.
The old man gagged and coughed, surprised by the attack.
“You will make my son live again!” the father shouted. “Or you shall meet him yourself tonight when you die!”
The man, about ready to faint, slowly raised his right hand and touched the father’s strangling arm. The enraged father went instantly still, time ceased its pacing, for nobody did move. A second later, the clock resumed its course, the grieving father collapsed, his hardy head clicking against the stone floor.
No need to worry, not now, not yet. He was still breathing, but no longer a threat.
What did he do? How was this done?
He simply took a part of life from the father grieving his son.
No one had seen this supernatural evil come from the magician before. If maps held the mark of his house, they were quickly destroyed, fire’s snack. Fresh maps were prepared; the little stone cottage and its very large hill were expunged, erased, for no man would go back.
Oh wait, what is that? Whatever could it be?
It is a traveler, the magician she has come to see.
It was quite a lovely afternoon, the day the two met, sunlight was bountiful; comb your delicate fingers through it, you might see it ripple, layers of gold. Take a bite and taste it. The grass played their violin concert to their own waltz, hand in hand, one two three, one two three. The trees, the audience, clapped, the leaves always excited to watch a dance. The conductor, the wind, silent as always, shifted its powerful hands up and down, up and down; glorious music emerged, bouncing off the ringlets of the golden sun. Today, there was a new member of the audience, her freckles on her nose made her welcomed by the sun, her long flowing skirt gave her greetings by the wind, the grass as well, welcomed this lady, for her feet were bare, and it gladly took the imprint her pink toes created.
Someone had taken a brush and wiped off two hints of paint from the sky, using it to color passionate eyes, the desperate eyes, searching, looking for something to take her agony away. And yes, there it was, at the bottom of a great hill, quite stubbornly it sat, for it had not moved an inch in decades; the stone was its own guardian against the elements, showing its dull teeth to those who dared to challenge it, and the man on the rocking chair did the same.
The lady, a bit older herself, held onto her flying straw hat as she came to the porch, wiping a dry tear stream off her reddened cheek. As she approached the patio, the magician awakened, she said her piece, “Yuhne, I am in need of your services. My beloved husband has passed away, the violent flu, you see...”
But the magician was listening no longer, for what he saw was perfection standing before him. The wrinkles around her eyes were smiles themselves, always there, her greying hair matched his own wire locks, her voice the monarch of the air, and encased in her sunset colored skin was a beauty he had never known before.
He knew his dilemma, if he turned her away, she would never return, this instant love would be lost, regret devouring him on lonely nights. What she asked for, the return of her husband, it could be done, it could. No one realized that as the man worked his magic, his own energy seeped into the lives he restored, giving them life, but killing him. He was sure he would die that one evening, before the grieving father came to his door. All he did to the father was an act of defense, the only card an older gentleman could play against a young farmer. The energy taken from the father turned back the arm of his own death clock an amount of three years, he did not die that night.
But, did this happen for a reason? Was this meant to be? The man wondered at this every day, every day until today, for he had found why. This woman, her stature of clear perfection, was the reason. He had never loved before, this emotion was unknown to him, but after seeing this vision of benevolent beauty, surely, he thought, that one can love once and love true.
If he attempted to revive the husband, the magician would surely die from the effort, but the lady would no longer be suffering in agony, and it hurt him so to see her this way.
An idea formed in his mind, which he could not ignore. He would try and win her love.
“My lady, what you ask is not easy at all. Truth be told, I wouldn’t be ready this fall. To revive your love, you must wait here with me, two years shall be enough, you will see. When the time comes, you shall ask me again, to revive your love, your wedded, your friend.”
The woman fumbled with her straw hat only for a moment, it wasn’t such a hard decision you see, she wanted desperately to have her husband by her side once again. “Yuhne, if it really was possible, then I would wait ten years! I shall stay here with you for the amount of twenty-four months, no more, no less. I will see him again!” Delight could not be more prominent on her face if she had inked the word across her short button nose.
And the amount of twenty-four months did walk along the porch, the old magician sometimes accompanying it. The man and the lady spent most of the time together, getting to know the other’s secrets as they baked the daily bread, as watched the red robins puff up their chest and sing their melodies, and as they sat in the grass and counted a ladybug’s spots. In those twenty-four months, eighty-seven heart-shaped clouds drifted through the sky, thirty-six heart-shaped fall leaves landed on the ground, sixteen new butterflies grew with heart-shaped wings, and two hearts beat together.
She came to love him, so deeply and passionately that she never knew it existed. Flakes of a dissipating love for her husband fell and mingled with the hopeful skips of pollen as a new tenderness abraded the ropes of past, as she walked through the pink and red flowers of the spring and the white and clear ice of the winter beside the magician.
Then, the day came.
She still wants the same, thought the magician.
She still wants the same....
“Yuhne, you know what day is today. Today my husband shall breathe again, and I will leave you be.”
The magician’s heart sunk; an anchor had to be a world lighter than this. He would die today, but his love, his only love, would live on, and that was all he wished. If she does not love me, then let her live on without me, he thought.
Let her live on....
The old magician nodded and trudged over to her dead husband’s preserved body. He couldn’t stop a tear from running down the weathered age of his face as he realized that the art of demise, grey skin, blue lips, lack of smile, would be the painting of his being in not two minutes time.
Another tear fell.
Let her live on....
Another tear fell.
The magician looked back over his shoulder for the last time, and he saw her, her sapphire eyes were facets of happiness, her half smile a bowl of joy, her arms forward to her husband, her love.
Another tear fell.
The man nodded again. “Then let it be done,” his voice wavered. “Goodbye my love.”
The sun rose and set at the same time.
************


I stood, gazing down at the little stone house for six sunsets.


What he did not know that day he died was what I felt as he looked over his shoulder that last time. My eyes were the short wicks of flickering sorrow, my half smile a boat of regret, my arms were forward for him.


“Yuhne... How blind I was....” my whispers blossoming into pink ikebanas of assurance. “I did not realize until it was too late my deepest feelings for you.”


The wind carried my cotton voice through the pirouetting grass and the sturdy tree bark and the fragile butterfly wings, down into the wooden shutters of the house, the mourning house that had lost its life long ago.


“I left my husband, Yuhne. I told him that I no longer loved him. H-he told me he felt the same; I had lost his love many years ago.”
Salt water trinkets plummeted from my blinking pockets of blue.
“I once told you Yuhne that for my husband to live again, I would wait ten years. Yuhne, for you, I would wait forever! Until every star went dark, until blue roses grew. I would wait.... I would wait....”
It was becoming harder to speak.
“I want to spend the rest of my days with you,” my chin trembling. “I love you.” Only silence ensued.
A tangled echo from the lost love erupted from my mouth.
“If they have breathed in fresh air and if they loved another life, if they wondered about the world and if they survived through their strife, then that is how they should stay.” My quivering words mixed with tears that embraced my lips, longing for comfort. “Though your corpse might be cold, in my heart you are warm. Don’t worry, don’t shed tears. In my heart you should stay. In my heart you should stay.”
Then, throughout the world, all that had been restored to life, bent down in sorrow.

Another tear fell.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

yazigirl said...
Dec. 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm
l loved it!!! it wasent the ussuall happy endings and i love the pictures you painted in my head it was apsolutly amazing!!
 
CarrieAnn13 said...
Dec. 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm
Excellent work!  It's the perfect mix of love and loss and I love how you repeat Yuhne's words at the end.  I honestly have no criticism for this! :)
 
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