THE SUN DOESN’T SET FOR GOOD
Centuries deep into the past rested a village. And rest it did by the shore with great peculiarity and magnificent size. Yet it is a village ‘cause the “villagers” wish to call it so. It was a very developed village where no horse ever went hungry (forget about the folk) and all the denizens were well versed in English. The mayor Kelvin Pearson (who resembled more a king than a mayor with the colossal power and inextinguishable riches he possessed) is very stern, just like his ancestors, when it comes to tradition that is credited by many to be the fore-player in success of the village. No outsider was ever allowed inside the village, nor did the inmates ever venture out. All the villagers took great pride in being at Hannderberg and never wished to ‘stain their hands’ by stepping outside just like they did not allow any outsiders in.
But what really defines the peculiarity is that this village of ours possesses a poetic magic. The land, the air, the water, the people, their breath, their thoughts, the animals, pet or wild, possess a mystical essence of poetic sense in them. The young and old all converse their feelings and emotions in beautiful poems. People become friends through poems and friends become lovers through poems. Every ear in the village is always docile for a sumptuous feast of poetry. In the air was always a lexical magic working its way into the people’s minds soothing their inner souls and calming their ruffled hearts. The more emotional the poem gets, the closer the people get.
This is a story of ages, ossified as history, long back. Welcome to Hannderberg. Welcome!
There has never been that a loud shore in Hannderberg. The waves of the Poppy Sea were booming onto the shore with great rumble; pushing themselves forward thumping the bed. The weather was sultry and the evening sun was descending down the horizon dispersing strong crimson all over the sky. A crab made its way out of its hole for the hundredth time and Virginia observed it every time it came out and went in perniciously. Tired, her misty eyes turned towards the sea. It had been two hours since she sat there on the wet sand.
Tiara came and sat beside her, by the crab that was still continuing its momentary peeps out of its hole. “What happened, Viry?” Tiara asked, “Did he not come?”
“No”, said Virginia Clarke, smiling, with her eyes still to the sea.
Tiara’s expression changed serious – sympathetic. “You don’t have to act before me, Viry.”
Virginia’s smile changed slowly into a wince, her lips twitched and tears welled up in her eyes. “He never comes Tiara.” She said in a quivering soft voice tears rolling by her cheeks, “He never does.”
“Don’t say so Viry. He loves you.”
Virginia turned her face towards Tiara and she had an angry look which was quite rare; angry look as if originating from long suffering, as if from helplessness of her state, “No he doesn’t,” she said, “He doesn’t even care.”
“Don’t utter such abhorable words Viry.” Tiara said with a sense of authority over her friend. “You do know how much he loves you. He used to spend days writing poetry for you… just to impress you. Did you forget all that?”
“Why doesn’t he see me then?” she said with her voice transcending the sound of rumbling waves while a tear dropped down, “I waited on this shore for him to come for weeks – on this shore where he read his first poem to me. What have I done that he ignores me this way. Tell me what it is that I have done, Tiara? Why don’t you do that?”
Tiara Adams, finding no way that could assuage her friend’s sorrow, stared at the quarter set sun while Viry wept with her face in her hands. Beside her were papers filled with Virginia’s poems… To Kristopher…
“Somewhere or other there must surely be
The face not seen, the voice not heard,
The heart that not yet—never yet—ah me!
Made answer to my word.
Somewhere or other, may be near or far;
Past land and sea, clean out of sight;
Beyond the wandering moon, beyond the star
That tracks her night by night.
Somewhere or other. may be far or near;
With just a wall, a hedge, between;
With just the last leaves of the dying year
Fallen on a turf grown green.”
It was eleven o’ clock in the morning and the weather outside was serene though with not a glint of sunshine. Mayor Kelvin just returned from a hunt in the eastern woods that he enjoyed whenever he was happy; mostly after his administrative accomplishments. His personal maid was waiting in the hall to receive him. “Good Morning my Lord.” She wished fervently, “was the hunt relieving? How many tigers this time?”
Handing his bow to her, “Aaaaah. I was skeptical when Trevor said tigers were scant in those eastern woods lately.” The mayor said, “He was right!” and sat on his plush sofa in the center of the hall.
“Oh, what a coincidence! Good Morning Trevor, we were just talking about you.” The maid said delighted, as Trevor, the right hand of the Mayor in all his governance issues, came for his daily meeting with the mayor to apprise him of issues at hand for the day.
“Good Morning, sir.” He said obsequiously. With no response from the mayor, he began, “Sir, starting with today’s events, the official…”
The mayor cut him in between, “Trevor, where is Kristopher?” he said looking at Trevor with concentration, “When did he decide to abandon his father?”
“He-he-he had been acting quite out of sorts lately, your mayoralty.” He said, “The apprentice wanted to meet him yesterday to discuss few errors in the revenues but he wouldn’t stand him for a second. He just shooed him off.” He then said hesitantly in a low voice as if not to be heard by the maid, “I heard he is busy with a girl names Renea Mccullough!”
“What did you say her name was?”
“Renea Mccullough”, Trevor repeated servilely.
The mayor rose from the sofa and turned against the maid and Trevor towards the wall behind the sofa looking at the photos of six of his ancestors hung on the wall. “Stifling all day with ladies of the country? This is not what Pearsons do. I sometimes doubt if he is not my blood.”
The maid stepped forward, “Don’t think such your mayoralty. He is so young. This is what all young lads of the village do. Maybe he will understand things better as time passes.”
“Are you alright?” the mayor turned around towards the maid and boomed; “Only a lunatic would call a 21 year old a ‘young lad’. Since time unknown, we Pearsons have been proving ourselves to be worthy of governing this village. We rule this vast land because we are unusually strong in our ideals. But this son of mine seems to have none of those qualities.”
Kelvin sat himself back on the sofa and fell into deep fatherly thinking about Kristopher while Trevor and the maid stood before him patiently.
Kevin Pearson lost his wife to Lymphocytic Leukemia when Kristopher was seven. But unlike normal human heart’s tendency, Kevin had shown young Kristopher little lenience. On the other hand, Kevin, by the dawn of his adolescence, had proven himself to be a stunningly quick learner. He had learnt all martial arts of the village at a very young age and had been declared precocious when he understood all governmental principles and could even apply them appropriately. But lately, he had been restless with the work his father had been relegating to him. He started to yearn for freedom from work. The importance and the pride in doing his father’s work that he found once were evanescing now.
For part two, THE SUN DOESN’T SET FOR GOOD – SHORT STORY (part II)
For part three, THE SUN DOESN’T SET FOR GOOD – SHORT STORY (Part III) final