In returning to my corporate job from lunch today, I noticed a man dressed in simple outdoors clothing with a very large backpack and sleeping bag locked on his back. He seemed to be in good spirits as he walked down Main Street and it was this carefree attitude that I began to think of another Chronicler. Only this time, the story would be radically different than Zaira.
I present to you - David.
David checked his sleeping bag for the third time, knowing that the straps held it securely to his backpack. Yet, the act of checking gave him great pleasure, for it meant that once again, he had done something right. He looked up and noticed the grey clouds seeming to fall into formation over him, ready to douse him with their summer rain that would only last five minutes before moving on. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath then continued his walk down the lonely road flanked by trees on either side. He was a Chronicler, a keeper of secrets and dreams and buyer for those who were too lazy to obtain that which they desired the most. A single raindrop landed on his shaved head yet he ignored it as he walked along. For the first time in many years, he had no assignment yet the Wanderlust inside of him kept his legs moving. If he were to remain in one place for too long, the disease would slowly eat at him from the inside and could only be stopped if he got up and walked. It was both a blessing and a curse and sometimes, like right now as another drop fell on his head, he wondered if perhaps he made the right choice all those years ago.
From an early age, David was gifted. Everything he touched turned to gold and his family treated him like a god because of it. Whenever he picked up an instrument, he could play it immediately as though he had taken lessons for years. He could read a book within seconds and retain every word of it. He had a photographic memory and his images always came out as full pictures and not just pieces of the here and there. He could touch a person’s hand and tell them who their next lover would be, or they were finally going to become wealthy or devastatingly poor. He was a gifted child and the world, little by little, began to hear of him and his wondrous talents. Suddenly, his family began to treat him less like their own and more like a way to become wealthy. They made him perform like a circus act and he did so willingly because he loved them so. They dressed him in golden clothes and applied eyeliner to his eyes so as to brighten the green that were already intense on their own. He smiled and did tricks for the audience and grinned wider and wider until no one could see his face. All they saw was the image of a deity.
When David turned 21, his gift became wild. His dreams now took over his waking moments, superimposed and blended carefully, giving him many a time to pause and wonder if what he saw was real or in fact his imagination. Stones began to speak to him with ruby red lips, while he saw Druids in trees, waiting to wake up after their long slumber. Winged dragons flew over his head and he screamed at the fairies to leave his hair alone. His family continued to press him to do shows, knowing that he still had more in him to produce such good fortune. Fortune that he never saw. He now never left his home and his family kept him locked in a cage after he tried to skin his father alive when the easterly winds gave him such instructions. In short, David was going mad.
One night, after the full moon sent warm beams to caress his tear streaked face, he sat up in the cage and placed his hands on the lock. He closed his eyes and wished for the lock to go away and then, just like that, the lock became soft like putty. He pulled the putty away from the door and quietly let himself out, hoping like hell his family would not wake up. Thankfully, the moon told him that it had placed his family under a deep sleep, so deep that they almost looked dead. In fact, unbeknownst to David, they were, yet the moon did not bother with such details. All it wanted to do was get David out of such a place. David took nothing with him and left wearing only his dirty pajamas and thin soled shoes that were comfortable to his long and narrow feet. He walked away from the house, never to look back and never to return. When he reached a small town, never mind the name of it, he went into one of the stores and asked the older man sitting behind the counter if he could have some clothing and some food. The man, bedazzled by David’s godlike ways, freely and willingly gave him what he asked for and even gave him the money from the antique cash register, of which David gladly took and then placed a hand on the man’s forehead.
“Sleep,” he said in his soft and theatrical voice. The man’s eyelids fluttered and then he slumped in his chair, already dreaming of a golden haired god who loved him so. David then changed into brown shorts, a black t shirt and then, with a pair of scissors, cut all of his beautiful hair off in the bathroom down the hall. When he finished, he looked at himself in the mirror and grinned naturally for the first time. He looked like David, a David he’d wanted to meet for so long. He then walked back into the store, grabbed some essentials then left for the wide open world. As he walked along, he noticed that his feet began to itch then quickly put that thought out of his mind. He wanted to walk and see the world as a free man. An hour later, still in the middle of the night, he saw a shimmering light ahead. He walked faster towards the narrow light then, when he was only a foot away from it, reached out to touch it. When his hand made contact, he suddenly slipped sideways and landed in a loud and colourful city filled with smells of spices and food while people of literally all colours walked all around him. He looked around with wonder then noticed a large dark wooden building that seemed to be in the middle of this wondrous city. David glanced around a final time then made his way towards the building. . . .
Another drop of rain fell on his head, causing him to be jarred out of his thoughts. He looked up at the now dark grey sky and grinned. Yes, he thought as he walked down the tree covered path, I did make the right decision. Just then, he saw a dark blue shimmering thin light ahead. He sniffed the air then ran; he had finally found the city of Swandin, the Fabled City of Music.
As he approached the light, he reached out with his hand and slipped sideways.