“Norwegian wood“, said the man with a grizzled beard and thick eye-glasses as he ran his hand across the polished surface of the dining table lovingly. “It’s a bit worn and some of the woodwork seems to have lost its original luster, but it’s been in my family for ages. I hate to part with it…but such are the times. Between you and me young lady, I’ve always felt there was a bit of magic in this wood…”
She didn’t really believe in things magical and mystical but she was drawn to the sincerity in the mans voice and without really thinking about it, it found its way into her home.
That was over five decades ago. Over time, that table had grown into a favourite destination in her home. It was where family and friends sat down to enjoy hearty meals together. It was where silent tears had fallen and hours had been spent laughing. It was where counsel was given, comfort received and prayers whispered.
Perhaps that old man had been right. Perhaps the table was magic. For it was around that table that she had been made privy to the secret of a happy life – Eat, Pray, Love.
-Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
-Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
They came out to join her as she waited, hands on her tense shoulders. It’d been ages since she’d been allowed to meet him. Today they’d finally given in to her pleas.
When she saw him coming, she ran to him sobbing, “Dada!!! I miss you so much!” He swallowed hard, holding her tight in arms that were ordinary except for a band of lighter coloured skin on one finger. There once was a ring there; matching one the woman at the door used to wear.
Looking upwards, bitterly he asked, “Why, God, are the innocent always the hardest hit?”
She looked into the room where a woman was lying on the bed she’d shared with her husband for decades. He was next to her, holding her hand and stroking her now cold cheek. Her children and grandchildren were gathered round at the foot of the bed, seeking comfort and solace in each other. Her best friend, as grey and wrinkled as she’d become, was there; strong; helping hold everyone together. The lady wore a smile.
The one at the door turned to the cloaked figure carrying a scythe next to her and whispered, “Thank you. I am ready now.”
When she whispers my name, my heart leaps but, I cannot go to her. I must not. It’d be wrong. But relentlessly she beckons me and I give into temptation. I’m only a man.
As my head hits the pillow, I sigh, “Oh Sleep, at long last I’m yours.”
Word Count: 49
Shailaja at The Moving Quill has an interesting monthly challenge running. Every month, she intends to put up a prompt; a word or phrase or photograph and using one, both or all, you’ve to write a post that is between 15 and 50 words. Brilliant right? Go ahead, give it a go and for more details, click the link below.