Tag Archives: story

The Strange Library – A Review

A very short fable by Haruki Murakami. I think this fable is addressed to Young Adults. The main character steps into the public library to look for answers. To read. To research a topic ( taxation in Ottoman Turkey) a random topic which is so Murakami.

He is then sent away into the depth of the library to face an interesting destiny.

The cast of secondary characters include a sheep man. A mysterious girl with no vocal cords. and the old man.

I think this could be a warning tale to children not to approach public libraries before closing time and get locked in it. or just a fantasy when you read a book and just get lost in it and escape into another world. another dimension. 

The narrative is crisp and fresh. yet it’s lacking the complexity of a regular Murakami.

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Unknown Legend

He lost her. Crude tiny microscopic cells invaded her body, overnight. Colonies took abode in her lungs, left kidney and half a liver. Cancer .. the big C word ravaging the body , yet retaining the mind and soul.

They were one. A unit. In the summer of ’71. A pair of shiny Harley Davidson on route 66. Holding hands on an empty stretch before a setting sun. Wild hair, Indian shirts, leather gear. A strand of blond hair escaping the helmet..blowing in the wind.

Young and in love. They continued on that highway till the end. Till the Harleys become heavy with life’s responsibilities; children, a career, cash. They stored them in the shed under a tarp. Oiled and majestic yet in exile.

Their children became adults, got married, did all the proper things. Weddings, bells, cards, dresses, another stretch of the highway.

Old age creeped under the wooden blocks. Passed through thick socks and boots. Resided in cold chests under knitted sweaters. Separated them in bed, yet made the summer of ’71 more memorable.

The end came .. a pain in the arm, ache in the leg, a cough, fever. Reaper ready to sough the seed of life. The blonde hair became snow, the face shrinked, the smile didn’t fade.

The last kiss on a white starchy hospital bed. Under florescent lights. The same old thin lips. She battled silently with her eyes .. her books.. her silence and pride. She was his unknown legend.

Somewhere on a desert highway She rides a Harley-Davidson
Her long blonde hair
Flyin’ in the wind
She’s been runnin’ half her life
The chrome and steel she rides Collidin’ with
The very air she breathes
The air she breathes.

You know it ain’t easy
You got to hold on
She was an unknown legend
In her time

Unknown Legend – Neil Young

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Unfinished ocean tale

The ocean is three miles from my room. On clear days, I can see the reflections on its surface. Silver beads, going back and forth with the waves. Salty air filling the space and traveling into my nostrils. The ocean , our friend and enemy, our past and future: the source of pride of the island. Me, a little girl of 13 gazing out of the window into the endless ocean.

Last week, someone in the village died. A fisherman , Solomon was his name. He fished cod , haddock and squid. Was he old ? I don’t think so. Did he have any kids ? None that I know of, mom never mentioned them. He was not found.. the blue green boat of his returned to the harbor alone, empty, no sign of him. 

The funeral , the first I’ve been to since the death of my pops four years ago. Nothing remarkable , dirt scattered on a coffin, a sermon of God, death, peace everlasting. Half of the village went to the cemetery, some alone and some with others..hunched shadows in the light of a grey sun. Some cried, I heard his wife, now called a widow according to my dog eared dictionary, cry into the dark open pit of grave. Weeping and crying for the days to come, I suppose.

Young girls are not allowed to the funeral, our parents try to keep us from being contaminated by sadness. Pure shall we stay till someday.. or that what mom says.

After the funeral i walked to the ocean. Barefoot , in my Sunday pink dress, with buttons up to here – my neck- and a straw hat. Most of the shops were closed except Mrs Noseworthy, the grocer, I purchased some red hard candy from the glass box by the till. 2 cents worth of candy. Thanks Mrs and i ran away after throwing the two dark coins on the counter.

Do I usually walk alone, you may be asking yourself? Yes it is safe here , people do know each others. Life is simple , we have one radio machine in town and men surround it to hear about the war or a thing they call news.

So I walked, slowly on the main dirt road. No strangers was passing by, I was alone.. my dictionary with me, a book i won from Mr Johnson , the English teacher for reciting a Victorian poem called Rest by a female poet

O EARTH, lie heavily upon her eyes; Seal her sweet eyes weary of watching, Earth;
Lie close around her; leave no room for mirth With its harsh laughter, nor for sound of sighs.
She hath no questions, she hath no replies, Hush’d in and curtain’d with a blessèd dearth Of all that irk’d her from the hour of birth;
With stillness that is almost Paradise. Darkness more clear than noonday holdeth her, Silence more musical than any song;
Even her very heart has ceased to stir: Until the morning of Eternity Her rest shall not begin nor end, but be;
And when she wakes she will not think it long.

The ocean is closer, when my eyes are closed shut. The salty air guids me to the harbour, to the boats, to the gutted fish and seagulls. The sun still playing on the surface, shades and shadows drawn and erased with waves. Red and white stripped lighthouse stands on the mouth of the harbour to welcome strangers from strange lands.

Jeevis’s red and black boat is coming in, a trail of seagull flying over, I hope none would drop a gift on my hat. The boat slowly gets close, paving its way, more like carving it on the ocean.

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Star fish #fragment

He gave her a star fish and told her “dry it in your room, nail it to the wall in front of your bed, and before you sleep make a wish.. wish anytime, you’ve got your own star”. He was a sailor .. she was 13.

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Fragment #10 Penguin

Why do you love Penguin – the publishing house- ?

Because …

Because is not an answer, I thought words were your lovers.

Because .. How can you not love an Orange coloured spine, with an innocent looking penguin.

But, this is not an answer..that is not the answer I am looking for. You are not 5 years old anymore.

Penguin , Dr. Inquisitive, means a lot for me. The quality of a book for a reasonable price. Their modern classic series, a childhood companion when I was not in my gym class, I would be in a room reading a book.

So you hated people?

I love mankind, but I hate people.

Why do you like Penguin, not Vintage or City Lights ?

When you publish a banned or as it was called obscene – Lady Chatterly- and win a case in front the court , and allow millions of people to read the book. This inspires you to respect them.

But they published books that caused a lot of problems like The Satanic Verses..?

Book terrorism never happened before that, if it was not Penguin, it would be any other publishing house. Your question does not prove a point.

Your answer is even more ridiculous… What’s your favourite book?

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. An Australian author. A family saga in the Australian outback over six decades in a book about love, religion, war, dedication, secrets. What goes around comes around sort of book.

Though it is not a Penguin book .. Avon is the publisher as I recall..

That doesn’t mean I only read Penguin books.. this is becoming ridiculous .. I withdraw …

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March of Penguin

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