The Tale of the Storm | In This Future Or The Next

The Tale of the Storm

White World

Do you see our white skin? It’s not the color we are born with. It’s a color that’s given to us. Once the young ones shed their birth color, they are ready for the hunt.

So you want to hear the tale? Is this why you’re here? They tell me you came from the sky, but I don’t believe them. That’s okay. They are young still. Gullible. There’s plenty explanations for that. Maybe you were raised inside a cave, maybe you’re afraid to be outside, it doesn’t matter. You’re not my enemy, so I am not your enemy. I will tell you the tale, but you will do something for me. It’s just a small thing, it’s nothing you can’t do. Once I’m done I will tell you what it is, and you will do it. The guards will not let you leave if you don’t, so I ask… Do you want to hear the tale?

Good.

It starts at night, under the light of two moons, at the shore of an ocean. In the twilight, on the edge of the water there stood a house. Inside the house there sat a woman, and with the woman there sat a boy.

“He said he would come back.” The boy spoke. He stared at the woman who hid her face behind her hands. She had been hiding for minutes by then, and the boy wanted to ask questions, he wanted to speak more words, but she was lost somewhere behind herself.

He walked away from her, unsure of how to bring her back from her trance and looked outside the window of the house where he had lived his life. He had looked through it before, during the night and during the day, but never before had he seen what he was seeing that night, below the shine of the two moons, listening to the sobbing of his mother. The mountains were there, behind his home, and the twinkling stars were too. The moons were there, gazing upon the land, and the ocean was too. A quick glimpse was not enough to discern the different reality. It was when he looked outside for the man who had promised to come back that he saw what was approaching.

Beyond the crashing waves of the shore, beyond the calm water of the sea, beyond the horizon where the men went, there was a cloud. It was not a cloud of the sky; It approached them from the ground.

“I can’t see him.” He said again. He didn’t know if his mother had heard his words, but he was not expecting her to. He cupped his hands and through them watched the outside world again, hoping to gain a better view. Hoping that in the midst of the darkness and the shadows of the waves the man would appear, rowing in a boat filled with presents and food.

There were tears streaming from beneath the hands of the woman who sat at the table next to him. He knew they were tears, but he did not understand why they were there.

“The white is coming. He said he would be here before the white came.” He looked at her this time, as he said the words he said, and grabbed one of the hands that covered her face. Beneath it, a red, wet eye turned to him, and then she brought down her other hand.

“Don’t worry about him. I will wait for him.” She said the first words she had said after the darkness had come, and he could see her eyes watching through the window he had watched through before. She was looking for him too, under the stars, riding on a horse, perhaps, riding in the sand of the shore, carrying with him the bags he always carried.

“Come here,” she said again, “come and sit here with me. I’m going to tell you a story.” So the boy walked to the chair where he had sat, and sat down on it again. The woman wiped her tears with her hands, and before committing to the telling of the story she stole one last glimpse of the window, and she sighed.

“A long time ago, a small girl, a girl about your age… she lived on a mountain. She took care of animals. She fed them every day and she brought them out for long walks across green pastures, under blue skies. She was the only daughter of a farmer and his wife, and every night they got together and had dinner on a small table they had outside. It was a simple life, like the one of a fisherman, like ours.

One night, after they had had dinner and had finished talking of the events of the day, they shared with her a secret. Underneath the house where she had grown there was a hidden place. A place she didn’t know was there, a place never before used, only seen by its builders, intended for a special night for a special person.

She was that special person. She went down into the secret place below her home and sat down on a comfortable chair that had been there lonely for who knows how many years. When the entrance was closed she found herself in darkness, and in the darkness she slept.

When her stomach rumbled and her throat asked her for water she came out of the hidden place, and when she did she smiled as she saw the birth of a new world. And in that world she made a new life, away from the mountains, by the shore of the sea, and there she lived happily until the last days of the world.”

The sound of her voice had withered as she approached the last part of the story and the boy listened to her crackling voice, and he touched her hand which dangled from the side of the table where they sat.

“Are you okay?” The boy asked the first question he had asked after the darkness came, and she looked at him and nodded.

“I have a secret to share with you.” She whispered in his ear. “There is a secret place beneath our home, and it can be used only by the most special people. It is meant for you.”

Holding hands, they walked to the back of their house and the woman uncovered a secret door to a secret room underneath. The white cloud loomed closer now, and the woman hurried him inside.

“When you are hungry, and you feel the need for water, wait a little longer. Wait until you can’t wait anymore. When you come out you will find a new world. The world will be for you.”

She closed the door and he sat in a small chair in the darkness, and in the darkness he waited, in the darkness he slept. When his stomach roared and his throat whistled with thirst he came out of the hidden place, and when he did he cried at the sight of the world he had been sent to. The sky was white and the water was white. His home was gone and the moons were gone. It was an alien world, too distant from his own, too far away to be returned. He looked towards the white horizon above the white waters of his new world. It shined bright, casting shadows behind him towards the open valleys between the mountains. His feet began to walk, and walk he did. He walked until the sea was gone, he walked until the mountains faded behind the white dust of the wind.

The tale of the storm. You can hear it from anyone, but you’ll never hear the same words twice. It’s how the world is made and remade. It has been three thousand years since I made that walk. I can still remember the old world. A world without the white sand, a world without the white beasts.

So now you’ve heard it, and now I’ll tell you what you’ll do for me. Come here. Come close. I have a secret I want to share with you.

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