Young man stood watching changes outside window: skyscrapers, smog, people, cars, noises – forever running engine. His hair white, his eyes brown-green, figure slim built, wearing jeans, holding glass of whiskey. In the background – sound of shower turning down, then someone walking into the same room where white haired man stood.
– Are you sure Niko won’t eat them up badly? Because I am definitely sure she indulges in sweet temptations and shall pull that girl with her.- He turned to face his lover, – Are you listening, Erick?
– Ehh… So? She does what she feels like. As long as it doesn’t make problems for me – I am not getting involve in what she does. She has her approach. – Erick breathed out as he was dressing up. – And why would she concern you now, huh, David?
Erick gave evil eye to white haired man. David did not let a single emotion slip. He simply downed his whiskey.
– Cat, you’re not the only one having relationship with Niko. I, as her right hand person, and as your lover shall remind you that there is more than just the story of the two of you.
David went to his nearby desk – to leave glass and check papers. Mixed up manuscripts produced by Erick.
– Bloody rabbit, – mumbled Erick, – anything else, other than mocking me is about to be said by you or am I delirious?
David picked up few pages:
– Here story misses out something. Perhaps a bit of what is going on. You should add one more episode here, preferably more details. Part where: “Strands of life were pouring into him, as his dead body rejuvenated from sudden love and compassion. Life wasn’t as he dreamed it. Perhaps alike, but different. Eyes showed life now. All surroundings and all events before – became some twisted shallow metaphor. For first time in his life he knew he’s loved, although lover has left him. He lost her. Yet, he knew – he finally loved like never before.” This misses bit of continuation.
Erick eyed him, then let out mad growl.
– You’re hell of an annoying accomplice.
– Yet as annoying as I am, you like me to the ends of your wits. – David smirked at Ericks anger. – And lately – you are far more agitated by something. Angry you is not having all to yourself?
– I think that is none of your business. – Hissed Erick, – Let’s get on with work.
Dealing with oddly mad Erick was too much work. David gave nod and they went on with manuscript. On the desk were around seven piles of printed works – all yet to be edited. So without further ado – both men got on with needed work.
Phone rang. David took the call – went chatting into another room. Erick took a breath. Deep breath. Being quite exhausted by all the brain work and workload, editing and decisions.
Distraction is needed. He got up, went to look outside the window. High buildings, middle of big city, people swarming below. Businessman, office caterpillars, simply people who enjoy their day out. Girls happily jumping next to high end shops, men in suits sitting in café – having lunch. Well, it is indeed lunchtime right now.
In a way it is amazing to observe people from aside. Most are short sighted, so delusional, so obsessed with their idea of being the one with the right answer. Being the one who is always right, mocking others without realising how much they actually are alike.
Having most ideas, thoughts, in their heads stereotyped, ideals – stereotypical farce, being hollow, yet they’re being so vicious to show how much stupid stuff they possess. Just as most are empty meat bags, some of rest are with soul, with dignity and knowledge.
Wise, understanding and perhaps, although having dark past, they know how to really, full heartedly emphatize, be happy and value what they have. But sadly enough – there are not many who have heart and keep it clean. Such are rare breed – close to extinction. Therefore are very valued people – a bit naïve, but beautiful.
Devastating reality: nice people are close to extinction. Right now world is full with cold blooded liars, two faced arseholes, theatrical divas, lazy twats and list goes on.
The sound of boiling kettle came from kitchen. Everyday life is right next to you all the time. Crazy to know that there are always mundane things in life. Unless you are a sort of person seeking a lot of adventures for yourself – just to make life more complicated. Most of adventures are full of risk – regretful at times. Life at its finest – always.
– Cat, two sugars as always? – David’s voice came from the kitchen.
I turned around and walked to the kitchen.
– Yes, White Hare, two sugars as always. – I said, taking seat at the bar.
Fancy cups, fine silver teaspoons, porcelain plates – David also got this sense of fanciness from our common friend. We’ve mounted up this piece of lifestyle from our made-up stories with Niko. We have our own life we share.
– We sure are missing her for this tea party. Lunch with her is always interesting. Her observations are worthwhile. This makes me miss her. – David smiled, as he poured hot tea in cups.
I smiled softly, as I recalled memories of moments together.
“She does comes across as a muse. I suppose she is inspiration for both of us.” – I said, my voice sounded softer than usually.
Both men took cups, went back into living room and sat on the couch next to each other.
– Do you remember the story about living tree? – David asked as he looked over the contents of the table – same piles of paperwork.
– Mmm… – Erick gave it a thought, – Not sure I do. How did it go?
– Story of the Tree – a sort of descendant of mighty Yggdrasil. Tree grew in midst of forest next to greatest mountain. Close to that tree was village – small village. Villagers called tree their Mighty Mother. They prayed to it. They believed that Tree protected them. There was a legend: atop this Mother Tree was chalice filled with water that gave you immortality. Villagers treasured and protected tree, looked after it. They had Mighty Mother protecting them from cold winds and from horror that existed behind the mountain. Because tree was almost as high as mountain, wide and great in look – most travellers didn’t really notice the village.
But as time passed – village became town, it had a lot of travellers stopping by. Yet, even as time passed – the custom of taking care of Mother Tree was kept.
One day some merchants came by asking about Tree and why it had so much strange authority in town. As merchants were going from tavern to tavern – they got to hear the legend of chalice. That’s where curiosity kicked in. They asked more about this chalice – whether it is still there, why no one took chalice and why people are not in slightest interested to acquire this chalice.
The merchants were amazed that people never wished to get this chalice.
With such information at hand they went to nearby kingdom and sold information to king. But it didn’t stop there. They sold information to wealthy merchants as well. Words spread far and wide about chalice of immortality atop Mighty Tree. From then on Town next to Mother Tree was raided by different people. By merchants, by bandits, by knights and kings men, making people flee to live on mountain nearby. Many tried to climb the tree – others shot them down, people fought each other over chalice. They tried to cut down tree – but failed.
As bloodshed kept on going next to roots of Mother Tree – her trunk became red, leaves became orange and even blood-red. Bark started to have small red drops, looking like tears – tree cried.
But one day, little boy managed to sneak past guards. Guards were on posts all around. He miraculously climbed to top of the tree. Covered in sticky red tree sap, he stood atop tree – amazed.
There, in depth of leaves and tree branches, sat old lady. She guarded the chalice – it was in the middle of small fountain. Atop the tree – where branches spread out, it truly looked mesmerising. Boy took few steps towards old lady. She turned to look at youngster.
– Are you here for the chalice? Are you here for it? – spoke lady in squeaky voice, sounding frustrated.
– Um, granny, I am not really here for it. – Boy was really amazed by what he saw. His eyes twinkled and sparkled.
– Why are you here? – Granny said grumpily.
– I was told by mother that this chalice gives immortality. Is it true? – Boy walked over, then sat nearby granny. Her eyes squinted – as if she’s giving him evil eye.
– Yes it is. You are one curious boy, I see. – Said lady squinting her eyes even more.
Boy shifted his position, getting closer to granny.
– Granny, tell me, what is immortality? I don’t understand why everybody is trying to get it? – Boy was so greatly amazed – he never really thought he’d find the chalice or even someone atop here. And fountain? That was really magical. Granny relaxed a bit.
– Immortality is ability to keep living forever – in memories of others, in their hearts. People are interpreting immortality in way to let their body live forever – maintaining youth. It is all a fake story, such never happens. These fools just don’t know what they are fighting for.
– Then why are they willing to get chalice? It won’t give them what they want. – Boy was confused.
– Chalice holds immortality of tree. Trees life. Without this water – held in chalice – Mother Tree will die.
Boy sat confused. He did not know what to do. He climbed tree to see with his eyes if chalice was real – it actually was. But immortality was not the kind of one people down there were looking for. Why can’t someone tell them that it was not the “immortality” they’re seeking for? By the way, how come this granny is here? He looked at her with all his questions reflected in his eyes.
– Dear boy, you think that the truth will make these thieves and merchants leave? You are wrong. They will keep on trying to get this chalice – even if it’s not truth about immortality – they still will try to achieve it. Just for sake of it. Their greed is driving them to insanity; making them conquer more, get more. They don’t care about anything or anyone but themselves. And all they want is to fulfil their greed, needs, wishes. Even if it harms all and everything around them. Telling truth to them is useless. They won’t listen. They are deaf to sense and blinded by money, by treasures, by power. Don’t worry much, boy, I’ll protect tree from whoever with dark heart tries to reach up here.
Boy listened carefully.
– By the way, granny… – Boy tried to ask another question, but old hag cut him off.
– You boy go back. Your mum waits for you. Shoo!
He got up, walked to edge, then turned around to take one last look. Once he turned around – no granny was there, no chalice, no fountain. He dumbfounded climbed down.
Years later he was last of ones who protected Mother Tree. Everybody else left. Roots of Mother Tree took back to earth bodies of silly dead man, oblivious to reason who fought for non-existent “forever life”.
Old man left manuscript telling story about tree and his encounter with old lady atop the tree. He left truth before he passed away. By then – the story about tree became a legend.
New inhabitants of town did not pay attention to old customs, nor they cared about tree.
One day in a library – young girl found manuscript which spoke so much about the tree, about people and life of one man. It was enough to spark something inside her – making her start taking care of tree. A wave of new life – before history repeats its gruesome self.
Erick fell asleep, from exhaustion due to work. Davids voice with this story lulled Cat off to dreamland.
David went, grabbed blanket and pulled it over Erick. Then he went to his study.
“I should call her. Check how that rascal is doing.” – Thought David to himself as he dialed her number on the phone.
Lazy cat in wonderland dreaming of high garden,
Led by White Hare to the goal, towards gates of marble,
Just as Cat was walking through – he saw aside one flower,
“Lonely Orchid” – so he thought, as he left to follow.
There, ahead was mighty tree, branches spread all over,
Under sat his muse, his friend – once again to know her.
Due to time that flew so fast he forgot to tell more,
But important message was to say that he still loved her.