The Storyteller

“Lord, do words matter? Do stories even mean anything at all?”

She looked at her almost finished book, eyes wistful, heart falling in disdain. Would anyone even read those simple tales? In the world of instant information, would anyone even stop to linger inside the magical world of stories, of deep and lengthy fiction?

“Nobody really reads anymore,” she whispered sadly as she let the precious pages flutter away into the midnight air.

Off they drifted. The storyteller retreated quietly into her heart, deciding to hide herself from her love of words. She’d bask in loneliness and solitude forever. She preferred this to the torment and agony brought about by the frustrations of her passion.

“In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1.

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” Luke 18:1.

“Then He told them many things in parables saying…” Matthew 13:3a.

He spoke to them in many parables.

A tiny flame flickered in the storyteller’s heart. It was true. The Great Creator was the Master Wielder when it came to words. He chose to reveal Himself throughout the ages through writings in parchments, in old Jewish scrolls. And He turned to stories whenever He spoke of the Kingdom.

He turned to stories.

Slowly, the flame grew large enough to warm the girl’s almost frozen heart.

A lonely piece of paper sailed through the darkness before her. She saw it because it gave off a somewhat radiant light. It landed right next to her feet and, carefully, she bent down to pick it up.

It was a page from her story. It was stained with doodles and tears, but they weren’t hers. It was accented by distinct fingerprints, but they looked like they belonged to different people. Scribbled at the end of her story were words of thanks, written in varying handwriting, in varying languages.

The flame began to overtake the storyteller and she knew she had to write again.

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Boxes

The boxes of memories were piled up. High, one on top of the other. Behind the cartons, through the uncurtained windows, we could see the city skyline. It was different from the provincial view which had welcomed us a day, a week, a month, a year, several years before.

Something inside me crumbled as I realized how transitory time really was and how nothing remained permanent. We were in a new place now. A new season had opened up before us.

* * *

An empty carton lies in front of me. Several more needing assembly sit behind me. I start putting several items in — necessities like kitchenware, towels, and tablecloths. We should have disposed all of those stuff during the first move. But they did contain a lot of sentimental value. And you’ll never know when there’ll be a need for one dining set or more.

We’re moving again. I shall see those boxes piled on top of each other yet another time.

Silly Story

Just a silly story I wrote a little bit more than one year ago. I’m still doing rewrites so, yeah, that’s taking up most of my writing time. Re-reading this kinda makes me laugh. Someone said he and I could maybe work on a children’s book one day. That would be so awesome! Meanwhile, here’s the absurd and nonsensical tale. ;)

Sleepy Beauty
(Mari Anjeli, April 2012)

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a beautiful princess. Her name was Sleepy Beauty. Yes, you read correctly. Sleepy Beauty – not Sleeping Beauty. The latter was Sleepy’s cousin (once or twice removed) and was in deep slumber, as of the telling of this story. But the former, our heroine – she was not in slumber. She was in fact under a different kind of curse – one that never allowed her to sleep, yet made her eternally sleepy.

Thus Sleepy Beauty’s name. Sleepy was an unfortunate soul. Sometimes, she would sit at the dinner table with a spoonful of soup lifted up to her mouth when her eyelids would flutter and the spoon would fall to the table all a clatter. Other times, she would be brushing her hair by her bedside table and just when she would reach the hundredth brush stroke (she would brush her hair one hundred times every night), she would nod off for a second. And then she would lose count and would have to start her brushing ritual all over again, forgetting that she had actually already completed it. This happened almost every night. And so you can see how incredibly unlucky Sleepy was.

At night, you’d think she’d find reprise, but she never did. At precisely nine o’clock, she would crawl into bed (after brushing her hair one hundred times – or more). Then she would close her tired eyes. But, drowsy as she may be, her mind and body never reached that state of restfulness. She’d find herself aware of every noise, of every scent, of every movement – and she knew that she was not asleep. No, not at all.

The truth was, there was nobody to blame for this misfortune except Sleepy Beauty herself. She wasn’t always that drowsy. In fact, when she was just a child, before she turned 13, she was annoyingly perky. Coffee was not yet discovered during that time, but if it were, people would have described the child as “annoyingly high in caffeine.” She would buzz about, jump at people, giggle-giggle, and irked a certain witch so much (yes the same one that put her cousin – once or twice removed – to sleep) that the witch cursed her with that eternal state of sleepiness. Well, eternal, until Sleepy would taste of true love’s first kiss. Of course true love’s first kiss would always break the spell.

But who would want to kiss a drowsy dame who would doze off just when you are about to lean in? No one wanted to risk doing so because one time, a duke from a neighboring province did – and he ended up with a broken nose. A really broken nose.

And so Sleepy remained sleepy. And dinner time remained punctuated by cluttering utensils and she kept brushing her hair more than a hundred times almost every night.

But everything was about to change. One day, the princess met a dwarf with the same predicament. It was during a wedding of a maiden from another kingdom. The blushing bride had skin white as snow and lips as red as snow and was telling the guests the story of how the prince’s kiss was able to give her new life. She had been poisoned by an apple. Now, why would princes jump at the chance of kissing corpses or maidens who most probably would have bad morning breath – and not jump at the chance of just having a potentially broken nose? Anyway, it was during the maiden’s speech that Sleepy Beauty caught a glimpse of a tiny chap who was also trying hard not to doze off. She assumed that he was under the same curse that she was.

“Hello, my name is Sleepy Beauty.”

“Hello. I’m Sleepy. Just… sleepy.”

“Oh. A pleasure to meet you. Are you a friend of the bride?”

“Oh yes. I am. We took her under our wing when her evil stepmother tried to kill her and the hunter sent her away.”

“I see. We…?”

“Yes, I and the other six dwarves.”

 “The other six d…” And before Sleepy Beauty could even say dwarves, she found her eyes closing and her speech drawling. Only when she heard a voice say, “Miss beauty, are you okay?” That she remembered that she was at a wedding and was conversing with a fellow drowsy one at that.

“How do you feel about having your nose broken?” Sleepy Beauty asked when she was (almost) awake enough.

 “My nose? My nose doesn’t matter to me. And I don’t think it is likely to get broken. Dwarf noses are very squishy you know.”

 “Is that so?”

 You could probably guess the series of events that happened after that. You might argue that a dwarf could never be one’s true love, but who says the title is for Prince Charmings and Knights in Shining Armors only?

And so Sleepy Beauty was cured of her curse. But it turned out that Sleepy (the dwarf) was not cursed at all. He had a sleeping disorder called narcolepsy – but Beauty could live with that. When they got married, she changed her name. No longer did she call herself Sleepy Beauty – from that day forward, she was called “Sleepy’s Beauty” instead.

And you could probably guess that they all lived happily ever after.