Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wishing Well Tales [an excerpt] (Friday Fiction)

Hello everyone, I have the pleasure of hosting Friday Fiction this week. To join, simply post a link to your contribution using the widget(McLinky) at the bottom of this post. Please take time to read and share, we all love the feedback. Happy weekend!

Author's Note: I'm going to be busy with some projects in this coming month, so this may be my last post for awhile. In keeping with that, I'm running a short, abstract sort of piece for today. (and it is short!) Thanks for taking the time to read. This is a piece of a longer WIP. ^_^

“She’s his favorite.”

“He always treats her special.”

“She thinks-shh! She’s coming.”

The voices are echoing in a hallway too big for the little people who visit the tiny town square. Each little person quietly whispered with their neighbor, each carrying a bulging sack thrown over one shoulder.
Even the children have their own.

Whisperings traveled around as they made way for The Princess’s arrival. She is smaller and thinner, so much that her sack seems smaller in size and barely filled.

In the town square her sack is refilled. As she hefted the load over skinny shoulders, her people watch her go and the whispers start up again.

“Did you see that?”

“Uh-huh! Another refill?”

“Who does she think she is?”

A story has started on its own and the townspeople gladly add to it because they are bored and time is cheap.
For good luck, every sack is filled with a bit of water at the wishing well. Over a period of time, the water multiplies. When a sack is filled, that person is allowed to visit the King and trade with the royal merchants for whatever they have inside their sack.

The entire ritual was devised by a grubby-faced, spiky-haired little boy who appeared on the edge of the royal city ten years ago. The little boy grew into a scruffy young man who now regulates the wishing well.

In order for any decent, accurately functioning wishing well to work, a heart of gold is required to see that all wishes are properly received and processed. This young man gladly gave up his innocent heart in exchange for a home in this kingdom.

The townspeople treated him cautiously and because they have nothing better to do than to lug around oversized sacks, the scruffy young man is the object of their discussions.

Idle hands breed idle tongues.

The lovely Princess graced the royal city once a week, traveling to the tiny town where the wishing well resided. She allowed the scruffy young man to refill her sack and bid him thank you and goodbye, with a cheerful smile.

Whispers started up again, claiming that she could only be selling the riches of her sack for her own selfish game.

No one knew what she did with her sack.

But of course, there are sack inspections. A royal guard accompanies the scruffy young man in examining those of dishonest reputation to determine whether they are worthy of the contents of their sack.

He has always done an exceptional job, except for this past month.

The Princess has visited more frequently, having graced the well twice within the week. When questioned, The Princess merely smiled and attempted to shoulder her half-filled sack again.

“Wait!” The scruffy young man hurried to help her settle it comfortably over her shoulder.

“Thank you.” The Princess is off again, only to return a few minutes later.

Surprised townspeople crowded around her as she approached the well, timidly offering her bag again. Surprised, the scruffy young man took it.

He helped her settle it on her shoulders again as a curious procession formed behind, awaiting the return journey.

As she neared the gate, The Princess tripped. Her sack went flying as she fell into the dirt road.

“Quick, the sack!” Someone said.

Several young men following behind, attempted to retrieve her sack only to find they could not budge it an inch. Prying hands tried to open it, but their efforts were in vain.

With a soft sigh, The Princess moved between them and hefted it easily onto her skinny shoulders. There was the sound of sloshing inside, hinting at the liquid contents as The Princess started towards the castle again.

“Judge not what you do not know.” She whispered.

The people murmured. 

“That is the very depth of her heart.” The scruffy young man interrupted. “For selflessly taking on the burdens of those around her, she has broken my spell.” With a flash, the scruffy young man turned into a Handsome Prince. “I dream of being worthy of such a Princess. For while you all have grumbled and complained of your own trials and sufferings, your princess has quietly toiled away, doing what little she could for you. Because of her, your burdens are lighter and your trades are more profitable. You all know that the water from the well reflects your present state of mind once it enters the sack. Were it not for her sake, you would all suffer.”

(c) Sara Harricharan


Yvonne Blake said...

Great allegory! (I love allegories.)
Thanks... I'll be thinking about this all day.

Debra Ann Elliott said...

You left me wanting to read more!

Anonymous said...

I like this post!
Good job, Sara!