The Soldier and the Witch
2nd 2012 I overheard that it was the International Day of Children's
Book. I wished to celebrate it for ever, and so it came to my mind to
write a tale for children and forbidden for adults, with a second part
for the latter the former could not read. I had great fun writing it,
and I even came on time to publish it in Amazon on that very same day.
I think it is one of the most interesting challenges in my career as a
writer, even if it is a minor work regarding its length, though not
regarding its contents and meaning.
Some days later I thought it would be a good idea to translate it into Spanish and Esperanto, to give it a larger international scope, and sent them to the same publisher. I have no copies on paper, thouggh I have the project to publish the three versions together in the same book..., or may be in a book of children's tales... Maybe in 2015, since now I am involved in five other literary projects.
There is not much more to say about such a modest, yet universal, work. I hope you like it.
I am presenting you with a short fragment so that you know what it tastes like:
The soldier enters the theatre
carrying a bag on his shoulder. He comes from under the scene, whence
he goes up to the first rows. He sees that the seats all over the
theatre are red in colour, but those in the first five rows are
separated from the rest by a wooden wall which rises only up to the
feet of the following row, as they all form a big staircase from the
floor to the ceiling of the room. The first five rows, in addition, are
grey-coloured, though here and there the seats are brighter, brighter
grey. He thinks they are reserved places. He sits on one, which is not
bright, on a regular grey seat, beside which there is an old woman who
is silently sleeping. The play looks nice, and he listens in attention,
after he sat and left his bag on the floor, near his feet.
Suddenly he must close his legs together: he needs a toilet. He stands up in silence and looks for the gents all over the theatre. He cannot find it. He is already on the last, highest row, and goes across the side door. He goes across the great hall, all in red and dark brown, and sees another door: he goes across it: he finds himself in the street.
There he finds that he is in a strange land, the language of which he cannot understand. Nobody is surprised to see him, and everything looks normal, but for the language he listens from the passers-by, which he cannot understand. The soldier looks for a pubic toilet, as his situation is growing worse. He goes into a shop, a dark, sad, sombre shop. The keeper is a man in his mature age, though not old yet. He talks to him in that language the soldier cannot understand. The man is aware of it, so he draws the way for him on a visiting card. When the boy leaves the shop, he hears the man talking to his mate in a gibberish language he cannot understand, but he makes out the words “revolution” and “South America”.
As he heads for the toilet, he
realises that streets are peculiar: after crossing a normal street, he
cuts into a barren lane with just weeds and grass, and the back of the
next house, which in the next street faces the next line of houses,
which backs on another barren lane, and so on for miles. Then he
remembers that he left his military bag on the theatre floor, and he
resigns finding the toilet. He turns back and heads for the theatre
again. He dismisses the idea pissing on the lane. But on his way back
he meets again that group of little girls, aged 12 to 14, whom he saw
playing the witches at a corner, and had not really paid attention to.
They had cornered one of them, and he suddenly realises that they all
are very beautiful, all dressed in red, and all but the cornered one
are wearing a red handkerchief on their heads. They are calling her
witch, and they are pushing her, shouting at her, pointing at her with
their little fists and kicking her in anger.
But the witch, who on his way to the toilet was laughing and when crossing her look with his had smiled at him, now is not laughing or smiling: she is sad and looking at the floor, getting her punishment, the disdain, insult, the kicking from her playing fellows, which makes the brightness of her blond hair stand, her long hair which reaches the floor, stand out. That sadness enhances the beauty of her face, her thin and blond brows even more.