Down And Out
Down And Out5 mins 435 5 mins 435
The achingly bright ball of fire sent its first rays to the Earth, entering Bill's window. They hit him in the eye, bringing him back from the land of Nod. They scoured the entire room, making all the corners conspicuous. Dust motes floated in the air. A basket lay precariously on the windowsill, for Bill had to take it to the market to buy fruits and vegetables.
Bill lived with his mother on the outskirts of the city in a small yet congenial house. He had to walk 20 miles to the exchange zone and back as circumstances forced him to do so. His father had died due to cancer a few years ago, and his mother did the washing in the neighbouring houses, who earned enough money that bestowed them with eggs and milks for breakfast; bread and soup for lunch and frozen vegetables for dinner.
He quickly gorged in two hard-boiled eggs and set off to the market. On his way, he met three young men. One was tall and stalwart, radiating assertiveness. The second man was also tall but quite lean, his bones' outline as plain as a pikestaff. The third man was short and plump with beady little eyes. They told him that they had come to the city to find work, hopefully in a commercial company. Bill, who was quite new to all of this, simply stared at them as they continued speaking about their business ideas. Looking at his perplexed expression, they abruptly stopped. The conversation continued as Bill told them about his way of living. Their reaction was understandable, for they didn't know such a kid who walked 40 miles everyday, lived pauperised and yet had no desire to steal or had any cynicism towards the elite class. His squeaky clean nature caused the men's heart to go out to him who made a magnanimous offer to Bill, asking him if he would accept $100 every month from them as they earned money. Politely, he declined the offer, not forgetting to thank them for their generosity.
He was again stopped by an old man after a few miles. The man looked enfeeble, his eyes deep inside the sockets. He looked like a skeleton who put on rags and was struggling to come out of predicaments that were worse than the ones experienced by the poorest of all in any country. The man asked Bill to bring him some fruit from the market. Bill nodded and made his way to his destination.
Exhausted, he went to the vegetable vendor and bought carrots, ladyfinger and tomatoes. Next he went to the fruit stall and managed to get a banana and a few apples. Dusk was falling rapidly as he made his way back to his dwelling, looking for the old man. Yes! There he was. He was sitting under an old tree, fast asleep. Bill approached him and gently touched his hand. This was enough to wake the old man from his sleep, who took some time to recognise the young man standing in front of him. He gave the octogenarian all the fruit he bought.Then the man smiled and pulled Bill in a warm hug.
He took out 3 yellow seeds from his pocket and handed them over to Bill. He was instructed to plant the seeds in the morning, before sunrise, and wait until afternoon to perceive the magic. Thanking the old man, Bill ran home.
His mother was fast asleep when he reached home, so he directly went up to his room. In no time, Bill was lying on his bed, his eyes closed, back into the land of Nod. He woke up just before sunrise and hurried down the stairs to the backyard. He quickly planted the seeds, then hurried off to prepare breakfast while his mother cleaned the house.
They sat down to eat breakfast together, after what seemed like years. They spoke about all the work to be done during the day, and Bill soon forgot everything about the seeds. He didn't have to go to the market today, but remove all the weeds from the backyard and wash the clothes whilst his mother would be in houses that were in close proximity to their house.
Drenched in sweat, he walked towards the backyard. He crouched low and began pulling off some weeds. Then, out of the blue, a thick blue stem burst forth the green swathe of land. Instead of leaves, the stem bore spoons and on each spoon, there was a cupcake with white frostings and rainbow sprinkles. As the stem grew, a whole gamut of fruits made their appearance. There were grapes, apples, cherries, berries, pineapples, mangoes, kiwis, and bananas. It was a pullulating megalopolis of fruits and grocery that bewildered Bill extortionately.
Something clicked his mind. Yes...the three men he had met the other day. Hmm. They were talking about business, about earning money. I think I can do the same to earn a living. Then mother will not have to work for endless hours. We can both go the piazza and sell fruits and groceries.
He patiently waited for his mother to come home. He grinned as his mother discerned the incessant growth of the basic needs of one's life. After his mother was enlightened apropos the meeting with the old man and the three men, he told her about his 'business idea'. She smiled back, which meant that it will be taken into action. She was happy that her son wasn't the rapacious type; she was gratified that all the conscientious hours of work and their proclivity towards being indefatigable had paid off.
The future will be a coruscating kaleidoscope of ebullience and the present weaving itself to bring what is destined for these two self-effacing, bodacious souls who are the possessors of sempiternal delegation.