Forward Or Back

gentle, praise, vulgar are this week's 3WW words. So settle back for a little allegory this week.

As Alabanzo grew older, he began to wonder whose praise his writing was meant to glorify. His first poems and stories reflected the innocence of the teenager he was: white characters against backgrounds whose shades but occasionally darkened his canvas. Doubtless, a reflection on the simple but loving upbringing Alabanzo had experienced in the small village which wasn't but which could have been called Paradiso. The world seemed so straightforward in those days.

Even when he left home to begin his studies, things hadn't changed much. The worlds he portrayed now contained big, black splodges. Even he could now see that the world of Paradiso was not to be encountered everywhere. Yet light was predominant in his stories, a vaccinating light, protecting and never failing to banish darkness.

At university, his reputation as a writer with talent grew. But, said his teachers, you need to look the world in the eye; most of this stuff is far too sentimental to be of much use. But the girls liked it. And Alabanzo began to like the girls. Passion, desire, and elation rose up from this heart of light lifting him to new dimensions. But alongside such feelings came those of envy, chagrin, anger and obsession as he had to fight to obtain a prize much yearned after. Yet, he couldn't write about any of these. They just didn't fit into any world he could imagine; he had no idea how to represent them.

Salvation came with Doucette. A fellow student she dripped her way into his life, dampening those passions which were threatening to tear him apart. Gentle was the only word he could find to describe everything about her appearance, her manner, her deeds, even the way she had invaded her soul. Not for her the passion others had provoked within him. Here was sweet assurance, benign light, placid contemplation. The world was whole again and Alabanzo wrote with a joy hitherto unfelt.

Their life together followed the regular rhythm of the drum accompanying the onward progression of a tortoise battling its way through the many obstacles on its upward progression. They themselves, however, had very few obstacles to overcome. Alabanzo's writing was received with enthusiasm by tutors and readers alike. And interaction with others made him realise that the world was not quite the paradise he had once thought. His work began to sell and people praised the optimism which shone forth from his pen. He was soon earning a small but steady income and he married Doucette. Once again, all was well in the best of worlds and continued so for many years.

Indeed, it might have continued so for the rest of his life, were it not for the monotony perfection brings. Alabanzo was growing tired of churning out the same kind of work day in day out. He wanted to widen his wings, take in something different. But whenever he went to the bookstore, all he could find was the type of vulgar novel from which he had freed all his life. "Who on earth would read such drivel?" he commented to Doucette one night. She responded with another of her saintly smiles. Monotony soon gave way to a broader dissatisfaction when Alabanzo discovered the drivel, as he put it, was actually selling a lot better than his own work. Not that they needed any extra money, they had more than enough and no desire for more. But the thought that readers were preferring vulgarity to the sublimity he had to offer them was too much. Envy soon found a small chink in his armour and began to lay siege to his thoughts. The resulting dissatisfaction was a severe test he fought hard to counter.

Then came the day of the village dance. Alabanzo and Doucette never spent more than a few minutes together at such occasions. They turned up to show they were not totally cut off from what was going on around them, but rarely gained anything worthwhile from the experience. This year, however, Alabanzo was alone, Doucette having returned to her native village to help prepare her younger sister's wedding. Ever since her departure envy was having a field day with Alabanzo's thoughts, conjuring up various promises of excitement against which Alabanzo had little resistance to offer. In a desperate bid to find some sort of peace of mind, he had considered not going, or, at least just putting in an even more token appearance than usual, or certainly not staying for longer than the first dance. And as he had never liked dancing anyway, the rest would be easy.

And it most certainly would have been, were it not for Tawdria. Tawdria was far from the most beautiful woman in the village. In the cold light of day, few would give her a second look. But done up in her finery with gaiety all around him she was the most hunted treasure

Hiding behind all the modesty she could muster, she held out her little finger to Alabanzo. Just the one dance he thought and then off home. They whirled around the floor and became the object of many tongue among those present. Alabanzo was spellbound when they stopped and was so glad when she leaned over and whispered into his ear. Never had words created such a tempest in his mind. She curled her little finger around his and led him away from the assembly, urging him on with promises of such enchantment. He followed her willingly and they soon came to the edge. She slipped his arm around her waist and soon they were looking out over the cliff into a future that sparkled with exhilaration. Just one more step. But would he go forwards or back?


he is on a slippery slope for certain! wonderful tale!

15 July 2010 at 00:00  

A good story with an intriguing character! Nice job.

15 July 2010 at 07:25  

Will he or will he not.. good one..

15 July 2010 at 13:31  

Wonderfully told. Everything mounted up to that final point.

15 July 2010 at 14:33  

Wonderfully written story. I hope they step forward.


15 July 2010 at 16:27  

ooohh i m intrigued!

well done!

15 July 2010 at 19:17  

Wonderfully written! So much poetry is infused within yet the story itself still reads strong. This: "A fellow student she dripped her way into his life, dampening those passions which were threatening to tear him apart." is lovely.

15 July 2010 at 20:45  

i like this edge of decision making....

19 July 2010 at 23:17  

Newer Post Older Post Home

Blogger Template by Blogcrowds