"" bshawise: Once Upon A Time...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Once Upon A Time...

I sat down to write part 3 of the tadpole monologues and got an email from Jason in Ireland. He wanted a "Once Upon A Time..." story for his message this weekend. He wanted something about God's redeemed work. I have no idea if this is what he wanted. I honestly don't know if it's good. I started writing and hit send when it was "done." I didn't even proofread it. And now, I'm copying and pasting, sans proofread. If it sucks, ah well. I kind of warned you, right?

Once upon a time, in a small village outside Capital City, there lived a young inventor. His name was, and still is Edgar. He is an old man now and no longer inventing. In fact, he stopped so long ago that nobody in the village remembers his old trade. Why did he stop, you ask? That's what I'm going to tell you.

When Edgar was young he impressed everyone with his imagination and ability to create something out of nothing. He could walk into any shop and know what the shop owner needed to improve efficiency. The baker needed a better shaker. The florist needed her scissors repurposed. He was well-loved throughout the village.

One summer Edgar became fascinated with marbles. No one knows why, but he spent sun up to sun down creating new kinds of marbles. Green swirls mixed with bronze bursts. Red sparkles sprinkled through ivory folds. He made big ones, small ones, round ones and even square ones. The squares didn't work like he hoped. His marbles were gorgeous and for a few weeks he couldn't make enough to meet the village's demand. So he hired help. He spent his life savings on a larger furnace and took trips to India in search of exotic sands.

When he returned, kids no longer played marbles. They swung hoops around their hips instead. Edgar had all the supply but no demand. His business crumbled. Edgar had nothing except regret. He stopped coming out. People would walk by his shop and talk about how sad it was that the marble maker had given up. His former customers turned into adults and Edgar turned into an old man that most everyone half remembers.

Then a Stranger came to town. In some ways, He was like Edgar. He knew what people needed and knew how to fix things. He seemed to be half counselor and half inventor. This Stranger pretty quickly stumbled into Edgar's old marble shop. He found Edgar in the corner, behind bag after bag of sand. The Stranger didn't say anything. Neither did Edgar but he watched as the Stranger began examining the bags.

Soon, that examining turned into hauling. The Stranger was dragging the sand towards the furnace. Edgar kept watching from afar. Eventually the Stranger stopped working and came to talk to Edgar. They spoke about the day Edgar came back from India. Edgar told him how he lost everything. The Stranger listened to Edgar's sad story. When he finished the Stranger looked around at all the bags, the dusty furnace, the tools, everything. There was an awkward silence in the room. Edgar felt uneasy and the Stranger knew it.

"I can fix it." The Stranger said. Edgar half believed him but didn't know why and didn't say anything.

"Do you want me to fix it?" The Stranger asked.

"Very much." Edgar said ever so meekly.

The Stranger stood and helped Edgar to his feet. He began walking the old, bent-over Edgar around the shop. The same shop the younger Edgar used to skip through creating all sorts of things. Now it was just full of bags reminding him of his failures.

The Stranger taught Edgar a skill he must've learned in one of the other villages He'd been to. Even Edgar, a lifelong inventor had seen it before. They spent days working in the shop from sun up to sun down.

Finally, Edgar and the Stranger emerged from the shop. Edgar was holding his creation- a beautiful, blown-glass vase full of the most exotic colors the village had ever seen. Indigos danced with marigolds. Violets vibrated throughout periwinkles. People flocked towards Edward to see the vase. Immediately, he was taking orders. People wanted them for their living rooms, dining rooms, bathrooms even.

As they shouted the Stranger slipped away. He watched Edgar smile for the first time in years. Edgar saw the Stranger right before he left for good. They made eye contact. Edgar wanted to thank him but he didn't need to. His eyes said it all. He silently thanked the Stranger with his vase in hand. What was once a source of paralyzing shame and regret, was now something extraordinarily beautiful.

The Stranger fixed it. Just like He promised.

1 comment:

Scotty Mo said...

Very interesting piece. I really enjoyed the story of Edgar, I read it then took my dog for a walk. As I was on my walk, the one thing I could not wrap my mind around was the fact that Edgar, in his younger years (and infinite wisdom and brilliance), missed a golden opportunity. He was known for his imagination and ability to create something out of nothing, yet when he created his square marbles he never thought of putting little indents in the side of them and being the first to market dice. I googled the invention of dice and found that the inventor is unknown. While Edgar cannot lay claim to inventing actual dice, his vision of squared marbles was so futuristic, that I think it is news worthy of me to lay claim of the origination to our friend Edgar. Despite his overlooking of dice, I am still pleased with the outcome of Edgars happy story as I really do enjoy a good vase.