The Hermit – A Story Part 1

The alarm dragging him slowly from sleep. Hit the snooze button. Relax. But ten minutes later there it is again, the programmed, electronic buzz that, every day, forces him from sleep into semi-consciousness. Throw back the covers. It’s the only way to be sure that seductive snooze button remains unpushed. It’s grey again. The day greets him with about as much enthusiasm as he feels standing up, looking through the window at a land bathed in its winter dulness, and he walks blearily to the bathroom.

His face greets him from the mirror above the sink. A brief image of himself as a child proudly brandishing his brand new leather gloves with delight at a mirror some 40 years ago is replaced by the same face, but older. The same hair, but now edged with grey. Pulling a brush through that greying hair, rolling on some deodorant, and thoughts turn towards fresh coffee.

The bus ride is the same as yesterday. Houses and shops pass by. Faces and eyes turned down towards tiny screens, each lost in worlds not so far away, yet separated by billions of pixels. Somewhere, someone those eyes barely know, shared a photo of their dinner last night. Scroll. Politicians being arseholes. Scroll. Sign this petition. Signed. Scroll. And then it’s their stop and, eyes not once leaving the screen, they shuffle along between the seats and off the bus. Every move, silence.

The bus moves once more.

A sharp intake of breath and his eyes open wide as a voice whispers into his left ear.

“An eye that can see Nature, a heart that can feel Nature, and a boldness that dares follow it.”

He looks around. Nobody there.

“An eye that can see Nature, a heart that can feel Nature, and a boldness that dares follow it.”

The bus slows down. A mother shouting, children stepping off the bus, late for school again, and “she tells them every morning,” but do they listen? Walking away it’s obvious that same mantra will be shouted again tomorrow.

The bus moves once more.

A sign flashes that we will be much happier if we just buy more make up, another that a helicopter and rich lover would be waiting if we just buy a little bottle of overpriced smelly chemical water, and place it enticingly under our ears. Eat more, buy more, do more, be less.

“An eye that can see Nature, a heart that can feel Nature, and a boldness that dares follow it.”

Right there, close, whispering.

Nobody there.

Here comes the man’s stop. The same stop he has taken every weekday for 14 years. Just a short walk then down Edward Street and into the office. The same “Good mornings” as yesterday. As if something interesting might have happened since the “see you laters” from yesterday. His thumb rests on the little button that controls the decisions of the driver. Just one little push and everything can remain the same. Nice. Comfortable. Reliable. Safe. Just one push. Just like we push our way out of the womb into life, meet the people who are our family, see the immense potential and gift of life, then go to school, get a job, buy a car, meet someone and get married, have kids, earn more money to buy more things and then you’ll be happy, consume, be respected. Just push the button. Stay on the path. Don’t stray.

His eyes watch as the stop passes the window.

A hand moves away from the button.

“An eye that can see Nature, a heart that can feel Nature, and a boldness that dares follow it.”

The whispering voice once more.

…to be continued…

By | 2017-01-09T11:14:25+00:00 January 9th, 2017|Categories: Fiction|Tags: , , , , , , , , |21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Samantha January 9, 2017 at 11:24 am - Reply

    I am hooked already!

  2. terri January 9, 2017 at 11:25 am - Reply

    oooo! intriguing!!! 🙂

  3. Sandra January 9, 2017 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Don’t leave it like this you have me intrigued want to know ending

  4. Keith January 9, 2017 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Intrigued… Can’t wait for part 2.

    The style of this reminds me somewhat of Algernon Blackwood

  5. Lesley January 9, 2017 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Awakening is a powerful moment.

  6. Yvonne January 9, 2017 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Enticing…

  7. Elizabeth Fison January 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Waiting for part 2.

  8. Annette January 9, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    Really enjoyed that so intriguing and full of hope that people do and are awake !

  9. Linda Davis January 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    More please!

  10. Jeannie Adey January 9, 2017 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Oh how true. The observation of a life taking the unexpected path…look forward to more. SOON!

  11. Barbara January 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    year, much more! You are a very gifted storyteller!

  12. Char Lewis January 9, 2017 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Love it! Waiting for part 2.

  13. Carol Douglas January 9, 2017 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Listening intently!

  14. Sonia January 9, 2017 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    The Hermit… hmm… Saturn brings the lamp of Enlightenment amid the sorrows of everyday life, he is a Teacher. We learn indeed a heart that can see Nature, a heart that can feel Nature, and hopefully a boldness that dares follow it. For what matters in the material things that become fodder for moths and rust, for the hoarder who sits upon a pile of unspent gold, never doing good, nor noticing true beauty?

    Like the writing style, the truths,the story.

    I await the next instalment.

  15. Sleeping Warrior January 9, 2017 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Looking forward to the next chapter!

  16. Jeannetta Young January 10, 2017 at 1:33 am - Reply

    Awww! …left hanging! I’m looking at one of those little screens at this very moment with much appreciation for the life and feeling your shared words breath and offer to me…for more …please

  17. Tina January 10, 2017 at 4:19 am - Reply

    Waiting… waiting…

  18. Sheryl January 10, 2017 at 4:26 am - Reply

    Many hear the voice, but will they listen ?

  19. Dave Fletcher January 10, 2017 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Definitely waiting for part 2

  20. DiamondLil January 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Wow! You’ve perfectly described my commute in Boston, Massachusetts, down to me reading this on my screen as I wait for the train. At least I did the Lightbody exercise on my first train of the morning as I move through the Bardic grade of study. Looking forward to the next installment. When I arrive at the station in Boston, they are calling the train that goes back out to my village by the sea and everyday I have to resist getting on it and flying away.

  21. Sheila January 11, 2017 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    I was right there. GREAT little eye opener! Thanks again for a wonderful delightful story . . . waiting!

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