Short Stories

Gifted – Dominik Ježek (short story)

Note: The story is based on the following writing prompt – It’s your character’s birthday and he/she is having dinner with their family when suddenly the door bell rings and there is a box outside the door with a photo, a sea shell and a letter. Write the letter to the birthday person.

Gifted – Dominik Ježek

“Through the worst and back again
had trod on lines where all is due,
the fatigued, exhausted man
cleared his mind and rose anew.”

Do you remember this poem, M? I think I lost it somewhere in between the lines we last spoke. A month has passed by and I finally came to the answer which I would like to share with you. It’s not a final answer but it might as well be. To your birthday, I would like to recall three stories we shared together.

A sudden, loud guttural sound pierced our ears while we stared down at the river calmly flowing and reflecting the glimmering lights of old buildings on the left bank. You shook and almost fell aback. My heart came to a stop as well for a while. Especially when the beat of heavy wings drew nearer from beneath. Our frantic, scared eyes met and, right after our hearts recalled they should start working again, we heartily laughed. Then I felt it. A jolt of inspiration and a perfect way to capture this moment. I nearly set my camera flying on the cobblestones but I managed to capture the swan commando that had made us jump out of our skins and slowly drifted away from us. Their wings were glaring in the late evening like beacons of light that shall guide our way. I asked you and you said no.

Another evening, this time a much warmer one, just behind an old aquarium near a rocky beach. We ran off like mad dogs. The torch was scanning the vicinity and we jumped off a wall to dark safety. No sound was uttered. For, I assume, two seconds. Then you started giggling and it was so contagious I couldn’t suppress the outburst of laugh anymore. We looked at each other in the darkness. Your lovely big brown eyes lured me in and I lost myself in your stare completely. Hadn’t it been for the flashlight that hovered over our heads, I would have drowned in the gaze. A moment of eternity. I asked you and you said no.

The last story comes from an evening as well. Come on, let’s face it. Neither of us is a morning person. There was a giant multidimensional fish guarding its prisoners and there were only two portals to guard. The prisoners – tiny metal octopuses screwed and screwed to a wooden plank (stop frowning, this is a good one) that held them in place. The evil fish with long sharp blade-like teeth, scruffy, thin fins and abysmal eyes hid behind the wall and all there was to recognize her presence was a light on an antenna that hung from the wall. One wall with few lights and several glasses of red wine. You laughed and your eyes dazzled me with the little dancing sparks in them. I asked you and you said no.

I love sharing my stories with you and I adore when you add to them, mingle a character in, enhance them with your perspective or make up a story of your own that I can dig in. For all those gifts you have given me, I would like to thank you. There might be gifts in the future. You asked me a month ago and I say no. Not yet.

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