“What did you see?” the old man enquired. His voice deep and solemn, “speak up, girl.”
“I saw a, a whale. A whale made of stars, swimming in…nothing.” mumbled the little girl. She didn’t look into the eyes of her interrogator. Her eyes were fixed on the twilight.
“Child, I’ve lived in these mountains for years. So many lonely years, to…to see this. My sanity girl, give me back my sanity!” the old man howled with bitter laughter which frightened the little girl. Her shoulder shook as she began to cry silently.
“No, no. I am so sorry!” the old man cleared his throat and kneeled down in front of the little girl. He patted the little girl’s head with an oversized palm. “There, there. Don’t you cry, sweetheart. I wouldn’t hurt ya. I can act a little crazy sometimes, sorry.”
The little girl looked down at her feet and rocked on her heels, sniffling every now and again.
“I promise, I won’t do it again. Forgive me?” he apologised in a gentle and sincere manner.
She finally raised her eyes to look at the old man and smiled. The moonlight glistened on the traces of snot and tears left behind. The old man gave her an old handkerchief to clean her face with.
“Wanna come inside and have a cup of hot cocoa?” he asked, gesturing towards the small wooden cabin he called home. “It’s freezing out here.”
“Sure.” she whispered, blowing her nose on the handkerchief. Her voice was still shaky from crying.
“That’ll be lovely.” she added, louder this time.
They headed towards the door of the cabin which stood only a few steps away from them. The old man held the door open for the little girl to pass through. He might’ve minimised his contact with civilisation as much as possible but he never forgot his manners. She thanked him while he closed the door and hanged his jacket and scarf. Then he gave the little girl a blanket to wrap around herself and told her to make herself at home. She took a sit on a small armchair in front of the fireplace while he made the hot chocolates.
My writing goal at this stage is simply to write anything so that it becomes a part of my everyday routine.