Author: Clive B Ringshall


Life has a different path for each person that travels its unexpected road. The only certainty is the road of life ends the same for everyone.

They were brought together through a time when the world was at odds with its self; a time of depression that filled the solar system’s black holes until they could hold no more. These two people, strangers, bought together through circumstance alone told stories that bought all the senses of those who listened to life. Every emotion and every facial muscle worked to bring the story to life as they grasped each spoken word.

Their faces carried the burden of a thousand untold stories. Each line on their face told its own unique tale to those who would listen. They walked up the trail overgrown by a variety of colourful weeds and made it to the tunnel’s entrance now build up with a thick wooden doorway. This tunnel was once used as frequently as any fridge door. Floods of old memories passed their eyes. Some memories brought tears of heavy sadness to them both. They grasped each other’s hands as they had done many times before in this now forgotten place.

In 1943 they both would come running to this damp and foul smelling tunnel that offered protection to escape the bombings of their village. Together they would tell stories to the town’s people in an attempt to calm them from the obvious destruction they could hear happening above them. Their stories would capture all those who listened in moments of imagination. The listeners were able to be a part of the storyteller’s imagination. Each story gave hope to the adults who had lost the hope of ever being liberated and excitement to each child whose only excitement was to make it through another day.

Together they had a magical ability of bouncing a sentence off each other almost as if they were making up a song. Their words put everyone at ease, if only for the time to take their minds of the bombings.

Now they were back, back in a place both vowed never to return. Why return to a place that could only haunt you with visions of death and bodies huddled and crying together? After the war they started writing their verbal stories and became, once again, a magical success as authors. Their books became known for their unique quality in that they told two different stories within one written story. Read by a child they were fantasies full of adventure; but to an adult they were mysteries surrounded with love yet full of suspense.

Warring long forties style attire only seen in museums or a fancy dress party, they walked arm in arm assisting each other. As they stumbled deeper into the depths of this forgotten hero, both of them looked for a mark made by two innocents who came from a time of uncertain tomorrows.

From the teary mists of their once magical eyes, they see, there on the wall, two feet above the ground, the mark they had traveled so far to see once more. The word ‘promise’ was inscribed on the rock face; a promise given by two strangers in a time when being in the outside world gave new meaning to words such as ‘fear’, ‘scared’, ‘life’ and ‘tomorrow’. Love was a word that could only last a day. An enigmatic smile crossed their faces as their demeanor sank and they clutched their hearts in an excruciating agony that released them from their tiring journey.

------- Author's Notes -------

This short story is about a return visit for the two Characters that reside within my mind..


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