[An instalment in a work in progress, click ‘fantasy’ on the right to view all entries in this story, in reverse order from most recent to least]
Every morning Alex walked along the edge of the cliff and was passed by a colourfully dressed and bearded merchant on a donkey. Each day they greeted each other with a nod. Alex desperately wanted to know what part of the countryside he was from, for he looked like none of the people who lived in the villages on the sea’s side. But his tongue was always stilled by his feeling of awe of this bushy-bearded, long eyebrowed stranger. What’s more, Alex wished dearly to know what was inside the elaborately decorated jugs that hung on the animal’s sides. ‘One day’, he thought, ‘when I am just a little taller, I’ll ask him to tell me everything.’ But years went past, Alex grew from a boy as tall as the donkey’s leg to a young man taller than the entire animal, and that day had still not come. The bearded man passed him every day, with the same nod, never looking a day older than when Alex was a child.