• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 03
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The Storytellers

The storytellers have taken to the streets, wandering and whispering.

They mutter in the ears of unsuspecting passers-by. Blow nebulous words into hard set minds.

Where they take hold.

People on the streets stop to scratch behind their lobes, but they cannot get to the source of the prickle, which seems to squirm freely, somewhere inside.

Some just stand and stare, as if noticing the world anew.

Like this woman here, laden with shopping bags, struck by something which swooped down upon her from a clear blue sky. She stands in the street and watches a plastic bag flutter in the breeze, rising higher and higher like the ghost of a bird. And watching it, a strange forgotten feeling jitters through her.

And she thinks, ‘I am happy.’

Or take this man over there. He was on his way someplace. He had things to do, important things. At least, he thinks he did. For now, all he sees is a yellow balloon bobbing down the street, held by a tiny hand. The child obscured by the crowds around her, though he catches a glimpse of her as the bodies part to let her through. Her upturned face illuminated by the sun, her smile.

He watches the balloon disappear down the street and imagines her laughter. Feels a jump of something somersault in his belly.

And he thinks, ‘joy.’


The Storytellers

And the storytellers watch as their words skip from ear-to-ear. A contagion of happiness. An outbreak of joy.

Though this is merely the prologue.

‘Love,’ they think, as they clear their throats, inhale, deep and true, then begin.