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The haystack
prose [ ]

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by [mircealupu ]

2012-02-29  |     | 

Have you seen the wheat crops when summer is at its height?
Have you noticed the colour of the spikes turning from yellow to brass.
Figure two puddles of water on both sides of a haystack and a stripe of flowers, like a huge smile stretching from one side of the field to the other. Seen from the road, the field is welcoming and friendly, but few succeeded in crossing the field to get close to the haystack.
The first steps are easy, the spikes quiver all together trying to get closer, like playing tag with you. If you so much as raise your eyebrows, the spikes start trembling with fear and then get in your way, intertwining like a net, the path disappears under your feet and you can barely advance. You soon get tired and lost, the haystack is no longer visible, you are stuck in a valley and the only thing you can do is to turn around and try to reach the road. Those who struggled to get to the haystack and failed are telling a story on how the haystack disappeared after the first attempt and they couldn’t see it anymore. After that, the only thing they could see was a flat field, stretching up to the hills, dotted with scarecrows and creaky fences, and nothing else. I heard the story from a traveler who passed by the village where I was spending my holiday. The next day I decided to see the haystack with my own eyes. I arrived at the edge of the field. The road bordered by poplars was winding up towards the clad hills, among fields laboured with so much love by the villagers. I saw the haystack in front of me. The sunset tinted the sky reddish, a hue borrowed from the field itself, as if earth and sky blended together that evening. The first steps were easy, the path was soft after the last rainfalls but still firm enough to step on it. I almost reached the haystack, the spikes were touching me gently and nothing seemed to be wrong. I stopped a little and exclaimed “So it is true. It was worth the effort”. At that moment everything took a turn for the worse. The spikes went mad, I stumbled over them and fell on the ground. I fainted only to wake up the next day. I got up and looked around me. The haystack was no more there. I spent the rest of my holiday thinking of what happened that evening. More then one year passed since then. One summer I decided to spend again my holiday in the old village. The first day, at sunset, I saw a cart full of hay passing on the streets of the village, drawn by two white horses, moving slowly through the mud. I followed the cart with my eyes until it stopped in front of a small house. A beautiful woman with a brassy hair stepped down from the top of the hay laden cart and opened the gate to let the cart in. From that day on nobody saw the haystack in the middle of the field anymore.

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