Chapter 2 – Part 1

A small fire glimmered on the sand in between the makeshift structures. The evening sun was shimmering as it descended below an indeterminable line in the distance, and the chorus that accompanied this time of day was making itself heard ever louder beckoning the crescendo which would inaugurate the night. The shadows of the tents grew longer with each passing minute and a fox played with it’s cubs just beyond the perceived boundary of the camp. A woman appeared, as if from nowhere, and began to tend the slowly weakening flames, evidently, in order that she could warm her hands, which she rubbed together above the fire, and then disappeared into her tent with an obvious feeling of contentment., The journey had been grueling in more ways than one, and it was now time to seek out the simple necessities that cause folk to feel a sense of harmony and wellbeing.
This was what they were familiar with; tents, sand, wild animals, spectacular sunsets, open fires, movement, patience, belief, boredom, tenacity, fortitude, despair, hope, conflict, resolution; all rolled into a package that created the foundation of life.


By twelve, Ashi had aready decided to make love the driving force in his life. The precurser was a life where true love and acceptance had been a hard thing to come by often demeaning his spirit to accept second best just in order to be able to get what little excuse for extended fidelity he could muster..

By eighteen he had lost the belief that anyone else had the same motivation and by twenty four he had lost the belief in any such notion anyway and by thirty was of the certainty that everything was just a whim of the sentiment..

Few people grow up cynical, Cynicism was generally an acquired trait, often taking years of hard-won and lost battles, and a lot of misplaced trust. Some called him a skeptic, supposedly alleging that his character was inclined to doubt instead of categorical denial. But Ashi knew himself and he knew that his condition should be defined as cynical. Where he had picked this up , he was not sure, but he was aware of a jarring disdain for anything that the general populace held as sacrosankt,. It was not just by word of mouth,, indeed, it was word of law that Ashi rightfully showed contempt for those false tenets that propose to be able to hold together the very fabric of an ambiguously defined society.


As the fire crackled softly, casting dancing shadows against the tents, Ashi sat in contemplation. His thoughts wandered through the corridors of his past, tracing the moments that etched cynicism into his soul. He remembered the fleeting promises, the dashed hopes, and the relentless cycle of disillusionment that seemed to follow him.

In the midst of his reverie, a soft rustling broke the silence. A figure emerged from the shadows, moving gracefully towards the fire. It was Leila, a fellow traveler in this nomadic community, her eyes holding an inexplicable depth.

“Ashi,” she called gently, settling beside him. “You’re lost in thought again.”

He glanced at her, the firelight casting a warm glow on her face. “Just reminiscing about life’s twists and turns,” he replied, a hint of wistfulness in his voice.

Leila studied him, her gaze perceptive. “You carry the weight of the past with you. But amidst the cynicism, there’s a flicker of something more. A yearning for authenticity, perhaps?”

He looked away, the flames mirroring the conflict within. “Authenticity seems like a distant dream in a world built on facades and hollow promises.”

She nodded knowingly. “Yet, in the simplicity of this nomadic life, authenticity thrives. We find truth in the rawness of existence, in the shared stories around this fire, in the connections we forge.”

Her words lingered in the air, mingling with the crackling of the flames. Ashi felt a pang of recognition. Maybe amidst the cynicism, there existed a longing for genuine connections, for a reality untouched by pretense.

As the night deepened, the stars painted the sky in a tapestry of shimmering lights. Ashi and Leila sat by the fire, sharing tales of their journeys, of battles fought and hopes cherished. In those moments, a subtle shift occurred within Ashi—a faint glimmer of hope, a rekindling of belief in the authenticity that seemed elusive in the world beyond.

The night embraced them with its quietude, and in that transient peace, Ashi found himself contemplating the delicate balance between cynicism and the yearning for true connection, wondering if, perhaps, they could coexist in harmony.


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