Previously on "The Storyteller's Mercy" She yawned loudly and quickly turned to see if anyone had seen her, then slowly in my direction. Was that embarrassment I saw written all over her face? Before I could stifle the laughter that threatened to pour out of my mouth, I also yawned. Loudly. We giggled. "Let me tell you a story," I said.
“Wow. The night gets better. I get to hear a bedtime story.”
She dropped her bag to the floor between her legs, lifted a lever at the right side of her seat and simultaneously applied pressure to the backrest. She removed the shawl around her shoulder, spread it and used it to cover the upper part of her body. She then turned to her left side and lifted her knees to her stomach, leaving the lower part of her legs hanging. She finally put her left arm underneath her head. Her movements were all too graceful, he enjoyed watching her.
“You better be good.”
I looked briefly into her eyes. She smiled. I returned the smile and leant back in my seat, staring blankly at the roof of the car. I could feel her piercing look.
Could a person ever be more expectant?
She laughed. “Just begin already.”
“Once upon a time in a very small village, a potter once made a masterpiece, a vase. His creation was so good, he made another one just like it for his son when he was born. What made these vases special was that the faces of the father and son were sculpted on to the sides of the vase.” I began in a voice reminiscent of a dramatic old lady, telling a story to a group of toddlers.
“Aww, that is so sweet!”
“The father and son both placed flowers into their vases and changed it every morning. As for the son, he always ran to check up on his flowers like every second he got. If you had been there yourself, you would have noticed that the flowers seemed to give the vases life.”
“Why is the potter a male? Females can also be potters, you know?”
The corners of my lips dropped. “Ok. No, the potter’s son would rather be a girl.”
“Hmm, it will be much better if both of them were females.”
I ignored her and continued with the story. “One day, the daughter noticed a talking doll on display in the window of her shop as she skipped by from school. The shopkeeper noticed she had been standing there for a while and asked if she wanted it. She nodded happily but she did not have money and she knew her father would not give her any too. That is when she suggested giving her vase in exchange and the shopkeeper, who knew her father and his famous works with its worldwide acclaim, agreed happily.”
“What? What a cruel shopkeeper; that is a rip-off!” She gave me a disapproving look. “Is the shopkeeper a male? ” I shook my head and she chuckled.
Then, I turned to look at her. “Can I finish?”
“The following day, the girl sneaked her vase out of the house and finally got her talking doll. She made a fuss about it: in school, at home, everywhere. Meanwhile, the father was saddened.”
“Annoyances. Such an adorable and clueless little girl too. So what did the father do?”
“You interrupt me again and I will sleep, ” I said in a firm voice.
“Come on…” She cried.
She quickly zipped her mouth shut with the help of an imaginary zipper which only she could see. I just saw the hand movement.
I continued, hopeful that there would be no more interruptions. “The father changed the girl’s school and got her a very strict and diligent nanny. The nanny hardly gave her time to play, even with her doll. She only had seven hours to play with her doll a week. The rest was mainly dedicated to school work. When the little girl complained to the father, he said that it was for her own good especially as he could not trust her to walk the streets alone. The daughter threw a tantrum, destroying the doll in the process. The father just refused to do anything about it or so it seemed.”
“That is too harsh. Please, do not do this to her.”
“That’s it!” I feigned sleep.
“No, no, no! It was unintentional.” She vigorously shook me as she pleaded. “You cannot do this to me; It’s not fair.” Her voice almost sounded like a child.
Now, here is the toddler I have been missing.
I chuckled and opened my eyes but I must say, I really wanted to sleep; closing my eyes in that brief moment made it worse. “Well, her choices led her on that path. I am only narrating.”
“Seriously? You have the storyteller’s sovereignty. You can do something. You’ve got to…”
“Unfortunately, that is how the story ends. The daughter grows up to be a prim and proper girl who lost her vase and a bit of her childhood to much sulking. On the brighter side, she even came to adore the nanny.”
“You are very WICKED!” She put her feet on the floor and changed her sitting position, one similar to mine just that I had my palms underneath my head and she held her shawl which she had crumpled into a ball on her laps.
I allowed the silence to linger.
“That is not all,” I said feeling smug.
Apologies I want to apologise for not posting #thestoryteller'smercyIII as I promised. I realised that the story still needed some work. I hope the continuation makes up for my failed promise. Feature image credit: Google images #thestoryteller'smercyIV coming out sooner that you expect!