Last night, my son and I were pretending to be wizards. These paragraphs were born from our fun.
The market place was crowded. Vendors called out to the market goers hoping to sell their wares: cheeses, fabrics, wines, baskets, vegetables, etc. After last night’s rain, the market square was muddy. As the square filled, the mud seemed to thicken. The usual hustle and bustle of the square was reduced to a slog.
An old man, bent and crooked, shuffled between vendors near the square’s perimeter, where the ground was harder, easier to walk upon. Merchants pushed him along. They knew he never purchased anything. Rather, he would often pilfer a small block of cheese or an apple from vendor tables and tents, hiding all he took in the deep pockets of his long, grey robe.
“Move along, old man,” they would shout. “Go find a place to nap.”
I was surprised to notice that the old man knew I was watching him. For a moment, his gaze met mine. His eyes were blue, a bright blue – like blue fire. Before he turned away, I felt as though he was looking more into me, mind and soul, rather than at me. Then, suddenly, he smiled, as if he discovered something that humored him, something he discovered in me.
Quickly, he turned away. I lost sight of him in the growing crowed, but stepped after him. I needed to know what he now knew.