The Commoner

The moon has risen but like every night, that portion of the country was still rather dimly lit. Fast passing clouds prevents the full glory of the moon from reaching its destination. Light touches the street occasionally yet the wind was still the only real companion of the lonely street. The wind was its friend. But this night, the wind does not look pleased at all.

For it was howling mad…

Whooooooooo… Whoos… Wooooohhhh….

… yet no one is there to hear its angry shout or feel its fuming lashes.

The street was deserted, not a single soul in sight.

The wind continued to howl, to shout and to lash at whatever blocks its path. It made the branches of the trees bend, and the dried leaves to fly everywhere, with no specific direction, merely following the wind’s every whim. It lashed at the occasional bricked houses and whipped at the trunks of trees before uttering a painful cry. Suddenly, the wind found a little play thing. A red scarf. An old faded red scarf. It carried the scarf for a good few meters, passing by trees and houses, before finally placing it down in between two low branches on top of an old bench. Seconds right after, a tall girl wearing an equally faded brown coat came rushing into the scene, fighting the rampaging wind while hugging her coat firmly to her body.  The tall girl ran faster while now trying to shield her eyes from the unmerciful wind. Her eyes then landed at the two low branches where the scarf got stuck, and despite the unforgiving wind, she smiled. She then ran towards the branch and freed her scarf from the two low boughs. She wrapped it around her neck and patted it contentedly. She smiled again before resuming her rather tiring journey.

Minutes after, the girl arrived in front of one of the structures of a dilapidated old manor. Her hands immediately fished from her pocket a set of keys and then started fitting them in the lock of the first door. There was an old rickety sign in the middle of the door saying “Kwons”, lettered in what may have been an elegant way a decade ago. Seconds after trying the keys, the lock clicked. The girl placed her cold hand on the door and pushed it open. She then hurriedly went inside the still dark room and closed the door behind her. She sighed. Now, finally inside her mousey apartment, the nerve-wracking howls of the wind has finally soften, though replacing it now are the sounds of wood banging against wood.

Probably my loose window shutter while being abused by the wind.

Rustling sounds were heard as the lone girl searched for something in the darkness.

“There you are.”

A small light flared in the corner where the lone girl was situated. The girl has lighted a sulphur-match and was then using it to light the wick of a worn out oil lamp. After successfully lighting the lamp, she walked towards a long wooden table in the middle of the room and placed the oil lamp on top of it. There, its light spread and illuminated most of the table. The lone girl then sat down in front of the table and sighed. She unwrapped the scarf around her neck and neatly folded it on the side of the table. She then took out from inside one of the pockets of her coat a one half piece of bread. She twirled it around and smiled a sad smile.

“When would I be able to taste a proper dinner?”

After staring sadly at the bread for a good few seconds, the girl finally decided to stop pondering and instead just took a small bite.

“I guess I should just be thankful. With my meager salary as an attendant in a bakery, it’s a miracle that I could still at least buy food for myself and some other necessities like oil.”

The girl took another bite, and then another, until the whole piece of bread was completely gone. She smiled.

“Well… that filled my stomach.”

After finishing her scanty dinner, the girl momentarily closed her eyes and focused on the different sounds of her surroundings. She could still hear the soft howl of the wind outside, the loud rickety rick of her unhinged window, and the soft rustling of leaves and branches hitting each other. The girl opened her eyes and frowned.

“It is still too windy outside. It might just be dangerous if I insist on going out and gathering some firewood. I guess I should just take a nap first.”

The poor girl laid her head on top of the table and slowly closed her eyes. And in just a few minutes, she was already fast asleep.

Hours leisurely passed and along with the passing time was the diminishing howls and lashes of the wind. Until finally, the wind’s blazing yowl ebbed to soft whispers.

After a good few hours, the lone girl stirred. She then slowly opened her eyes and blinked a few times in order to adjust her still blurry vision. She lifted her head from the table and came face to face with the flickering light of her oil lamp.

“I guess I have to go outside now to gather some firewood before the oil completely runs out.”

The girl closed her eyes for a moment and started listening again. No longer was there a howling wind, a noisy window, or some rustling leaves. Everything was peaceful and quiet except for the occasional song of crickets outside. The girl smiled before finally opening her eyes once again. She allowed her eyes to adjust to the dimly lit room before finally standing up.

“Time to gather some firewood.”

The girl’s hand immediately reached inside her coat’s pocket and felt the keys inside. After insuring that she has her keys, she walked towards the door. She then grabbed a rope on the wall beside the door and kept it at the inside pocket of her worn out coat. She opened her door and stepped outside. Once again, she took out her keys from her pocket, inserted it on the lock and locked her door. She rubbed both of her hands and breathed on them for warmth before finally turning her attention to her surroundings. It was a fairly bright night with the moon almost halfway of its nightly journey. The girl went around the small building towards the back of her depleted abode and looked at the direction leading to the woods. The path itself was still visible enough for one not to be lost or not to stumble helplessly. She smiled.

“Looks like it’s a good night tonight.”

She then looked up towards the sky and gave the moon a wave.

“Hi there Lady Moon. Thank you for illuminating my path tonight!”

She then turned to the stars and smiled at them…

“Hi there everyone!”

… Before finally facing the brightest star.

“And a special hi to you my star! étoile… You know what? It has been a good day today. Though there weren’t many costumers at the bakery, the owner was still kind enough to give me some bread for my breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a few pennies for some oil. I don’t think I could ask for more…”

She bit her lower lip and looked down upon remembering something.

“Well… except for one thing that is…”

I wish I have someone to give my love to. Just like how my father had my mother.

Upon chanting those words, she looked back up at her star once again only to get the shock of her life. For the brightest star, her star, was now falling towards the back of the forest… so fast… that it was leaving a line of sparkling dusts in the sky. 

The End

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