Sunday, May 1

Candid in the Love City - III

It was afternoon and Candid was almost faint after screaming and crying in vain. Blood on his cut had dried and turned black. He tried many times to talk with people passing by, in vain again, people looked at Candid with sympathy but didn’t dare to talk to him. Candid was sure about some cruel law being behind their behavior again. A charming lady passed by the Candid whom he knew well. 
“Countess Le Rire” Candid exclaimed with the joy that you get at seeing an acquaintance in a foreign land. “Countess Le Rire! Do you recognize me? I’m Candid.”
Countess stopped and gazed at the person tied with pole. “Oh my God, is this you Candid? O dear, how miserable this city has made you.”
 “Countess, countess! You can’t even imagine the suffering I’m undergoing.” Candid cried. “Look at this cut and this dried up blood, I’m hungry and tied with this pole since morning.” 

 “Poor Candid!” Countess said with pity. “I know no one in love city can tie other without his will. If you are tied here, your consent is included in causes.”
“Do you know the laws of love city, countess?” Candid asked.

“Of course I know” White teeth of countess shone for a moment as she chuckled.

“Then please teach me all those laws” Candid begged. “I’m tied her to learn the laws of Love city, to win the love of Jane, the most beautiful possibility of Love City”
 “Hahaha …” Countess chuckled again. “O na├»ve Candid, laws of Love city can’t be taught as you want to learn them. They aren’t ordinary laws and it’s not an ordinary city.”
 “Does this mean I have to stay tied here and receive wounds from old man to learn those laws?” Candid asked with disappointment. 
 But before countess could answer, face of old man appeared from the door of building and his face got distorted at the sight. “Rascal, who allowed you to talk with this cursed witch?” He roared at Candid and then at countess. “You, lady with cursed face and damned fate, get away from here within a blink of eye. This person is tied here with his own will and you know the laws, they give me full authority over him …”
He didn’t need to complete his rebuke, countess really disappeared within a blink of eye. A glimpse of expressions that Candid could see on her face before her disappearance told that she hated old man more passionately than old man hated him.
“Do you know who is she? How did you come to know her?” Old man asked Candid.
“She is Countess Le Rire, known everywhere for her cheerfulness and grace she maintains, I have met her countless times, in cities, villages, inns, carts, on roads, in green fields and colorful gardens, she is such a lovely lady and respected by everyone.”
 “I didn’t ask you to sing the hymns of her.” Old man said with contempt. “I want to know how you came to meet her?” 
“What if I refuse to answer?” Candid inquired.
 “This is, only in case sir, if you don’t need this.” Old man showed him a bowl full of porridge. “I hope your stomach can recognize this even without help of your mind. This is your dinner.”  
Candid surrendered without a single moment’s delay. “I met her during my journey and like her, she also liked me and we have been good companion since then. Countess, like me, is always on travel and that’s another common thing between us. That’s all.”
“Good boy, have your dinner and keep in mind that She’s a witch, her magic turns people insane and render then unable to understand the sacred laws of Love City. Stay away from her; never let even her shadow touch your shadow.”
 “I’ll abide by your commands, sir” This wasn’t the answer that Candid intended to give but when he opened his mouth to answer, he saw beautiful Jane, fairest of all maids in Love City, and couldn’t say the words he intended to say. 
“Well, we’ll start our lessons by next morning. You seem ready to learn now.” Old man said, patting the aching shoulder of Candid with his wrinkled hand. With the power of porridge and waves of wisdom emitting from that wrinkled hand, Candid felt himself getting joyous and hopeful. He didn’t realize whether it was shortly after that or hours after that when he fell asleep tied with that pole.

Poor Candid, he didn’t know he had made a mistake again. Next morning when he woke, he found old man stood before him with red eyes, red enough to terrify Candid.
 “You're worst fool on the stage of life ever, how did you dare to sleep despite my warning. Didn’t I tell you that law of Love City doesn’t allow lovers to fall asleep? Wasn’t this crime that tied you with this pole?” Old man growled. 
 “But how can I resist the kind embrace of sleep that covers us like a loving mother to save her child of troubles?” Candid protested. 
 “You can never learn, never learn!” Old man said with a pity that held more of disdain. “But for the sake of Jane, I have to achieve this hard goal anyway.” He pulled out his knife and attacked Candid like a lunatic, escaped from asylum, wounding him here and there, on cheeks, on arms, on palms, on ankles and knees. Candid screamed, cried and shouted at old man but he didn’t care. After making every cut, he get a step back and looked at the newly created wound as an artist looks at his painting then stepped forward again with his knife like a painter with his brush. He didn’t stop until he got tired of this game though at first it seemed like he’d never get tired of this. Until that, Candid had lost ability of speaking and all his throat could produce was groans and moans.
 “Do you know why you are having this pain?” Old man said, looking into eyes of Candid. “You are having this pain because you are an idiot wandering in darkness, because you are not what you it takes to be. You are a shadow of yourself.” 
 Candid gathered all his courage and stamina to speak, he wanted to shout but obviously he lacked the vigor needed for this “Please tell me how I can get rid of this pain? I want to get rid of this pain, at any cost .... at any cost.”
 “Just accept this pain, let it dig deep into your soul." Old man at once turned soft. "Let the sleeping light of your inner self awake. One you got that light awoke, all your pain will fade away itself. Without need of any external remedy, without need of any bandage, your wounds will heal themselves.” 
 Candid nodded his head. When in pain, our minds are quick to accept anything that’s presented as remedy.

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