Stories that Were

I have always loved to tell stories by the fire. Under the clear dark skies, the moonlight illuminating their hopes and dreams, and of course, aiding my vision as I looked from one to the next. The fire would be crackling softly, reflecting a kind of animation that I was sure showed in mine. My youngest loved to catch the unsuspecting crickets and cicadas, their shrill songs creating a wobbly cadence to my storytelling.
But now, now, am tired. Now my eyes have glazed over with a thin gossamer like curtain in preparation for the final and forever sleep. I can no more tell stories by the fire even though I would really love to. If they let me. They, of nowadays, don’t know how to enjoy a good moonlight. Their mothers have introduced them to an ap. You should hear them say it, ap, just ap. Like they have run out of words to say or time to finish the word. This ap as my eldest tells me, has books, stories, complete with nasal voices as narrators. This ap, she says, tells them bedtime stories, lulls them to sleep, she insists. But I am here, I insist, you came to visit me! I wheeze rather feebly. No, she says, don’t stress father, your blood pressure does not allow. I am an old man but I do not have this pressure she keeps talking about.
I clear my phlegm-filled throat and begin to sing to her, under the moonlight, the embers dying at her feet. Inside, her babies fall asleep to the vision robbing ap. Her eyes glisten and her reflection mirrors mine. She does miss the fire.
And the moonlight.


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