Bargain-BinJuly 30, 2011 at 10:16 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
This is another in the series of flash fiction from Chuck Wendig’s site “Terrible Minds.” This week it’s a thousand words, involving a flea market. I missed last week’s challenge–or something like that. I was a little too ambitious, and it got the better of me. I’m a little more grounded now. To see more and to check out the other entries, go shopping here:
Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: The Flea Market
Way out on the edge of the metropolitan area there was a closed up car dealership.
In the summer, impromptu farmer’s markets sprang up. Before Halloween, growers sold pumpkins. After Thanksgiving, it was Christmas trees.
On Saturday, the flea market appeared, almost like magic, and disappeared just as quickly–only to reappear the following week.
Last night my group of friends made a drunken decision to come here, and this morning I held them to it. It had been an early morning drive, and there was still dew on the ground, and fog in the air. Even early, the crowd had already gathered.
Flea marketers are an odd bunch: more eclectic than any other group of geekdom, looking for the ultimate deal on the penultimate piece of something that they had been searching their entire life to find.
I felt a kindred spirit. The quest…it’s all very primal.
Two old men drank coffee at their table of old car parts. A suburban mom had a table of scented candles. There was a boat for sale.
We stopped at table with some remarkable hand-carved items. My friend Sue shouted, “Ravenwolf!”
*The* Ravenwolf. I had heard much about him, and yet, he was nothing like I had expected. I had heard he was a musician. I had heard he was a hippie, and had his own way of doing things. I heard he did some odd things in his house. Mystical, pagan things.
From this and other things I had heard, I thought he would be a 60-year old grizzled-looking half-Indian, half-Scottish Nick Nolte-looking dude with moccasins and bongos and a hookah. I pictured a loud and brazen blues-singer type, taking up everyone’s space, speaking in poetry and snapping his fingers.
The real Ravenwolf was quite different. A young black man? No, not young. Even more so than many blacks, he had the annoying ability to look much younger than he was. He could have been as young as 28; most likely he was past fifty.
In my mind’s eye I imagined him dressed like a pimp in a purple suit but I know he wasn’t. Honestly–he was dressed plainly, but his essence sparkled, so it had the tricky thing of making him appear at once both more and less than he was.
Sue introduced us. My girlfriend said, “I’ve heard a lot about you.” He brushed it off, remarking something about not being that special–
He continued to deflect the attention to everyone else. He was genuine, and he cared to hear about others. I had started to walk towards the van to put the stuff away. From about 20 feet away, Ravenwolf said something to me loud enough for me to hear–loud enough for everyone to hear–and yet no one heard but me.
“Are you a Holy Man?”
Not much can stop me in my tracks.
I had been walking away, but I had to go back, because I had some explaining to do. In my embarrassment, I answered, “Yeah, I am–-although I don’t really talk about it because I’m not a good example.”
He smiled large at me. “Who is, brother–who is?”
“You know, that may be why people come to me for counsel all the time. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. But I listen, and people need that.”
He didn’t ask, but stated, “You’re honest.” But more than the words were the emotional projection behind it, reminding me that I’m honest but I use humor to hide it, or I write fiction and make things up but they hold a higher truth. All of that came to me in energy from him as he said those two words.
I laughed hesitantly, startled at the depth of our communication. “I am that.”
While the others talked loudly to each other, their noise was gently blocked as Ravenwolf and I connected. As we are preparing to go, we shook hands again, and this time–
This time, he held on to my hand. Locking hands, I looked him in the eyes, and saw him already there, waiting for me.
At that moment of our connection, I could tell he was reading me. Kim later told me that we had only met for the space of a few minutes. Perhaps. But Shamans can bend time and space. And while I can’t, I can recognize it when it happens. I had some doors of perception open for me, and I saw the real him. His veil was like a dark jacket thrown over him like a costume. Under his veil, I saw his aura. His aura was at once a dark and bright purple, with sparkles of energy coming from it. And under his aura, I saw his Presence. His presence was of an ancient tribal priest, dressed in loin cloth and body paint, wearing a headdress and holding a staff, performing an ancient dance to the gods of the land, and the wind, and the water, and the spirits.
I don’t know what he got from me–truth? The truth is over-rated, I suppose. I am curious about what the real me looks like.
Shamans and Holy Men–I believe he is both, because a Shaman is a special kind of Holy Man–we have to…we have a job to do. We have to teach, and counsel, and nurture the people. We have to guide and direct them in this plane. We point out new direction, and help remove blinders.
And we all have different methods of doing it. Mine is more direct; I grab the spotlight and say, “Come, follow me!” Others, like Ravenwolf, do it indirectly, by example and suggestion and gentle persuasion. But we are both–if anything else–spirit guides.
This is what Ravenwolf communicated to me: he was reminding me that I am a Holy Man, and that I have a mission, and a purpose.
My girlfriend bought some kitsch jewelry, too.
And what, pray tell, could the flaw in this story be? Now that I’ve sucked you in, I’ll tell you: It’s a true story. It really happened.