Sabino - Experiences of the Old Man

If you have never heard of magical realism, this is your chance. According to the Oxford dictionary, magical realism is style of literature which integrates a realist mode of writing with fantastical or marvellous events treated as perfectly ordinary occurrences. This style is very common in Latin-American authors from the second half of the XX century. I intend to write in the upcoming entries all the experiences I lived in the Edinburgh using that same style. I hope you enjoy it.

Part 1: The Realisation

As the old man thought of the day when he arrived to this hitherto land, he remembered of all the fear that filled his mind and surrounded his heart. He knew that everything was destined to be fine, but, he feared of the outcome of this adventure in new lands. This travel he had just embarked to, was targeted mainly in increasing his knowledge and wisdom of the world, yet, he would have never guessed of all the surprises that would follow.

Just like that time, when he met Lady L, a woman with a great spirit of adventure and determination, a woman whose presence could change any humble surrounding to an elegant environment. The old man and Lady L saw each other for the first time in a trip to master the arts of the European sword, a form of art so delicate yet effective that not only did it require the learning of the use of the sword, but also relied on the precise footwork that only the ballroom could teach. Ballroom dance and swords, who could have ever thought of this combination? Perhaps no one, but it was Lady L’s presence that introduced the old man to these elegant arts, up to the point that the old man, wore for the first time in many years a tuxedo, only to assist to the winter ball.

It was in one of these lessons to master the sword where the old man was introduced to a group of sailors known as the ‘Sunday Crew’. The name of this crew was coined when everyone that knew them discovered that they would only train the art of the European sword on Sundays. The reason: superstition. Sailors as you may know, are among the most superstitious people in the globe. Mermaids, krakens and ghost ships are just a few of the beliefs that sailors fear every time they leave port. The size of the Crew steadily decreased, until it was very small, but the old man always cherished the friendship that it had grown from simply sharing the passion for the sword. Lasses or lads, for the old man, each member of the Sunday Crew was to be cherished because he felt as one of its members.

All the sword fighting brought once an unexpected visitor: Captain J. Among all the ships masters, Captain J was the youngest captain to ever achieve this rank, but with such short experience complications are always in sight. Captain J had been sailing for the past months in his ship without a crew, and a ship without a crew, it’s simply a captain with no ship. In one of the visits paid by Captain J, the Sunday Crew looked at him doubtfully, what was such a skilled captain doing among a crew of sweet water sailors? Captain J knew perfectly what he was doing. He did not see a bunch of landlubbers but a crew of frostbiters, a crew whose sword fighting skills and resistance to cold weather made them suitable for any adventure in any latitude. The Sunday Crew did not hesitate, they knew that this ship was the opportunity to prove their worth and swordsmanship. This need of testing their skills took them as far as the city of  the Collapsed Church, a city who caught the Sunday Crew off-guard and inflicted losses because of the surprising snow storm and highly skilled adversaries. Nevertheless, the Sunday Crew returned with enough experience to know what to expect from future foes.

Indeed, seeing the city of the Collapsed Church was a great surprise, as it had been meeting Captain J, as it had been being accepted as one member of the Sunday Crew, as well as it had been meeting Lady L. Yes, everything had been a surprise, but even more surprising was to realise that the time of the old man was about to come. There was not much time left for the old man to continue sharing experiences with those who had been wielding a sword with him. The old man looked to the horizon and realised that he was not travelling towards it but it was the horizon which it was coming towards him, and as soon as the horizon arrived to him, his presence in this land would vanish. The old man accepted what he had denied for long time… it may soon be time to say goodbye.