The town is quiet

The night is dark

and the moon is dim

Imposing walls

hide the fear of villains

behind frugality

of safeness


The cold wind against my flesh

tells me every step of mine

on this street of shaped stones

takes me further into the night

in this hour that seems to be

the darkest one of the day;

a day that has begun

some few hours ago


As I approach the place

I intend to visit

and climb the steep stairway

that leads to it

I cannot help wondering

how deceiving it is to look at this house

that seems quite the same as the others,

but donates its space

to every sort of hidden activities

and desires

I came to have mine


And as I move to open the door

I hear a quick, high-pitch whistle

that seems to come from above me,

maybe from an observer in the roof

I push the door open,

and although I intended to do it silently,

The rusty hinges denounce my presence

Now I stand before its eyes

that are the only thing reflecting

the fire in the lampion

that is clearly extinguishing

unlike the look I’m given

whose fire is so vivid

and inviting

and deep

and bottomless


The tiny being

with fire in its eyes

gives me a flask

with a red liquid on it

‘Is this the elixir of happiness

– I ask –

The one that will bring the smile

to my boring face again?’

‘It sure is’ – it answers

I take a sip

and another

but it seems nothing is changed;

I feel no peace at all,

My rigid face muscles don’t move,

and the seconds and minutes that pass,

very slowly,

I still feel like ignoring


It doesn’t say a word

as my knees fold

Now I know the fire I saw

in the lampion

was a reflecting on the glass

of the light coming from its eyes


My own eyes become heavy

the same moment I hear its voice

‘This is the only elixir

I charge nobody for.

You may now find your happiness

where it is possible to be found.

Rest in peace, human.

If you couldn’t find happiness by other means

you understood the ultimate way to finish your quest

The decision to take the elixir was long taken,

and the first drop of it you made it yourself’.


by José Ruy Pimentel de Castro


~ by joseruypc on May 14, 2011.

3 Responses to “I”

  1. stunning story,
    the lonely walk, the apt conversation, and the realization..
    bless you.

    Happy Potluck.

  2. Very intriguing story I was right there on his journey. Great job!

  3. “The rusty hinges denounce my presence”… I choose this line to comment on for reasons of cleverness by the author. You didn’t say “The rusty hinges “announce” my presence”, but with feeling you use the word “denounce”. Good choice as it implies the lost secrecy you encounter as you open the door.
    This is but one of many intricate details which flavor your works with feeling.

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