The Silent Watch

Fiction By Keri // 12/23/2010

Dedicated to Old Fashioned Girl. Merry Christmas :)

~*~ 

 

The room stirred and Ally stared at the back of the hall along with everyone else. One of her friends whispered in her ear but she didn’t know what was said. There he was, at the door. Slowly, he looked around at the gathering. It was as if he met the eye of every single person. Ally certainly felt like she had connected, if only for the barest second, with him and that he had seen every part of her self.

The silent watcher.  That’s what he was called. He always was in the background, never ever even stepping out to be seen very clearly. If there was a shadowed corner, that’s where he would be. His eyes were the only bright part of him and they flitted about, seeing every observable bit of information and even, it was sometimes whispered, when he was spoken of at all, the unobservable. He was the most respected man in the entire community, yet no one ever spoke to him and he never spoke to anyone.

Ally almost didn’t recognize him now that he was in the open. He was supposed to be the oldest man in Polsax. Even her shriveled up great granmere said that he had been there as far back as she could recall. However, he did not appear very ancient. His hair was not white but black. His face was not one sagging mess but held only some scars and lines. He had a strong frame too. In fact, Ally thought, he looked more like a war hardened general than an ancient, hiding, watcher. His eyes were steely and still bright. Ally could not quite grasp the color and wondered why.

He stood there, tall, with his eyes the only part of him moving. His lips were firmly closed and it was said that not a soul living had ever seen them open or heard his voice. There was a reason he was called the silent watcher. Now, after years and years and years of silence and hiding and, most of all, watching, he was going to speak. Ally knew it with her entire core, just like every other person in that crowded hall did. The Silent Watcher was going to speak.

His lips parted and then closed. He sighed and that sigh was filled with so much that Ally felt she would never know. Pain and heartache, joy and ecstasy, centuries of being, but most of all, it was a sigh of release. He stood taller and his rich voice filled the room.

“In the first years when I took my vow, I would just what I would say when I was released and could once again speak. Then, as I grew wiser, I knew that it didn’t matter.  The time has come for something much bigger than the first words I utter. All of Polsax is here and the time has come.” His voice was filled with such sadness and wisdom, it made Ally want to cry with its purity. She was lost in the great words the man was saying as he barely moved. He sighed again, the same sigh.

“I have been at my task for so long that I fear not a soul knows who or what I am. Not a one of you understand why I hide from eyes and watch, always watch. I have seen hate, I have seen love, I have seen peace, I have seen wars that tore the very ground apart, I have seen more than I can ever describe and only I know why. My vow kept me chained to being apart, kept me with the solutions while I watched the same mistakes made over and over and over. But still, I was a willing prisoner. Now that the time is right, I choose to release my vow for I am the only living person who can hold me to it.

“I am finally free, but someone must take my place.  Someone must take up what you all call ‘The Silent Watch’ and take the up greatest responsibility I know of. Out of the uncountable time I have been at this task, only five people have been born in Polsax that were right. One of those five stands here today and must volunteer. Oddly enough, I can tell you, only one person will do so and they will be right.”

 He stopped and looked around the room, once again doing that queer thing of meeting every eye. When Ally looked into his eyes, her entirety felt shaken in the knowledge that this man, deserved every degree of respect anyone had ever felt for him and so much more. Still, who on earth who would be crazy enough to take upon themselves what he seemed to clearly say was a torture?

Ally knew that every mind in the hall was thinking the exact same thing. He was full of knowledge and wisdom and something inexplicable but he could never speak until today. If he knew of how to prevent war, or starvation, or any tragedy as Ally was sure he did, he could never tell. He was alone, the last of whatever he was. His life must be the worst misery ever. She looked around the hall into every face that she could see and wondered who that right person was. Whoever that person was, they going to volunteer any moment now.  She stepped forward and looked him straight in those eyes, finally seeing that they were hazel.

The silence that had held from the moment he first looked around seemed to become even quieter if that were at all possible. Any doubts as to what she was doing were gone as her voice clearly rang out the word. “I?”

He nodded as he said, only to her, even though every ear heard. “Think it over and I will call for you when the time is again right.”

Comments

Oh my

Please say you'll write more of this. It really grabbed my attention

Julie | Thu, 12/23/2010

Formerly Kestrel

Darling...

You're amazing. I do hope you know that. :)

Love you heaps, Kerikins <3

Ariel | Fri, 12/24/2010

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

wow!

 That was amazing. I couldn't have stopped reading until it was done.

Renee | Fri, 12/24/2010

What happens next?

This isn't just good. This is maddeningly unfinished, maddeningly because it's marvelous!

Anna | Fri, 12/31/2010

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

:)

Aww thank you ladies! This was a midnight idea that I think I will continue with if I can.  I still have to figure out what's going on first though :P

Keri | Mon, 01/03/2011

I love this! Excellent job,

I love this! Excellent job, Keri.

Tahlia Grant | Fri, 01/07/2011