August 21, 2019

The Unabaker Waits Here

A rustic cottage, cliff side, overlooks a quiet cove. It's hot, but a tempering monsoon wind abides, giving a final push to waves that lash his tattered seawall. It's a charming old place, wrapped in exotic flora, salt air, and sun, but in a state of slow decay. Vibrant despite being rarely groomed, terraced hillside gardens descend to the rocky strand below. The breeze carries scents of Leelawadee, wet rocks, and the sweet pungency of overripe fruit.

Solitary amidst the gardens, a Moringa tree. Gnarled limbs twist, rise, and dive, its branches laden with long bean like pods. Some have fattened and turned brown; others have burst. Large seeds litter the embankment below, making a feast for the birds and black squirrels. Tiny green leaves turn yellow without regard for season, and fall continuously. They drift into his workshop below. The Moringa is home for a russet chested Coucal. Its distinctive whooping wakes him.

On the lee side of the old fort, as he calls it, there's a pathway alongside a crumbling rampart. Follow it down to the workshop tucked beneath an overhang. The oven already fired, tools arrayed, coffee brews. The Unabaker awaits the arrival of his last apprentice.

Now that you know the way, will you come?

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