Along cobbled stones and through narrow streets, a forgotten young man walked with his heart bleeding in his hands. With a slow aimless shuffle, he clumsily progressed forwards, tears in his eyes and tears on his sleeves.
Under the dimmest street lights and the fog of a winter’s night, he shuffled onward with no purpose or direction towards his destination. The night was at its darkest and the stars at their brightest. His footsteps echoed past a sleeping dog, a red post-box filled with love letters and a bearded blind old man, sitting on the footsteps of the old town library.
The blind old man, sitting cross legged, played an Indian flute, producing a whispering melody that carried lightly into the breeze. And whilst he played, he watched through the corner of his eyes as the crying figure walked up the steps to the magical fountains streaming in front of the library. He gazed as the distraught man opened his hand revealing a sparkling, twinkling golden coin, sitting in his palm.
And then with his eyes closed, the crying young man kissed the coin and tossed it upwards, towards the water. He followed as the coin began spinning skyward and then downward, landing in the flowing water of the fountain with a secret splash.
The forgotten young man stood there silently and watched as the coin sank to the bottom. And he stood there as his heart sank with it and then was finally released. His streaming tears eventually slowed down, as he turned around and headed back down the steps from where he had come.
As he passed the blind man, he stopped and asked him why he played his music so late at night. The blind man, looking up, explained that in the night, his music was carried by angels to a sleeping child’s dreams.
The young man, whose tears had now stopped, told the old man that his music was beautiful. He then smiled softly and took off his expensive watch and placed it in the flute player’s donation cap. But before he could leave, the old man called out "My dear friend, thank you for your watch but I do not have the need for time any more. I would like to know why you threw away such a beautiful coin?"
The broken hearted man stopped mid-step, turned back and replied "It is the first time I touched love. And it is everything I have ever loved and everything I have ever lost ".
“Do you mind if I find that coin?" asked the blind music player.
"You may" he replied again as he shuffled his way back into the darkness.
The blind man did find the coin and scoop it from the fountain. He examined it closely as it shone so brightly, still wet, reflecting in the twinkling starlight. And the blind man too, kissed the coin as he placed it into his empty pocket.
For many years, the old man walked the lonely streets, playing his melodies at night wherever his feet would take him. And on his journey, he would put his hand in his pocket, rolling and twirling the coin between his fingers. At each place he stopped to play his flute, he would place the beautiful coin first in his worn out cap in front of him.
An orphan, who lived nearby to one of the streets frequently visited by the blind man would often wake to the sounds of his own dreams coming from the old man’s flute. Each night he would leave his bedroom window open so that the melodies would drift in. In the morning, when he woke up, he would look out of the window, gazing into the rising Sun. He felt his spirit lifted by the lullabies brought by the angels. Each time the flute player had visited his dreams, his eyes would lighten and his future seemed brighter.
One evening, as the Sun began to set and the fireflies came out, the orphan decided to follow the sounds of the wind and the drifting chimes of the flute. He trespassed across the cobbled streets, eventually finding the blind man cross legged on a nearby street and a golden coin in his cap.
"Will you teach me to play as beautiful as you do?" the boy asked. The bearded blind man silently nodded. And so the lonely blind man had found a companion and the orphan, a father figure. Together they would spend the evenings together, walking from street to street, the blind man teaching the boy the mysteries of his music.
The boy grew older and too mastered the music of the old man. And crowds would gather, admiring the unique performers and their soothing sounds. They would walk across the city, discussing the world, its wisdom and its follies. And this twinkling coin would journey with them, occasionally being asked to answer the mysteries of life’s unanswerable questions with a toss of heads and tails. But still this perfect coin was always the first to be placed in their cap, asking for donations.
As the years passed on, the blind man grew as old as the cobbled stones and the orphan, became a strong young man. The blind man became frail, his bones no longer able to roam the streets. He developed a cough and as his cough worsened, he felt it was time. He turned to his friend and told him it was time for him to leave. The orphan was confused, asking where they were leaving to. The old man smiled, his philosophical wrinkles spreading across his face and said it was somewhere that only he could go.
That night, after a long walk, the blind man said his longest goodbyes, placed the golden coin in the hand of his friend, gave the young man his Indian flute and floated away down one last cobbled street. The orphan, distraught, crying tried to chase him but lost him in the mist. He ran, sprinted, galloped over the town for days in search for his old friend but could not find him. With time, he began to stop looking and with the coin in his hand, continued to play his flute but now with a sad, lonely melody.
Crowds would still gather and admire his music. They would sway to his melody and clap, placing many donations in his cap. On one clear evening, sitting by the steps of the old town library, the man played his chiming flute as usual. The people came and went, singing his melody in their hearts. But this night, as he played, he noticed a young girl, held high in the arms of her father, bedazzled by this golden coin, still sparkling in his donations cap after all these years. Her eyes would glisten in the coins twinkling reflection and the coin would glisten in her eyes twinkling reflection. The young flute player, watched this and suddenly stopped playing, took the coin out of his cap, stood up and gave the coin to the girl. “Buy your dreams”, he told her and smiled as she twinkled once more.
The next day, the girl placed the coin in her empty jar, excited and giddy. In her spare moments, she would admire the coin, sitting quietly and wonder in its beauty. And each day, she would save up her pocket money, given to her by her father, placing it into her jar with the golden coin. She was saving for a secret gift that had appeared in an angelic dream that kept her safe at night.
Over time, the jar slowly filled up to the brim, packed full of pennies and shillings as well as the golden coin, sitting at the bottom. The day eventually came when she had saved enough to buy her dream. She rushed happily to the shop that the angel in her dreams had showed her and handed over the jar of pennies with her sweetest smile, the golden coin hidden at the bottom.
She had bought her dream and ran back to give it to her mother. “Mommy, mommy” she shouted excitedly, “I got you what I promised for your birthday, I’m so sorry I’m late” as she ran from the shop. “Mommy, mommy, I hope you like it” as she kneeled down and placed a golden chain around the photograph of a beautiful young woman holding a baby girl. The young girl’s father, who had seen this, began to cry as he picked up the girl in his arms, kissed her on her cheek and promised they would visit her Mommy tomorrow at the cemetery so they could tell her about the gift.
The jeweler, who had not fully examined the contents of the jar, emptied it into the cashier. As he got to the bottom of the jar, he noticed the golden coin. He took it out, inspected it and marveled at how beautiful it was. He placed it in his cabinet, not sure what he would do with it. The day had almost ended and as he began closing the shop, a young man walked in. He appeared to be in a rush as he browsed the contents of the jewelry shop.
“Can I help you Sir?” inquired the jeweler. “I am leaving soon” said the man quickly, “I am not sure what I want, something to bring me luck for my journey”. The jeweler pondered and then began showing the man all the pendants, charms and trinkets in his store. And yet nothing seemed right. The jeweler becoming frustrated but then remembered this unique coin he had found earlier in the day and showed it to the man. And the coin sparkled again, with it came the forgotten man’s tears, the blind man’s wisdom, the orphans spirit and the young girl’s love. The man, enchanted by the coin and its hidden secrets, bought it from the jeweler without asking its price. And he rushed out of the door.
As the door to the shop slammed, he ran up the street. He dodged a bicycle, an old lady with her stick, a boy with his dog and a young family with a thousand shopping bags. He rushed into the old town on his way home, ran over the cobbled streets and past the old town library. And in his speed, he missed the steps that led to the magical fountain, sending him sprawling and the coin, flying out of his hands. Embarrassingly, he got up and dusted himself down, anxious to find where the coin had gone.
He looked up and saw the most beautiful woman he had ever seen picking up the coin and he saw how she held it for a second in her fingers for a few seconds, admiring it, before eventually walking towards him.
“I believe this is yours” she said smiling. But the man did not hear her; he just remained stunned by her amazing smile and the beauty that surrounded her. “Thank you” he shyly said, “but it’s not mine”.
The woman looked surprised and asked what he meant. “The coin is as beautiful as you are”, he said, “It doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to you”. The woman looked confused but he took her hand, touching the softness of her fingers and placed the coin in her palm, clasping it shut.
“It’s everything I have ever loved, please take it, it will bring you luck”, said the man as he ran off in a rush to catch his flight. She was stunned. She watched him run into the distance, through the crowds, through the streets, through the moments of her life. And as he disappeared, she held the coin and felt the connection to the secrets of her past. She felt a connection to the secrets of her future. She felt a connection to everything she was and everything she wished she was. And as she walked on towards her home, she was connected for the first time.
Returning home, into the comfort of her life, under her table lamp, she examined the coin in all its beauty. Each time the coin glinted, her sparkling eyes glinted back. And with each delicate flaw she found on the coin, an even more delicate smile would crease across her lips. She spent her afternoon in admiration of the coin and her evening in thought of the mysterious man that was running away. She then spent her night in turmoil and distress but in the morning, after holding the coin tightly again for the last time, she suddenly felt at peace. She placed the beautiful coin into her devoted husband’s wallet as he got ready for work, kissed him and told him how much she loved him.
That morning, the loyal man strode to work with giant steps, with purpose, with belief. Through the narrows streets, he walked with strength, with dignity, with love. Over cobbled stones, he walked with answered questions. He walked with unstoppable determination past a sleeping dog, a red post box and a young man playing the flute. And the coin, hidden in his pocket, shone brighter than ever before.
He climbed the steps of the magical fountain and entered through the ancient pillars of the old town library. He began the day’s work with a peaceful rhythm that echoed through the serenity of the library’s sanctuary. As he worked, at his desk, a reader he had never seen before called him seeking assistance. The reader, bright eyed with hope, with a future undecided, asked him if the library had the story of the coin. The librarian, with the coin in his wallet, promised to search the library for this story on behalf of the requesting reader.
He browsed through the archives. He climbed up on stools and climbed down spiral staircases in search for the story. He wiped off cobwebs and blew off gathered dust. He pulled books out and pushed books aside but he could not find the story the new reader had requested. In one last search, the librarian climbed to the tallest shelf in the darkest corner and pulled out an old book he had never seen before.
The book cover was untitled but shrouded with hidden messages and secrets. He opened it to a puff of dirt and forgotten history. The book had no pages but a place for an object carved into the center with a golden inscription inside that he could not understand. He wondered what object have once been inside as he climbed back down from the tallest shelf.
Puzzled he took this mysterious book down to the reader who had initially requested the coin story and apologized that he could not find the story in the library but had found this strange book instead. The reader, who recognized the mysterious book, told the librarian that this indeed was the coin story and that the book is the cover for a golden coin that belongs to the stories of people’s lives. The librarian, bemused by this claim, wondered how a coin could tell a story.
He pulled out his wallet to inspect the loose change he owned and was startled to see the twinkle of a coin he had never seen before. He was stunned how the coin had got into his wallet, where it had come from, what it meant. It shone so bright and under the library’s light, he read the same inscription that he had read in the book. He placed the coin into the book and to his surprise, it was the perfect size.
As he remained stunned in his thoughts, he handed the untitled book with the coin inside to the reader.
About me: Hi, Im a new blogger and author on Steemit. I am an orthopaedic surgeon but I love to write fiction and non-fiction. If you liked the story, please encourage me by messaging me, following me or upvoting as I go! Thank you so much for your support!