Appetizer: The Discovery Of Forlorn Wonder

Kevin Focke
May 11 · 6 min read

Our appetizers give you a delicious taste of our offering. One full story coming up, gluten-free, easily accessible, and shareable.

What if opportunities pass by, as the seasons do?

What if you can never truly say: “I love you?”

Chapter 1: My Life

What is the first thought you associate with youth? Beauty? Joy? Play?

For me it is a derelict sense of wonder, but that’s not always how I thought of it. I used to call it “escaping reality through ceaseless naivety, a trait proliferating in the know-nots.”

Logic permeated throughout my daily toils: In the morning I woke up, took the taxi to work, attended dozens of meetings, returned home, rinsed my body, and repeat the same drag when the sun shone anew. Between those different phases, on predetermined time points, I ate a personalized meal freshly prepared by our chef.

By all means my life was splendid because I had “made it,” as they say.

After the Christmas period our money jar was overflowing with green spoils. And so, under the guise of Best Company in the World, we rewarded our employees with a trip to one of those typical, sun-overflowing holiday destinations.

When we arrived at the small airport there wasn’t even a waiting line. That’s the way it should be: You get what you pay for. We stepped on my private plane with buckets of champagne standing on hardwood tables, imported straight from a friend of mine, the finest carpenter in the Amazon rainforest. Despite our great connection, the tables were still an expensive acquisition, but you must seize the opportunities while they last. In a couple of years they’ll be items of prestige and I’ll get my return on investment. It’s practically a gravy train waiting at the station.

Allow me to briefly divulge about something overlooked in business. People seem to forget that innovation is always of penultimate importance to votaries of success: You must keep up or you’re left behind. Thus, to prove our stance, we installed a new piece of groundbreaking technology into the aircraft. It’s called an ACC, short for Automatic Climate Conditioner. Gradually, it adapts your plane’s temperature and humidity to that of the arrival destination.

After some hands-on experience my conclusion was made: It’s not the next big shot, but it does make the transition slightly more pleasant. Don’t misunderstand my sentiment; it still was groundbreaking technology; our plane went into the air. Although that might’ve been the jet engines too…

After twelve hours and a fair bit of turbulence the plane landed like a feather on the wind. Upon disembarking, with cocktails in hand, we were accordingly greeted by a flock of colorful island birds. This occurrence caused one of our employees to become wildly ecstatic, shouting out their names like a dog with rabies on speed. It was on that day I rediscovered a language I had almost forgotten. The sounds rang like a combination of French conflated with science fiction babble. Some call it Latin, I believe.

After the flock of birds passed, a flock of natives fetched our baggage. And then, with our cars rallying in a wacky ride, we drove off on a dusty road towards our little corner of earthly paradise.

In our luxurious hotel the parties were rambunctious and the booze went in as if it was water.

To be honest with you, I don’t remember a thing about the parties — and let’s be honest again, that’s the sign they were great.

What’s never so great is the ensuing hangover. It’s like having a giant volleyball smashed on your head in a match between China and the US. One morning it was particularly rough and my drunken stupor led me to do something truly inconceivable: I went for a lonely stroll on the beach to reflect on my life.

Hah, who am I kidding? I just conjured up some glibly thoughts and spouted it at the sea:

“Wasted pe-potential is torn, tossed, and ssssstocked away in pale se-pe-pulchers of silver-grey ashes!”

During my life I have crammed out a load of bollocks, but that takes the crown. Yet I can assure you, once you put my name under that quote it becomes front page magazine material.

Come to think of it, on that day I must have reached my philosophical pinnacle: My mind went places I had never been before. Heck, I thought about how I felt like a pebble skipping on the water not knowing when I’d drop! Soon enough I knew for sure; my jaw dropped when a marvelous lady rambled along the coastline.

Chapter 2: Her Life

On barren feet she wandered around on the wavy hills of sand radiating an illustrious gold by the sun peeking through the locks of her hair.

She fiddled with a gorgeous red-violet flower with a yellow core plucked somewhere along the road. Everything about her exuded a certain calmness, an unfathomable tranquility. Her body, her smile, and her mesmerizing eyes all came together to form a lively painting of timeless allure.

Her presence begged an awe-struck admiration and a cautious approach. So I drunkenly walked up to her and shared one of my profundities:

“What is life but a transitory collection of choices?”

This sudden wise-spouting of words surprised me more than it did her; she was not impressed at all. Instead, she started talking about her own life…

She talked about how she went to Norway and how she watched the aurora piercing through the clouds like fireworks, and how, below this mighty spectacle of nature, she built a simple igloo only to have the plates of ice break it apart from underneath mere seconds later. She claimed that single moment solidified what she was and what she stood for: A ferocious temporality building brief sojourns in the world with nothing at all and coming back with a wealth of vistas, people, and moments, treasured like a vintage wine in the casks of her mind.

I was perplexed by this exposé, but her mouth never left me to recover.

She told of the grandeur of a glacier in Switzerland and how the water melted and formed the pure rivers whose wet irrigated the lands below, and how, with great care, the grains endured the harsh weather and fed a whole town on the lower parts of the valley side. Then, quick as a hot knife through butter, she cut to lurid magma boiling under wailing smoke thunderously shooting out of a volcano on an island in the Pacific.

Without the faintest notice, she returned from the biggest splendor to the simplest thing: She talked about seeing droplets of rain racing on the window of a train, and how, in a way, we’re all racing too.

And then, sudden as she had come, she went away, rambling off once again into the distance.

Chapter 3: Life Itself

For the last time I looked at the orange-red glistening on the azure and thought of her. Below the surface, in the bubbly corals and the surging streams, there are truly many fishes, but she was a flying fish.

It was hard to accept, but when the heart-shed of a faded sparkle was tallied, a dim fullness came over me. Maybe some things are just meant to be cherished the way they are: Unfinished, left unturned, wondering what could be and could have been.

Scrap that last thought, it was a crying shame; she would have been the perfect receptionist: Someone who makes you feel more special than a profitable speck of dirt.

~The End.~

This story is part of Tales Untold.

In it, an author experiments with form and language to discover what an author was and could have been.


Welcome to a world of wondrous creativity.

Kevin Focke

Written by

Storyteller. Founded BatWhaleDragon.


Welcome to a world of wondrous creativity.