Fiction Fantasy Suspense


He heard a crash and he tumbled down the ground full of stones. Damnation, not only the front wheel suspension had come off but the chassis had broken. Good heaven, he should have known that his mountain bike was not enough stout to deal with that climb. However Alex stood up, even if rather bruised and aching, and he decided to continue his journey on foot. He had to join his friends in the mountain cabin ( cottage) to celebrate his birthday. The road he had to do was still quite long and bumpy but he set out confidently on the way. Walking in the woods, among firs and oaks gave him euphoria, and made him feel free and out of the civilized world, with its noises, it made feel him immersed in wild nature.

But how strange, after a long time of walking, after he had climbed and fallen and got back on his feet and started climbing again, he hadn’t yet reached the cabin where his friends were waiting for him. Alex began to wonder if he had gone the wrong way. He looked around bewildered and with a trembling heart, undecided whether to go on or go back. Of course, it had to have gone like this: at some point, he must have taken the wrong turn and now he was lost. Not knowing what to do, or which direction to go, he started walking in the stretch of the wood where he had ended up. Alex thought that maybe now he was on the side of the mountain opposite the one where the cabin of his friends stood. He saw a hare come out of a hole, several squirrels climb the trunk and jump from branch to branch of the trees, he saw a red-headed woodpecker digging an oak trunk with its beak, he could admire big butterflies with golden wings _____they were mountain butterflies, and still couldn’t decide what to do.

When he was about to go back, he saw a goat entering the small clearing in the wood that he would never have imagined could exist except in the world of dreams. Sure, it was a goat. The hair, the pointed muzzle, the beard on the chin, and the horns were those of a goat. Alex approached the animal to observe its horizontal pupils _____two thin slits ___and the animal bleated. And yet…he could not understand and could not believe his eyes: that goat, which moved easily and wagged its tail, did not have its hind legs. Instead of hind legs, it had two wheels like those on a bicycle. It was really a shocking animal! But was it an animal? Alex kept wondering and came over to touch its fur. The goat stuck out its tongue and Alex heard a whistling sound. He turned and an old man wrapped in a brown cloak, who walked leaning on a stick, stood in front of him. “ Aha! Look at you, you don’t know how lucky you are to be able to see TURCHINA” the old man said and pointed to the goat. My God! The goat with wheels instead of legs and now also that old man who appeared so suddenly…” But where did I end up? But am I awake or am I dreaming?” Alex wondered.

“ I bet you’ve never seen a prodigy like this, have you eh? But what am I saying? Turchina is a living miracle! A miracle of nature!” the old man cried, in the grip of enthusiasm, raising his arms, twirling his stick. “ Do you mean …do you mean that the goat was born like this, with wheels instead of hind legs?” Alex asked dumbfounded, feeling stupid as he asked the question.

“ But no, my dear boy! Turchina was born without hind legs and the miracle was to implant on its body wheels instead of legs, otherwise, how would it have been able to walk? Eh, my Turchina walks on wheels, do you see ? It moved easily as…as a butterfly!”

“ And…and who implanted them?” Alex asked more and more stunned and incredulous, so much incredulous that his eyes came out of his sockets.

“ But me! With these hands of mine!” the old man cried, showing his hands. They were hands with long, bony, and gnarled fingertips and a large hollow in the center of the palms. ! “ I with this hands and with the providential helping of nature of course ! Ah blessed be nature always!”

“ But who are you? A surgeon or….a magician? “ Alex asked, stammering. He approached the strange goat to carefully observe its wheels.  They were black and stood out against the white fur of the goat and looked like metal, but maybe they were plastic. Alex touched them. They were very soft to the touch, softer even than plastic

“ I am a great, refined craftsman! I’m the lord of this territory” the old man said spreading his arms as if to embrace the wood. “ I’m the fortune teller of dreams!”

“Don’t listen to him! He is crazy!” a voice rang out. “ He’s just an old trickster! Fool and trickster!” From the vegetation of the wood came out a very blond young man, tall, emaciated, with red-rimmed eyes. The boy wore tattered trousers and was bare-chested

“ He was telling me about this…this goat, an incredible story,” Alex said, more and more perplexed and bewildered. He had the feeling that his feet were off the ground, that he was in a bubble of unreality. “ And in fact, like all the stories this crazy old man tells, it’s not true,” the boy said. “ I heard what he was telling you. It’s not true that he put the wheels on the goat, or on what looks like a goat” the boy added, while he dodged the stick with which the old man, furious, was trying to hit him. “ What do you mean? That this goat isn’t made of flesh and blood? That it is some kind of toy? Yet it looks real, even if it has wheels instead of hind legs” Alex was baffled as he continued to look at the goat and smooth its fur, which really looked like goat hair even to the touch. “ Ah, this goat, let’s call it that, is a completely artificial or bionic creature,” the boy said, while the old man yelled furiously: “ Bad, ugly assholes who dare invade my territory! But now I’ll fix you!”

“ Is this that looks like a goat an artificial creature? And who made it? WHY is it here?” Alex asked dumbfounded.

“ Now you want to know too much, my dear, “ the young man said, with a face that had suddenly changed from jovial to frown.” You should rather ask yourself  WHY you ended up here”

Suddenly Alex found himself surrounded by deer, fallow deer, foxes, and wolves all with two wheels for hind legs. “ I ended up here because I lost my way…I had to join my friends” He said, disconcerted. “ Yeah, you’ve lost your way” The boy sneered. When he started to move, Alex realized that he too had wheels instead of legs.

August 04, 2023 23:12

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