Fireboy : Flash Fiction

One day a crowd of people had gathered who had heard about the book of wisdom. They asked, ‘Please. Can we hear the teachings?’ The wisdom keeper who owned the book looked at his friend and said nothing. The crowd sat down eager to know what was in the book. ‘Please sir can you at least teach us?’ And the wisdom keeper again looked at each other a little uncertain. There was a moment of silence between the crowd and the keepers. The crowd seemed uncertain until one man said. ‘We’ll pay. If you insist.’

And the wisdom keepers looked again at each other and said nothing. The crowd passed around a hat and money was placed into the hat. They passed the money to the keepers and the keepers began teaching them. Every day they came back and more money was raised. The wisdom keepers couldn’t believe their luck. They had never asked for anything. They were just as confused as the crowd with what to do when they had written down everything they knew. So they built a place for more people to come. News spread of the House of Wisdom and soon other houses were built.

The old days of sitting around the camp fire were soon forgotten because they all thought that wisdom could only be obtained through these teachers. And then one day a young man/woman came along and asked a question. ‘If what you teach is so precious and its purpose is to heal the world why not offer your teachings for free?’

The wisdom teachers looked at the boy and as always in times of uncertainty said nothing. And then a member from the crowd stood up and said. ‘If you don’t like it then leave.’ And other people started to stand up and they too shouted at the man. They seemed angry that someone had dared question their teachers.

The young man left. No longer content that this place was where wisdom could be found. He went back to his ancestral village which was now just a bare patch of land and built himself a home. He sat outside his home and gathered some leaves and sticks and started a fire. After a few minutes the flames leapt up into the night. And the boy stared into the flames. He felt his breath move in and out. And allowed his mind and body to attune to the night time sky. Then waited for the wisdom to return home.

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