Cactus Stranger

Cactus Stranger


Having stepped out from behind the cactus, the stranger presented them with a prickly conundrum. There he sat now, midst crucibles, retorts, bottles and tubes; here were covered utensils, heated over little lamps, there others stood open, so that he might watch the process of decomposition which the oxygen in the air calls forth in its contact with other gases.

Cactus Stranger 2HLK


He began speaking in soft tones with a distant look that itself spoke of things long past.


There she stood in the gradually deepening shadows,

suspended in twilight

she remained – a vision

growing out of purple mist –

feathered wings, unfurled dreams

rising whispers take flight

floating above water lilies

that drape the bosom of the lake –

then a whir of wings

echoes across the water

and she was gone.


Cactus Stranger 3

Uncertain to what to say or do, they stood uneasily. The little kettle in the corner began to whistle. After that, they filed out of the room silently, each clasped a small bottle filled with tears, shadows and joys. What they should each do with their prize was up to them. There were no certainties, just opportunities, like a vision growing out of the purple mist.



See Sources from Project Gutenberg.Org :

Roumanian Stories ~ The Fairy of the Lake

WITHERED LEAVES ~  A Novel by Rudolf von Gottschall.



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