Every Friday writers worldwide gather round the virtual fireside of Rochelle Wisoff and share stories of 100 words, prompted by a common photograph, and exchange constructive criticism. You don’t have to write to read. Click on the blue frog at the end of my story to access all the other stories written to this week’s prompt. Readers’ comments are welcome. This week’s photo prompt is courtesy Rachel Bjerke. Thanks, Rachel. Here’s the story your photo inspired:
These circular kitchens were scattered throughout the vast wood. Each had stone chimney, oven, well. Doors descended to a stone honeycomb – each settlement’s quarters. We cooked, kept warm, socialised. For food, we hunted to the wood’s perimeters – an encircling fence, beyond which was further woodland – but it was accepted that we never crossed over.
“Why go into The Beyond, Sanai?”
“It is there, Fatwa.”
“Think of our children!”
“We have none. You know few can.”
Weeks of walking brought him to a wall, so tall its top lost in mist.
He would ascend, somehow.
(c) Ann Isik 2015
In respect of my hero’s name, in case you’re interested, Sanai was an 11th-12th century Persian poet. His master work is the epic The Walled Garden of Truth, the first Persian mystical epic of Sufism. A contemporary of Sanai was Attar – is one of the pen-names of Attar of Nishapur (c. 1145 – c. 1221) – Persian sufi and poet. Both Sanai and Attar were major influencers of 13th century mystic sufi poet Rumi. Of Attar Rumi wrote in a poem, “Attar has traversed the seven cities of Love, We are still at the turn of one street.” Attar translates to The Perfumer.