“This statue, a homage to the brave General Helon was built in the 17th century by…” Savannah drifted away from her parents and the tour group, all of whom were raptly listening to the tour guide’s mechanical rendering of the history of this quaint little town.
A picturesque place with pretty little houses, a farmers’ market as well as a bell tower; she felt like she’d landed in a rural scene featured in a film. Having a fertile imagination that loved to indulge in daydreams and fantasies, she could feel countless stories running through her mind.
Standing in front of the tall tower, she imagined the brave child ringing the bell to signal safety and victory for the villagers, who’d fled to the island. Her mind transported her back to the time when this town was part of a kingdom, a border village that was said to be well protected due to the natural hill-and-sea buffer.
The peace and prosperity of the kingdom attracted the jealousy of an empire and they planned to attack this village. Not only would it insult the kingdom, but would secure a lucrative waterway for future empire trade. After all, how difficult would it be to conquer a village full of peasants?
But the empire soldiers could have never imagined that their plan to attack the village would be foiled by a small boy, graced with agile swiftness who loved to climb the tower. It was his early warning that prompted the villagers to flee the village to the nearby island or further on the ships and boats stationed near the dock.
The little boy, escaping from the boat carrying his parents, ran towards the fields to set fire to the crops and a few remaining boats. He knew that he might be killed and never see his parents again; yet he also knew that it was important to stop the invaders from capturing his village or sailing after his parents and the other villagers. And for the next two days, through stealth and luck, he kept on fleeing and hiding from the angry and frustrated empire troops who searched everywhere for sustenance and hostages.
Two days. It would have taken that long for the kingdom army to ride to the village after the smoke would have alerted the nearest trade town (and then, the capital). The battle for recapturing the deserted village was bloody but swift. Savannah could almost feel the abject fear that must have plagued the starving boy, holed up in dark and dank corners but still determined to save his family. And it was this willowy boy who climbed up the tower and rung in peace for their village. He’d done what none of the adults had, stayed behind as the last man, ready to sacrifice his life so that the others could escape.
“Savannah, honey let’s go,” her mother’s voice broke her reverie. Her family was used to her often getting lost in thoughts. Looking around, she saw their group moving away from the tower. She hurried to join them and caught the tail end of the guide’s lecture. “…through the restorative efforts of the local heritage club that the tower is how it is at present. A symbol of the confluence of two cultures. Now, our next..”
Pfft! Her little fantasies are so much more interesting than these lengthy narrations filled with boring facts. A little adventure, some heightened emotions and a perfect ending; they brought life and joy to one’s mind and soul.
Written for Thursday Photo Prompt- Fantasy.
Inspired by Fandango’s Dog Days of August #12. Theme is “something that brings you joy.”