SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Erwin Cupcake, guardian of the waters

I looked into the well. To my surprise, the water level started going down quickly until the well ran completely dry. The squeaky male voice that seemed to come from beyond the grave, spoke again in broken English:

- You, who are?

I couldn’t see clearly but I spotted a small human shape in the dark at the bottom of the well.

- And who are you, sir, if I may ask?
- No, you may not. First, I asked first!
–he answered-.

I sighed and gave up. That stubborn creature from the well sounded really bossy.

- My name is Leni Qinan and I’m paying a courtesy visit to the Lord and Master of this house. –I said, ironically-.
- Edvard is in the house now not.

He spoke in a very funny way, with a strong Burdish accent, turning upside down the order of words in his sentences.

- Oh, you know him? –I asked-
- Yes, little boy, I know him since he was. –he answered-
- I see.
- This ring yours is, hmm?
–he asked, showing me the diamond ring that I had thrown away some minutes before, all covered with mud-
- Yes.
- Why throw it, did you? You want it anymore, do not?

Should I say that I spotted his tiny eyes glowing in the dark when he pronounced the word ‘ring’? He sounded as incredibly greedy for my ring as Gollum for the One Ring that had enslaved him.

- I do want my ring back! –I said immediately-
- Then throw it away, why did you? –he asked, folding his arms-
- Because I was very upset with the person who gave it to me. –I answered, looking down-.
- Was it Edvard?
- Yes, it was him.
- And you so upset with him, why were?
- It’s a long story.
- Time to listen, have I…

The guy was driving me batty with his questions.

- Hmm… still waters run deep. Beautiful, it is beautiful. Yes. –he said, his bright eyes shining again-. This… an engagement ring is?
- Well, I don’t know…
- How come you don’t know?
- He never said to me what kind of ring is it supposed to be.
- I see. To draw the words out of Edvard with a corkscrew, you sometimes will have. But a decent soul and a man of deep feelings he is. To tell you about them let him find the right moment. Upset with him, are you because of that?
- Maybe.
- Why you not tell him and make peace?
- Because I came here to give him his birthday present, but he hates his birthday and so he hates my birthday present too. I’m afraid I’ve put my foot in. And this makes me feel very sad.
- Everybody likes a birthday present.
- But he was angry with me because it reminds him that…
- 296 years old, that he is now? Survive us all, that he will?

He left me speechless. That guy knew everything about Ed. Above all else his innermost secrets: his age and fate.

- This evil object… yours is too? –he said, showing me the cell phone I had just thrown away-
- Yes.
- Me on the head it hit!
–he said, scatching the top of his head-
- I’m very sorry. I didn’t know you were there. I hope I didn’t hurt you. Are you fixing something in the well? –I asked-

I thought he was repairing the water pump or a valve in the pressure tank, but he gave me a puzzling answer that left me stunned.

- Here, I live here.
- Here? You mean you live in the well, sir?
- Right, that is.

'Oh my gawd' -I thought-

- I havent heard your name yet, Mr…
- My rudeness excuse, please. Me introduce myself let: Erwin Cupcake, I am. Been the guardian of the well for the last nine centuries, I have. To take care of the waters in this land, my duty is.
- Pleased to meet you, Mr. Cupcake.
- Call me Erwin, you can.


Then, he gave me back the ring and the cell phone with his green wet muddy hands.

- You have a very nice job, Erwin. To keep water from being polluted and uselessly wasted is admirable.
- Treasure of nature, water is, my friend. Men use not it wisely, no.

Here you have the gospel truth, directly from the lips of the oldest ecologist activist on earth, born long before Greenpeace was founded.

I was lost in these thoughts when I felt a little tap on my shoulder. It was the butler, who had arrived quietly, clasping an umbrella in his hands. I turned back and smiled at him.

- Hello again. –I greeted him-
- Hello Miss Qinan.
- I was talking to Mr. Cupcake.
- Oh, good afternoon, Erwin.
–he said, waving at the creature in the well-.

Erwin Cupcake waved back, very politely. Then, the butler whispered in my ear:

- I hope he hasn’t stolen anything from you. He’s a good man, but just like magpies, is fatally attracted to shiny trinkets and all kinds of jewellery.
- He was only giving me back my cell phone and diamond ring.

Erwin Cupcake heard the butler’s comment and shouted, very upset:

- I’m not a thief, you telltale!
- I know, I know… but just in case, Erwin
-said the butler, sighing-

Then, he turned to face me and said very solemnly:

- Miss Qinan, I’m pleased to announce that Lord Davies has anticipated his return journey and will be back at his residence tonight. He would be very honoured if you would accept his invitation to dinner and stay in the house until tomorrow. Then, if it’s alright with you, he would like to take you back to the Sandwich Islands in his private jet.

Ed was unbelievable. He was always on top of everything. That was more than I could ever expect. I was about to answer, when Erwin the guardian of the well shouted:

- Sit fat and happy until the sky falls on your head, Leni, are you going to?
- No –I said, shaking my head-. I’m not that kind of person.
- To him and make peace go, then. With him put things right. And then… the diamond ring means, ask him what does –he said, sinking slowly into the water-

Erwin was almost baffling, but this time he had been crystal clear. The butler bowed and said:

- He might sound weird sometimes, but he’s a wise man.
- Is he dead too?
- Oh no, he’s the oldest man on earth. There’s only a living creature older than him in this planet: a yew tree in the rainforests of Zeewland. Erwin is turning a thousand years old at the end of the spring, but still full of life, as you can see.
- And yet he lives in a well?
- His tired old eyes can hardly see. He needs to live in the dark and he chose the well as his last home. He's happy here. From water he was made; to water he will return…

Supernatural people never cease to amaze me. We, humble mortals are way behind them on everything.

I opened up my right hand and watched the rain clear up the mud from my diamond ring. Then, I took my backpack, and we walked our way back to the house.



"I wear your ring" (Cocteau Twins)

15 comments:

Antoni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Antoni said...

Hello Leni
you surprise me more and more. I haven't been in your blog since a while, but the continuation of your story is exciting. I liked it to reread the whole story. Ed seems to be a difficult person. How can he hate his birthday, even when it's the 10th of April ?.
Are you sure that he deserved your anti-birthday-gift? Your ring and mobile phone hit the wrong person. Throw it at Ed's head, it will help him to think about the relation, may be he is confused and blind and needs a soft stroke on his head to come out of his shell.
Btw, living in a well is not the worst place. Always fresh water, fresh air, constant temperature and (besides occasional upset woman who throw their mobile phones in your retreat) no phone calls. I know persons who call this "beauty farm" and pay a small fortune to be there for a week.
You must always see the bright side of life !
Kisses
Antoni

rebecca said...

Mr. Cupcake sounds like Yoda from Star Wars! He used to talk like that too - backwards! I was laughing because somehow reading Mr. Cupcake's words, all I kept hearing was Yoda's voice! LOL!

This is getting very in-te-res-ting. I have to allot a day soon to come here and catch up. I've so much catching up to do! But I came quickly to read your latest installment. I received your "little present," and thank you! you are too sweet and kind. I will respond to that as well very soon!

((muchos abrazos)) Leni and will come back sometime this week....

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Antoni! Long time no see!
I know you're very busy, and my blog is demanding, so I appreciate your visit and comment twice as much!

Ed is a difficult man, that's right. I'm just getting to know him and learning how to deal with him. But in spite of all these circumstances, I love him.

I hesitated whether he deserved his anti-birthday gift or not. I took a lot of trouble and dedication to buy it, just to make him happy and it really shocked me to hear he hated his birthday. It actually hurt me. But after all, I decided to give it to him. But I wouldn't hit him with my cell phone, hahaha. That's just the way he is; I just have to learn how to survive his funny little ways.

About Erwin... well, he's a weird guy, isn't he? Living in a well... maybe I could ask him if he has a spare room for you, hahahah.

Kisses 4 U 2!

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Rebecca!
Right! You got it! I'd say he's a hybrid between Yoda and Gollum! ((But yes, I desperately racked my brains to make this character talk in the most typical Yoda fashion!))

No worries, Rebecca. Actually, I won't let you catch up here until you finish the book for the POD (*laughs*). Really, I'd love to hear that some editor is interested in your books -I'm getting ready to submit some pieces of work myself to literary agents over here, so cross your fingers. I don't trust anything will come out of it, but I have to try. I'd really like to get out of the closet!

About the award... please please no hurry, Rebecca (do the homework first, don't make the POD angry, ok? lol)

((muchos muchos abrazos and good luck, my dear friend))

Crabbers said...

C'est du Charles Lutwidge Dodgson !!! Leni au pays des merveilles :)
J'ai toujours pensé que la vérité sortant du puits ,était une jolie femme ...!??


This is Charles Lutwidge Dodgson!!! Leni to the wonder country:)
I always thought that the truth going out of the well, was a pretty woman ...!??

(*p'tits bisous d'un rêveur*)

rebecca said...

Leni, good luck on your submissions. The hardest part is always getting that first magazine/editor to take a chance on you, an unknown. Once that first person does it however, it becomes easier after that because they now see you as a legitimate writer. Yeah, they don't make it easy but don't give up or become discouraged. How many great books and writers were turned down themselves because some editor though his/her work not worthy enough? And what happened? Their works turned out to be well known! So never give up. Good luck and keep me posted! ((abrazos))

Leni Qinan said...

Bonjour Crabtree!

Merci beaucoup pour l’analogie avec Alice, mon cher ami. Je suis très très flatée.

Desolée, mais la vérité sortant du puits c’est l’eau fraîche et pure, pas une jolie femme.

J’aime bien vos rêves, faites-les arriver

(*un tas de bisous*)

Leni Qinan said...

AND ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Good morning Crabtree!

Thank you very much for the analogie drawn about Alice, my dear friend. I’m really flattered.
I’m sorry but the truth coming out of the well is not a beautiful woman, but pure and fresh water.
I like your dreams. Keep them coming.

(*loads of kisses*)

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for your sweet words of encouragement! I really appreciate!

Someone told me lately that if I ever expected an answer from an editor I would have to wait until I become a granny. But I’m not easily discouraged.
I just feel I have to try. If I become famous, you’ll be the first to know in the blogsphere. If not, I’ll keep on writing just the same. I promise to keep you abreast of events!

Really, thank you very much for your support in these moments; I’ll keep you abreast of events! ((many abrazos))

Leni Qinan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
max said...

Leni,

As I said 2 posts ago, if he doesn't want the gift, you can send it over to me. This guy from the well sounds more like the Ents in 'Lord of the Rings' rather than Gollum (Gollum would have NEVER returned the ring).

I liked the 999-year old ecologist, made me smile...

Take care!

Roberto said...

Hello Leni. I haven´t read your post yet, but I want to say you hello. There was a long time without you. I promise I´ll read it soon.

A very big kiss for you.

Leni Qinan said...

Maxi,
As I said to you 2 posts ago: NO WAY. The gift is no transfer.

Erwin Cupcake is a cool guy; a bit weird, but wise and kind-hearted.

Hugs'n'XXXs

Leni Qinan said...

Hi, my dear Roberto! Long time no see!
No hurry to read, dear. I know you're busy all the time.
I'm just happy to see you again over here... (*smiles and sends a kiss*).

((Oh promises... promises... hahaha it's great to see you again after such a long time!))

BIG BIG KISS!