“Raise your words, not your voice. It is the rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” –Rumi
It wasn’t Santiago’s blindness that had caused him to neglect his gardening tools, because after all, he did not need to see in order to tend the heucheras, campanulas, and sedum sunsparklers. It was the machine took up all of his time. He chuckled to himself as he recalled the sculpture of the brass buddha welded on the steel beam next to the fused length of chain.
“Keep the balance, eh?” He adjusted one of the control cogs and then let out a length of cable from beneath what his family called “the contraption.”
Even in an age where the steam engine dominated every aspect of life and culture, his “contraption” was a curiosity. It was a marvel of over-design and the monument to mechanical mash-ups. The main wheel was taken from the broken down wagon he once used to haul peat moss and manure home for his azaleas. He’d used a common steam boiler which could be heated by any fuel that would burn. The piping he had scavenged from a warehouse that had been condemned three months ago. The materials for the intricate gearing systems was the “gift” of his departed wife’s collection of clocks, a choice of which his children did not approve.
However, the mechanics were just a means to the end. It was what the “contraption” would produce that would make all of the difference. The radium capsule would act as a catalyst, and combined with the exceptionally rare chemical compounds in the reaction chamber, once heated to the proper temperature, would allow him to achieve his long sought after goal.
It had cost him his fortune to purchase the correct ingredients, and they were so unique that it was possible they existed nowhere else on Earth. It would be worth it, though.
“Yes, it will be worth is. I promise. You’ll see.” He mumbled to himself as he continued to work.
After it was all finished, and long after he had set the “contraption” into motion, and was granted his one great desire, many would say he should have wished for his sight to be restored instead. Delphine was not always a pleasant woman, and when she discovered they were now paupers, perhaps she would consider her life and his no longer worth it.
However, he had forged the Reset Machine, which could be operated only once, in order to restore his departed spouse’s life and cure her cancer. If she left him after that, well, for him it was still worth it.
“It was worth it. When you raise your words, you raise your ideals, and then your very soul. It was worth it. It was always worth it.”
He continued muttering as he returned to pruning the roses.
I wrote this for the Sunday Writing Prompt “Collage Prompt #41” challenge hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea is to use the imagery in the college as the inspiration for crafting a poem, short story, or other creative work.
I just let my gaze wander around, starting with the quote and then proceeding to the apparently blind man. I let each graphic tell its story as I sewed them together to form my wee tale. The only research I did was in looking up names of flower plants and when Radium was first discovered, since my tale, although it doesn’t involve her, is set in Keisha Davis’s steampunk world.