The Eye of Guloc

The Eye of Guloc

A Chapter by YouoweYoupay
"

I made an unbreakable vow never to approach the cupboards of wisdom in Lumio's bed chamber again.

"
3. The Eye of Guloc

When Daleela's eyes bumped into our dinner table, spread with steaming bowls, a platter of freshly washed rucola and a basket of warm bread, she and her husband exchanged a quick glance and her voice tensed with rushed words.

"We are very much mortified." she confessed, lowering her eyes to the ground, "Truly, we are. Troubling you at such a late hour..."

"Ooh, we don't want you to be mortified, Daleela." mother pulled her by her arm, pretending to be irritated, "We want you to join our table!"

"Yes, yes. Come." my father my father vigorously consolidated as he chewed on a leaf of greens, "You have been and will always be our honored guests. Come closer while the food is still nice and hot!"

Reluctantly, the feet of our 'honored guests' shifted toward the dining table. 

This meant two things: I have just lost my right to demand a second serving. And Lumio's strange tales of his forest adventures would remain untold until the next dinner. With one cheek resting in the palm of my hand, I sighed and absent-mindedly poked the food with my spoon.

In a few minutes, Lumio had disappeared and reappeared wearing his tidy, wisdom robes, tailored in between the fashions of both the humble, nomadic garments of storytellers and the light-colored, prestegious cloaks of healers. His visions were the stories. And in those visions, resided the cure, the answer or in rare occassions, the tragedy.

"What a pleasant surprise! Please be seated." he warmly smiled, signaling Jundi and his wife toward the sunset-stained soft rug opposite him by the fire, "Have you been well?"

"Ja."

"Ja."

 Fairly well. They both bobbed their heads consecutively, their faces sombre in the tongues of light and shadow. The firewood popped and crackled. My brother's eyes and ears perked worriedly. In Guloci greetings, our long-time traditional response to being asked about our well-being was typically: "Choleem." Joy. Even in trying times, we ought to say this, because it would draw the gods attention and fool them into assuming they had made a mistake by grinding us in misfortunes, and so they would change the course of our day to match the quality of our spoken words.

Lumio's smile glowed more brightly in Daleela's direction who was at loss for a moment before he clarified, "If my memory serves me rightly, the last time we met was at your youngest daughter's recovery celebration... Seena, was it?" Daleela nodded and Lumio tapped his chin playfully before adding, "Pretty little dancer. Wheat-colored skirt. Loud mouth. Loud and clever." He crossed his arms with a small laugh. Jundi and Daleela stared at him blankly at first, then their faces both broke into two different smiles.

"You have such a remarkable memory!" Daleela exhaled in admiration.

"As expected of the Seeing Eye." Jundi elaborated in a less animated tone.

The wise bloom, the guiding light, the eye of Guloc, and to a minority of our community, Lumio was also known as the radical philosopher.
 
The lessons bestowed upon him by the travelling obi in the motherly shade of the large oak tree had opened unfamiliar doors of perception in his mind. But more importantly, the kiss the obi left in between my brother's eyes was more than just an affectionate farewell gesture. 

A few days following Lumio's return from his seclusion in the forest, he began to develop the habit of waking up in the darkest hours of the night only to brew a hot drink, set it by his side under the shy candlelight and write.
 
He would fill leaflets with words until dawn spilled slowly in the sky, like the yolk from a broken egg.
 
My mother ignored this in the beginning, rinsing the doubts in her heart with the gratitude of having her first born come home again, in good health and sober mind.
 
But one night, when Lumio shot up into wakeness, crying out in panic, my parents sat him down in the parlour and compelled him to confess. And Lumio's response, red-eyed and short of breath, was beyond comprehension at the time. 

"How many fingers does Obi Subar have?" he had asked my parents that night, "Count his fingers."

My father initially thought the boy had still been half-asleep and that it was unfair to demand an explanation from him in such a condition. 

But when morning light clawed at our windows, we awoke to the news that shook and agitated the entire village; Our father's old friend Subar had lost two fingers in a fierce dispute with his indebted cousin. My mother fell to her knees, devoutly thanking the gods for the gift of foresight. And my father's face paled without voicing his opinion.

"Seena is, unfortunately, still unwell." Daleela strained to continue. Her husband placed a subtle hand on her shoulder and this gave her a hair-breadth of strength to move forward with the explanation, 
"We haven't the slightest idea why she's become bedridden again. Three days ago, she seemed as lively as any other little girl in all the lands, racing and shouting and plucking rooster mushrooms with her brothers after a rain. She was- "

"No, Daleela." her husband gently disagreed, "We do have a clue why. Maybe he can help us confirm or refute it. "

"Pray, tell us, Lumio, dear. Why is this happening?" Daleela pleaded, "Will you open your eyes for us and look into Seena's future?"

I was supposed to be wrapped nicely in my bed in order to rest adequately before a school day, but I escaped my mother's watchful eyes and I slithered on my knees toward Lumio's cross-legged form on the rug and without inquiring for his permission, I rested my head on his thigh. Daleela paused her story momentarily at the sight of my curled body neighboring my brother's. 

"Pardon this young wolf," my brother smiled politely, placing one of his palms over my head, "I'd promised him a story earlier, but time was not in our favor. And rest assured," he held up an open palm, "Beya is as discreet as a treasure chest in the belly of the earth."

To preserve my dinigty, Lumio had refered to me as a wolf rather than a monkey, in the presence of our guests. And I loved that dearly about him.

"Ah! Do forgive us, Beya." Jundi sheepishly said, "Frogive us for stealing your brother from you. Had the matter been in our hands, we wouldn't have intruded the way we did.."

"Indeed, we are fortunate that you opened the doors for us tonight." Daleela said.

"Not at all," Lumio danced to her flattery, "I'm the fortunate one. You've put your faith in me in this difficult hour. Now, before everything, I need you to verify with a physician whether Seena's condition is similar or not to that of Kanan's son. Because-"

"Oh, no no no." Daleela shook her open hands in the air, "We have already confirmed this. Unlike our Seena, Kanan's boy immediately showed signs of healing once he had been examined by the herbalist and his wife. He runs so fast to school, as if he rides the wind."

"Like a hawk, he moves." Jundi sneered with a hint of jealousy.

My eyelids weighed down as Lumio's long fingers stroked my hair. The warmth of the fire flowered under my skin. The hearty aroma of chicken and vegetable stew still hung in the air. The fretful discussion faded into mumbles, like coals cooling in the open air. 

I half-smiled when I remembered once flipping the pages of my brother's wisdom journals. I'll be honest with you, it remains a mystery to me why many of the villagers would urge him to make his writing public. The 'philosophies' he recorded in his notes were ridiculous: 

'When it rains, thirst is not always sated.' and  'Stand on your feet, not on your hands.' 

Do you see what I mean? 

Sadly, my unrivaled curiosity had almost cost me my brother's trust in me. And so, having been caught twice with the open journal in my hands, I made an unbreakable vow never to approach the cupboards of wisdom in Lumio's bed chamber again. That day, he dragged me away from our parents' range of hearing and out into the vegetable garden.

"No matter how desperately you want to know the future." Lumio asserted, holding his gaze toward me with concentration.

"No matter how desperately I want to know the future." I swayed back and forth as I rolled my eyes and chorused his warning. 

"And even if you have the purest intention of helping someone." he lectured and my eyes wandered to an adorable, tiny cluster of clover leaves near the arugula bush.

"And even if I have the purest...Lumio, I understand, alright? I promise. Can we go back now?" I whined, kicking away a stone with my foot. 
My brother instantly caught me by my arm and turned my face toward him.

"Beya. Look at me." he said in a dangerously low voice. I swallowed, "Never come near my journals again. Especially the book of visions. Beya, do you understand?" every word was slow and deliberate.

Do I understand? 

"...Yes, brother."


© 2020 YouoweYoupay


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Reviews

Two mistakes toward the end: "dinigty" instead of "dignity" . . . "frogive" instead of forgive. But still, this is remarkably clean copy compared to the level of mistakes I see in so much that I review at the cafe. It's a delight not to have to plow thru tangled grammar becuz everything you write is super well-constructed. It's a delight to read your balanced well-mixed sentences, short & long, serious & light, complex & simple.

Since most American readers do not like to delve philosophically, I compliment you on presenting your philosophical material in a way that's simple, straightforward, & conversational: ""Choleem." Joy. Even in trying times, we ought to say this, because it would draw the gods attention and fool them into assuming they had made a mistake by grinding us in misfortunes, and so they would change the course of our day to match the quality of our spoken words."

For a long work of prose, your writing is bright, artful, sensory, & imaginative: "Three days ago, she seemed as lively as any other little girl in all the lands, racing and shouting and plucking rooster mushrooms with her brothers after a rain."

Discussion at the end between siblings is well-paced for intensity . . . we really get the power of that moment between these two. Great dialogue . . . taking your time . . . making it real (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 6 Months Ago


This was another splendid chapter. I get a deep sense of world building with your descriptions of habits and manners between the people here. You speak of gods and customs in this place you've created. I thoroughly enjoy it. Lumio's philosophies are almost as ridiculous as Yana's book of writings. They must be cut from the same stone ;).
But a couple things did catch my proof reader's eye. Paragraph 4 there are two 'my fathers'. Further down you wrote 'frogive us for stealing your brother from you' instead of 'forgive us'. Unless frogive is a thing I don't know about? Also, I'm not sure what dad is doing by 'vigorously consolidating'. Did you mean he vigorously agreed with mother that the honored guests should stay and eat? If so, maybe another word would fit better there. Consolidate is more of an action verb, like running. Sure, people run their mouths, but they don't vigorously run a joke or run a laugh for example. I don't know, does any of that make sense? I'm hungry. Your chapters are making me hungry. I'm gonna go eat now.

Posted 6 Months Ago



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Added on December 5, 2020
Last Updated on December 5, 2020
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YouoweYoupay
YouoweYoupay

Amman, ..., Jordan



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