Wooden Cabin in The Woods

Wooden Cabin in The Woods

A Story by Yoga Pramartha
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A piece of short story for a literature project

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In the hollow hallway, against the bulletin board, the art majored freshman, Dygta Melvyn stood with a sling bag strapped across his shoulder. The announcement paper that was pinned on the board’s lower part forced his lanky body to bend down as he tried to read what it said. He kept his grip tight on the strap of his bag as he mumbled.
He seemed to be in a rush. It seemed like he was chased by someone. Or something. No. It was time. He was chased by the time that was ticking toward the break time. He checked on his watch, the break time approached. As he heard the footsteps came across the hall, he started shaking. His fellow college students stepped out of the classrooms to fill up the empty corridor. But he saw it differently. He saw ‘hundreds of hungry dogs freed from the cage hunting for a bone’. He thought that he was the bone.
A girl came approaching. As she said “Hi”, he straightened up his body in reflex. Sweats ran down his throat. He turned around facing the girl. He gave a quirky smile and started to run. He kept running unstoppably all the way through the corridor, across the yard and found himself before the campus gate. It was there that he could finally release his long and heavy breath along a whisper, “Ah, I’m free.”
He stepped his feet off the campus. He paced forward, leaped homeward. He tried to keep the smile floating on his face. But as he noticed a stranger staring at him, that very smile sank. He felt intimidated by those glaring eyes, thinking if he was doing something wrong. Was it his shirt that was unbuttoned? Was it his shoes that were not in pair? Or was it just the people that didn’t understand him? These questions kept him hanging with an acute self consciousness and social anxiety disorder, thinking that people might see his quirky, awkward traits and silence as threats and disgraces in society.
Dygta Melvyn was a son of a wealthy businessman and business woman. Every day as he came home after a tiring day he spent so awkwardly and anxiously at campus, he found nobody but the butler that he hardly spoke with. His parents were just too busy, left him alone with nobody to talk to.
His only friend was just his guitar with which he hung out in the silent cabin that he discovered hiding under the woods in the back of his house. Seven days a week he spent his solitary moments avoiding people’s judgment by playing guitar, singing and composing songs in that wooden cabin. It was the only place where he could hear his voice echoing so loudly with nobody else could hear.
“La, la, la, la, la, la, la… la, la, la, la… Hey, Jude! La, la, la, la, la, la, la… la, la, la, la… Hey, Jude!” he screamed The Beatles song out loud all day from the time he got back from campus until the twilight brought him back to sleep.
That creaky hut was his hidden fortress, keeping him away from society and sealing him within rhymes and tones. The old cabin had become his only escape place from people’s judgment toward his quirky attitudes. After campus he went straight there spending the rest of his days playing guitar, singing and composing songs. Though it seemed creepy, he found comfort and inner peace in that quiet, hollow place.
It was Guns N’ Roses day for him. He spent the afternoon strumming the guitar singing November Rain. “Sometimes I need some time on my own… Sometimes I need some time all alone… Everybody needs some time on their own… Don’t you know you need some time all alone?” He sang the cold song with full emotion.
As he struck the E minor chord, he was startled by the sound of a tree clattering outside the cabin. “Thwack, thwack.” the sound of the chopped tree bothered him. He rubbed his eyes and looked around. He saw a silhouette outside the cabin. He started trembling. His body was shaking. Suddenly, the voice from the silhouette froze him standing stationary.
“Why are you stopping, son? Slash would be disappointed if he knew that his song was sung halfway. Hit me with the last lines! Just as you finish the song, I’m sure I’ll be having enough woods for my fireplace,” it was a sixty-something year old carpenter who happened to hunt for fire crackers in that silent woods.
Dygta was scared and confused. He watched the man thoroughly for a while. As he watched the old man moved away, he came back into the cabin. His body shook as he watched out the cabin. He regained control of his body. He rushed back home in a minute. He was still confused about that mysterious man. The confusion kept hovering above his head on the following day until he came back to the cabin in the afternoon. He looked around the woods. Nobody he saw. He was relief. He started to play a couple of songs from The Cranberries. Suddenly he heard the woods clattering again.
“Thwack, thwack,” the axe of the carpenter struck the trees. The old man turned to face Dygta and marked him with a very warm smile.
“Just My Imagination… Oh, this song reminds me of a girl that I used to know. She was really addicted to this band. Almost every day she put earphones around her head listening to Cranberries,” The old man muttered.
He hummed the song that Dygta was playing. After a little while, the old man slowly disappeared from Dygta’s sight.
This happened every day. Dygta came back to the cabin to play a few songs. He heard the thwacking sound from the old man who gave him a smile and hummed every song that he played. This left Dygta quite anxious and curious about that old man. At first he was scared to ask the carpenter, but then his curiosity was finally able to pull in his guts to talk to the old man. Just one day…
“Thwack, thwack.”
“Umm. Ex… Excuse me, sir…” Dygta stammered.
“Hello, young man! What song will you sing for me today?” The old man was giving him a curios smile.
“Umm. Act… Actually I’m not sure that I caught your name sir. I’m… I’m sorry, who are you by the way?” Dygta stammered.
“Ahaha. I’m really sorry kid. How stupid I am. Just call me Ridley. That’s how most people know me. I live on the other side of the woods, raising my old ranch. The farm and these woods are my living. I make fire woods out of these trees. Speaking of the woods, almost every day I see you here. Do you live here?”
“Umm… Actually…Actually my house is just in the front side of the woods, but…I just prefer to stay here,” Dygta answered, still a bit trembling.
“Oh, I see. Well, why don’t you play a couple more songs for me?” Mr. Ridley continued to cut the trees while letting Dygta play his guitar. Dygta was a bit reluctant at first. He grabbed his guitar, plucked it till the old man faded away.
Things went the same for about a few weeks. For some time Dygta felt quite uncomfortable and so awkward about the situation, but time helped him get used to it. Mr. Ridley’s smile every day they met seemed to be a warm charm for Dygta. It was so warm, melting his cold feeling toward the carpenter. Slowly they got close.
“Cutting another tree, huh, Mr. Ridley?” Dygta asked the carpenter one day. “You see what you see, kid, hahahaha. Hey, why don’t you give me a hand out here? You can chop wood, can’t you?” Mr. Ridley jokingly asked the young man. “Well…” Dygta approached the man, picked up the axe, and swung it toward the trunk of a big tree. Shockingly, the axe slipped off his hands and flew away, pierced on the trunk. Both men were shocked. They laughed hysterically at how clumsy the young man was.
Things got better and better between them each day. Mr. Ridley trained Dygta how to use an axe. They played guitar and sang songs together. He didn’t felt so intimidated by the old man. He felt so free when they sang together. They sang in a wooden cabin in the woods.
“Wooden cabin…” Dygta whispered. “Sorry. What?” The old man asked.
“No, I was just wondering. In these past few days I’ve got a little idea about a song. Here, listen,” Dygta invited Mr. Ridley to listen to the song that he’d been composing. He struck a few notes and let the old man catch the melody.
“Wooden cabin in the woods, say goodbye to the crowd. It is always feel so good, cause we can scream it out loud. All night, all day, all the time. All night, all day, until we die,” Mr. Ridley burst few lines as Dygta strummed the guitar.
“Wooden Cabin in the Woods… That sounds great!” Dygta got excited. “Oh, the creaky tree, chopped down by the old carpenter’s axe, its leaves falling down, withered on the ground, beneath the woods,” he added some lines. They spent the evening striking notes, rhyming words, finishing the song of Wooden Cabin in the Woods.
They sang it along every day. It became their anthem. Until one cloudy day, things got confusing for Dygta. As he reached home, out of his habit, he somehow turned on his radio. “Wooden cabin in the woods, say goodbye to the crowd,” he scraped his ears, thinking that he might misheard the radio.
“Wooden Cabin in the Woods by Mr. Ridley,” the radio caster mentioned the title that struck Dygta. What happened? Mr. Ridley? What did that mean? He got thousands inquiries on his head. He confronted the old man in the cabin.
“Mr. Ridley, I don’t understand. What does it mean?” Dygta demanded the old man an explanation.
“What are you talking about?”
“Why is Wooden Cabin in the Woods airing on the radio with your voice?”
“I recorded it. I sent a demo of the song to the local radio. So what? That song was a failure anyway.” Indeed. The song didn’t attract any listeners.
“Why didn’t you tell me about this? What do you mean by ‘a failure’?”
“Listen kid. Don’t be naïve! Why do you think I would spend almost all my days here with you? I’ve listened to all of your songs. Can’t you see it? I want to steal your idea. Your songs were great, I thought. But I was wrong! Stealing an idea of music from a man who has a low taste of music was a mistake. I regret wasting my time for this,” Mr. Ridley broke Dygta’s heart.
“Who’s the man who has low taste of music? Me?” Dygta asked naively.
“Of course you, you fool! You know what? Your music is worthless! Music is worthless! Do you remember the girl that I told you who liked Cranberries? She died because of music! She went deaf by the earphones! She got crazy and committed suicide! Music cannot make you anything! You are not a good musician! You’re not even a musician! Prove me that I’m wrong! I guess you can’t,” Mr. Ridley left the woods as Dygta felt so betrayed.
The young man couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t believe that the man who he considered as the only guy he could be free with had betrayed him. He couldn’t believe that he said music was worthless. He couldn’t accept that. “Prove me that I’m wrong.” That voice was still resounding in his head. He felt so upset, so furious and challenged by that sentence. He kept thinking about it. He decided to accept the challenge.
He took his guitar and decided not to come to the cabin anymore. Since then, every day after campus he went straight to his room. He grabbed his guitar and plucked and jammed on it, trying to create a masterpiece of his own. His ambition of proving how wrong Mr. Ridley was really got into him, draining his consciousness. The only things that he could think about were only tones, rhymes, rhythm, melody, verse, strings and sound.
At campus as the teacher gave lecture, he was taking notes of words for a mesmerizing lyric. As he walked on the hallway running into fellow students, he saw them as musical instruments. As he passed by people, whistles dragged him into an illusion where those people were the trees in the woods, the trees that bounced back his voice, creating echoes. He was dragged into a musical illusion.
That illusion, however, was in his favor. As a month passed, he finally finished a song that he called “I Could Run, I Could Fly”. The song was created to justify his belief in music. Thanks to his parents’ wealth, he could record the song, created demo CDs. He sent them to all radio stations in town and out of town.
In only few days, his hard work was actually paid off. Every radio station played his song. It was a hit. Suddenly people talked about the song. He was right. Music was not worthless. His musician life began. The success of the song hitting the public triggered him to create more songs and improve his music skill.
In a few months his name spread out in national radio and TV stations. He even created one extended plays album on his own. Slowly he became a music raising star. He’d been playing guitar for most of his life, but he could only show what he’d got just after his belief in music was challenged. He didn’t realize it yet, that a man who used to be so self conscious, socially anxious, avoiding the crowd and afraid of people’s judgment had changed into a man who had full of self confident, self esteem, surrounded by the crowd and never think about what others might think about him. The only thing that he cared about was just music that led him to an invitation for an interview in one of national TV programs.
“Welcome back to Sam on Music. I am Sam Johnson. Our today’s guest is the new raising star in music world, Dygta Melvyn! His debut album reached a high rank on music chart. So, Dygta, how do you feel about this achievement that you’ve got right now?” the interviewer opened the show.
“Well, thank you for having me here. I am really grateful for being given a chance to share my music. It’s such an honor to be able to feel this euphoria.”
“So, what do you think to be the factors of your success right now?”
“Well, music is my religion. It’s the only thing that makes me feel alive, but some people just underestimate music. I guess I just want to make people to be more respectful with music, that’s my strongest motivation.”
“Wow that was great! Honestly, your first song didn’t quite catch my attention, but now, almost every people sing your songs. It’s really great.”
“Well, thanks. But, do you really think ‘I Could Run, I Could Fly’ that bad? Considering what happens to me now, it was the root of my success today.”
“No, I mean Wooden Cabin in the Woods. It was written by you, right? We’ve searched for your background history before you became a star as you are today, and we’ve found out that you wrote this song and it was airing on the local radio. And much to our surprise, it was kind of a failure back then. So, what was your trick that now people can accept your music?”
“Wooden Cabin in the Woods sung by Mr. Ridley?”
“Was it Ridley? We were not sure but as what we’ve found out, you were credited for the song as the writer. Wasn’t that you? Oh, wait, we have to take a break for a while so, stay tuned,” the interviewer cut the shot.
Dygta was shocked by what the interviewer said. He couldn’t believe that he was actually credited for the song. What did that mean? What did actually happen? This intrigued him. It had been a year since the last time he went to the woods and he decided to go there, confronting Mr. Ridley.
As he reached the woods, he found nobody. No sound of chopped tree, or thwacking, or a swinging axe. He entered the cabin, and much to his dismay, the old carpenter laid down against the floor, half conscious.
“Mr. Ridley! What happened? What is going on? Damn, I am so lost!” Dygta shockingly grabbed the old man’s body.
“Hey… kid… What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be on stage right now?” the old man held his last breaths for Dygta.
“What happened to Wooden Cabin in the Woods? Why didn’t you tell me that I was credited for it? Tell me, what else are you hiding from me?” Dygta demanded as he tried to hold the tears.
“Kid…Do you still remember the deaf girl…that committed suicide? She was… my daughter. She was just like you. Music was her only escape from society…until she lost it. As she went deaf she got so depressed… She couldn’t deal with society… her only hope in music was destroyed… Her life was ruined, and I couldn’t help her,” the old man told the story as his breathing got worse. “I’ve been watching you all the time… and I didn’t want it to happen to you. You have a great talent in music… so that’s why I tried to show your talent to the world. But I guess I’ve failed,” the old man confessed everything.
“What are you saying? You were the one that has made me a superstar! You helped me create songs! You helped me grow my ambition! You helped me show myself to the world without being cautious with people’s judgment! Why didn’t you tell me the truth?”
“I don’t know, son. I guess… it supposed to be like this. Thanks for betraying you… now I got so lonely. I always considered you as my own son… but I betrayed you… I failed you. I guess this is my time… to bid you farewell.”
“No, old man! What are you saying? You have to see me become a real superstar! Pull yourself together! Come on!” Dygta could not hold his tears anymore. He shed tears. The teardrops landed on the veteran’s face.
“Take care… kid. Keep making great songs so I can rest in peace… Promise me… that you’ll never escape life again… Just face it. Don’t give a damn for whatever people might think about you… That’s how you roll, rocker…”
“Old man…” Dygta was speechless. The tears kept running down his cheeks. He felt guilty for abandoning the old man.
“Would you sing our song for the last time for me?” Mr. Ridley called out his last request for Dygta.
Dygta sobbingly whispered their anthem. As he sang, the old man’s eyes got weary and his sight faded. His breath got weaker and slower until his heart stopped beating. Dygta lifted the carpenter’s dead body. He dug a hole outside the cabin. He buried the old man’s body along with the memories they’d spent together. He wept, mourned for the old man who’d changed his life. He kept singing their anthem, escorting the deceased as his soul ascended to heaven.
“Wooden cabin in the woods, say goodbye to the crowd
It is always feel so good, cause we can scream it out loud
All night… all day… all the time
All night… all day… until we die
Oh, the creaky tree, chopped down by the old carpenter’s axe
Its leaves falling down withered in the ground, beneath the woods.”

© 2014 Yoga Pramartha


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Thats cool yoga. Keep it up

Posted 6 Years Ago


Yoga Pramartha

6 Years Ago

Share one of your stories ma. I have to see how cool my student's writing is. lol

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Added on October 7, 2014
Last Updated on October 7, 2014
Tags: introversion, SAD, bohemian, social, college

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Yoga Pramartha
Yoga Pramartha

Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia



About
I recall the day when I sit down alone on the bench underneath an oak tree. That was when I realized that I am an introvert, nature is the only true friend of mine. I see no sillhouette over the sun t.. more..

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