The Man That Can’t Be Moved
SYNOPSIS: Jimmy, a student attempting to do a research project on the mysterious town of Gransnapia discovers a story about a statue of a man that is placed on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and why he will never leave.
Jimmy rode timidly upon his bike, the immaculate town of Gransnapia located around the bend, the entire town looking considerably bleak and dark, a shadow of its former self. He had never been present during its glory days, but had heard stories of its brilliance, which is why he had decided to do his assignment on the town. The teacher requested they write on something fantastical, and this was it. Jimmy however never imagined the town would be so frightening to behold, the hairs on the back of his neck standing on end as he rode into town. A dense cover of fog emerged from the confines of small broken town houses and spiraled around him like ghosts, eager to accept him as one of their own.
Jimmy began to feel his decision to come was a mistake, slowly turning his bike around before slipping to the ground, gravel digging into his skin, the fog appearing to laugh at his own inconvenience. Making his way to his feet, Jimmy noticed an old man standing a few metres away, his clothes ragged and dirty. The man turned his head to look directly at him, causing a shudder to crawl along Jimmy’s spine. Taking a deep breath, Jimmy summoned all the courage he could muster before asking ‘do you know any interesting stories about this town mister?’
‘Depends’ stated the man, taking a step forward. ‘Do you want to hear a story’ he asked, ‘or do you want to hear a story?’
‘Which one is which?’ asked Jimmy.
‘The latter is far more fanciful’ stated the old man. He pointed up at a statue of a man placed atop of a cliff edge overlooking the entire town. The statue appeared sad and alone, the body posture signaling the man had lost something significantly dear to him, his head bowed in a silence that could never be broken. ‘I can tell you a story about the man that can’t be moved and the story of his Juliette for all eternity’ he said, before beginning to tell the tale.
The town of Gransnapia was traditionally inviting. Bright and beautiful, lights flourished across the city at night making the small civilisation stand out like a beacon. However, what Gransnapia was most famous for, were its apples. Gransnapian apples were sold for twelve dollars per kilogram, visualised as one of the most succulent and addictive forms of fruit ever conceived. This world renowned delight was what made the town so famous, comprised of many wealthy industrialists who had made a living of extravagance and luxury for themselves.
However, nobody ever distinguished the true nature of the townsfolk. They were, each of them pretentious, egotistical and presumptuous, having a great amount of prejudice towards outsiders. If they were not a part of their society then they were simply seen as misfits, the scum of the Earth whom they believed needed to be swept clean.
The townsfolk wore luxurious and exquisite outfits, dining at the only restaurants they had ever known, incredible arenas which were crafted specifically for the kings and queens of industry.
This behaviour was clearly represented the day the new shipments of parts for their hydro-electric dam were sent over by ship from the far side of Australia. The vessel was black in colour, looking like a beast on the horizon as it docked in port. The gargantuan containers were removed from the ship, and in addition there was one passenger. Nathaniel Buck was his name. His costume certainly wasn’t extravagant, appearing dirty and ragged from his trip at sea, his face unwashed and covered in hair. The townsfolk looked down at him as though he was a weed, one which needed to be destroyed quickly before any harm could be done to their Garden of Eden.
Nathaniel immediately had trouble attempting to be accommodated into a room at the local hotel, and the next morning found it even more trying when nobody wished to offer him a job, instantly being deported to the docks to ensure the area would be kept immaculate.
Whilst working there however, he couldn’t help but notice the comings and goings of an extraordinarily beautiful young woman. Virginia Copperfield was her name, daughter of Harvey, one of three men who had founded the Gransnapian apple trade. Her blonde hair flew out behind her as she rolled by in a luxurious gold trimmed carriage, her attire being a blossoming gown made from the finest silk imaginable.
Nathaniel was told by fellow workers he was crazy for having any romanticised thoughts over such a person. But the dock master liked the work that Nathaniel had accomplished, providing him with a larger economical cash flow, and as he built up his savings, Nathaniel made himself more presentable.
Even after Nathaniel had dined with the best of the town however they still failed to provide him with any respect, especially Harvey, who had noticed the stranger looking at his daughter on countless occasions. He needn’t have worried however. The stranger was never able to sum up the courage to communicate to such an attractive young woman, believing, like the town did, that he was a creature no woman of such brilliance could ever have feelings for.
One night after watching an adventurous piece of dramatic art about a couple of travelers and their escapades, Nathaniel had actually met Virginia in the booth above the stage whilst he was making his way towards the exit. The both of them had stopped what they had been previously doing and looked at one another for a second. Nathaniel had attempted to form words, but had ultimately failed, instead, tipping his hat in the presence of the beautiful young woman and departing from sight.
Although he was still disliked by the locals, Nathaniel did indeed begin to have additional occupations opened to him. Through these he was able to pull off many endeavours the entrepreneurs wished to have accomplished, from moving something from one place to another, to helping to advertise for bigger business. The most attractive feature of such occupational occurrences was the payment, which added to the luxurious lifestyle Nathaniel wished to concoct for himself. He had come to believe such wealth would make him appear to be quite the gentlemen in the eyes of Virginia, nothing apart from his self esteem been able to stop him from achieving his dream of finally being able to ask her to spend an evening with him.
When Nathaniel realised Virginia was being sent by ship to Europe a couple of weeks later under the machinations of her father he felt his entire body begin to shut down in grief. As the luxuriously gargantuan vessel pulled out from the harbour, Nathaniel stood atop of a cliff edge overlooking the vast ocean, and for a moment, just one, he could have sworn he noticed Virginia look up at him. It was almost as though she too had wanted him to approach all this time, and in one split second all opportunities were vanquished.
Days turned to weeks. Weeks turned to months, and months inevitably turned to years as Nathaniel continued to wait on the cliff edge for his beloved to return, to tell her exactly how he felt and pray he was not too late to be with her for all eternity.
But never did the ship return. Nathaniel continued to wait after the ship and all of its crew were reported missing, and after a period of seven long years the constant brutality of the sun caused Nathaniel’s skin to crumble into rock, until he became a part of the cliff itself.
A few months later it was reported the vessel had been attacked by enemy troops invading Europe, no survivors ever being reported after the ship had being razed into the depths of the ocean.
Jimmy took a few steps back, his mouth open in shock, unable to say anything to properly establish the way he currently felt. ‘Wow’ he managed to say in awe.
‘Yes’ nodded the elderly man. ‘Virginia and Nathaniel were the best of all those who ever entered the town, and without them Gransnapia inevitably destroyed itself through wrong doing.’
Jimmy looked at his watch before shouting ‘gee, thanks mister, but I really must go now’, quickly leaping onto his bike and beginning to ride out of the town. He turned around suddenly and looked up at the statue one last time, instantly recognising the resemblance. The old man was the ghost of Nathaniel, trapped for an eternity away from his true love, the two of them cursed to forever be apart.
Posted on January 8, 2012, in Short Story and tagged belief, change, choice, drama, economics, family, fashion, friendship, fruit, ghosts, high class, high class society, historic stories, hope, infatuation, legend, lifestyle, loss, love, luxury, money, new beginnings, poor, poss, punishment, regret, rich, romance, small towns, statue, statues, status, strength, trade, wage, war, work, working man. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.