Sunday, February 1, 2009

Short story: The Missing Statues by Simon Van Booy

Thanks to CB James, I found Fifty-Two stories. Each week a new story will come up. There are four short stories as of now. I read the first one, The Missing Statues by Simon Van Booy.

"One bright Wednesday morning in Rome, a young American diplomat collapsed onto a bench at the edge of St. Peter’s Square.

There, he began to sob."

With that beginning, this story got hold of me. It is St. Peter Square, where a young man is crying. A priest comes and hugs that young man and lets him sob on his shoulder. The young mans says that he is crying for a missing statue, which no one even knows being there in the first place. it is something the young man had remembered from long time ago. then he starts to tell the priest a story about a young woman Molly and her four years old son. They are waiting outside a Casino for Jed, Molly's Fiance. It takes a long time. The boy is hungry and tired.

An old Gondolier comes and offers food to the boy and also takes them both in his Gondola. When he sings there Molly is touched to the core and the little boy too feels something unexplained. The Gonodolier has such a voice that whenever he sings, it is with so much feeling and depth that everyone is compelled to listen and touched by it. When times comes for Molly and The boy to leave the Gondolier, they don't want to part with him.

When the narration ends, there is a complete hush in St. Peter Square, with huge lines of people listening to the young man. Maybe he is that young man revisiting his past, remembering the kind Gondolier, who had thought of Molly as his daughter Lola, even if only for a short while. The Gondolier had told that little boy about the missing statue.

While the story is being narrated by the young man, in that moment of time, the past merges with the present. The Gondolier, Molly and little boy are as vivid as the Priest, the young man and the huge crowd out there.

The ending is open for speculation. Maybe not.