Becomes One Hundred Stories #46: Uses His Imagination

This is a piece of short fiction in the style and universe of three of my novels: Becomes the Happy Man, Becomes God’s Silent Prophet, and Becomes the Meaning Blossom.

Uses His Imagination

The old woman sat at her table. The boy sat across the table from the old woman. The boy sat at the old woman’s table across from the old woman before the old woman died. Before the old woman was murdered and before the many girls came to live and work in the place where the old woman had lived before she was murdered.

The old woman sat at her table across from the boy and told him to watch the spoon.

The boy asked which one.

The old woman said the one in the middle.

The boy watched the middle of the three spoons, and as he watched it, it rose a little off the table. The old woman did not touch it, and it did not appear to be connected to any string or wire or anything.

The boy asked the old woman how she did that.

The spoon fell to the table with a clatter.

The old woman said she didn’t do anything. She said the spoon did it.

The boy said he didn’t believe it.

The old woman said but he saw it with his own eyes.

The boy said he believed that the spoon floated over the table a little, but he did not believe the spoon did it by itself. He said the old woman had done it with a trick.

The old woman said the boy could believe that if he wanted.

The boy said to do it again and he would see for himself how she did it.

The old woman said she didn’t do it. She said the boy would have to ask the spoon to do it again.

The boy got up from the table and said he would see the old woman the next day when he stopped by to help her feed her many beasts.

The old woman said the boy did not have to go.

The boy saw that the spoon was again floating above the table, a little higher than the first time. He sat down again. He sat down and watched the spoon until he was convinced the old woman was not doing anything to manipulate the spoon. He looked under the table, and he ran his hand under and around the spoon, but he could not see any way that the old woman could have been manipulating the spoon. The third time the boy ran his hand under the spoon, the spoon dropped, as if to smack his knuckles for not believing.

The boy said it was an interesting trick and he could not see how the old woman did it.

The old woman said again that the spoon did it.

The boy asked the old woman how the spoon could do that.

The old woman told the boy to ask the spoon, not her.

The boy said spoons don’t talk.

The old woman said not to unbelieving boys they don’t.

The boy said he didn’t think the old woman believed in anything.

The old woman laughed and said she believed in many things, just not the superstitions that most other people believed in.

The boy said so the old woman believed in the spoon.

The old woman said she didn’t have to believe in it, she could see it.

The boy said but the old woman did believe that the spoon could float above the table.

The old woman said she didn’t have to believe it, she could see it.

The boy said but the old woman believed that the spoon could talk.

The old woman said she didn’t have to believe it, she could hear it.

The boy said he didn’t believe it.

The old woman told the boy to say something to the spoon.

The spoon began to slide across the table.

The boy stared at the spoon as it slid across the table. He stared at the spoon until it stopped in front of him and then rose above the table and floated as it had done in front of the old woman.

The boy looked under the table and saw nothing that could be manipulating the spoon. He looked at the old woman and said he didn’t know how she or it made it move.

The old woman said maybe the boy was doing it.

The boy said he didn’t believe it.

The old woman told the boy to think if he had wanted the spoon to cross the table before it had happened.

The boy said maybe he had thought it, but he hadn’t wanted it. He hadn’t wished it.

The spoon remained floating above the table in front of the boy.

The boy told the spoon it was a good spoon.

The spoon said nothing.

The boy said he didn’t believe spoons could talk.

The old woman said she didn’t either. She said she didn’t believe it, but sometimes she heard it.

The boy said wasn’t that dangerous.

The old woman said how could that be dangerous.

The boy said the others might think she’s a witch.

The old woman said the others had no idea what she was. She said she was just an old woman as many other women had become ever since the first woman had become old.

The boy said it seemed dangerous to let them know she heard spoons talking.

The old woman said they would just think she was crazy.

The boy said the old woman wasn’t crazy.

The old woman said she knew it.

The spoon still floated above the table in front of the boy.

The boy said but how does it do it.

The old woman said only the boy would know.

The boy said he didn’t know.

The old woman said it was a matter of imagination. She said the boy had a strong imagination.

The boy said he didn’t know what that meant.

The old woman said the boy would find out one day. She said knowing what it meant to have a strong imagination was not as important as having a strong imagination. She said that if he had it—and he did—then he could always find out what it meant later. She said that if he didn’t have it—even though he did—then he would never need to know what it meant.

The boy said so now what was he supposed to do.

The old woman said he could do whatever he wanted to do.

The spoon fell to the table and slid across the table so that it rested between the two spoons as it had in the beginning.

The old woman said it was good that the boy put things back where he found them.

The boy thought about what he wanted to do, and he used his imagination to lift the old woman out of her seat. He lifted her so high that her head almost touched the ceiling.

The old woman asked the boy what he was doing.

The boy said he was using his imagination.

The old woman said certainly the boy could think of something better to apply his imagination to rather than fooling with the old woman.

The boy said he couldn’t think of anything more interesting at that moment.

The old woman said the boy better think of something quick or she would have to use her imagination to get down, and then the boy would see what a strong imagination could do.

The boy asked if she would let him have some bread.

The old woman said yes.

The old woman descended to her seat.

The old woman stood on the floor and cut a slice of bread for the boy.

The boy ate the bread, and he believed in the bread and he forgot all about the spoon.

To read more stories in the series, see the Becomes One Hundred Stories page.

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