Short Story – Calling Gabel

calling gabel
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Short Story – Calling Gabel

Have you ever counted the raindrops, when dark clouds are starting to amass, long before the lightning starts flashing and running its forked, fiddled roads across the sky? Do you have any idea what power you could unlock if you could trap them, feel them. You could dig deep inside their unleashed wealth – sustaining time, or age or even stretching a road to eternity.

Grandpa said that if you counted the raindrops, just before the downpour, until you reached number seven, then Gabel would come. I asked Dad about it but like Mom, he had heard the story but never bothered to count.  Yet one day when he had nothing else to do, he called me inside and whispered softly in my ears. Try counting until seven, he will come.

I told Brian, who was my neighbor, and only friend. I explained the rules and answered his unending questions. Were there any limits to the things you could wish for? Could he do love? What did you have to give up in exchange for your desire?

Brian went over and told Phil, this was the village gossip, and I was mad when he told me that he had done so. Everyone would soon know that we were going to hunt Gabel.  The town’s women all sit and chat with this thin, handsome lad. I never really liked him that much, especially since all the young girls were onto him.

Phil told Marge and swore that he had told no one else.

So, we have come for the third day in a row, trying to count the raindrops. Yesterday the weatherman lied again, it didn’t rain. Today our luck might change. A storm was brewing.

Marge was curious about Gabel. Grandpa said that he would bring us our most cherished desire in exchange for what we hated most. Nobody could know what that desire or that hated thing was. If we let the secret out, then Gabel would take us instead.

Grandpa said that he owed everything that he owed to him but could not tell us what he gave up or what he received.

We sat together inside the old stable, still stacked with carts and logs. We were all very quiet. Everyone had come for a gift and no one wanted to spill the beans. I was in love with Marge, she was the prettiest girl I had ever seen. I kept watching her now – red lips, soft, rosy cheeks, jet-black eyebrows, blonde hair, and green eyes.

calling gabelThe clouds covered the skies with blackness, thunder rolled as lightning brightened up the sky. We waited. Patiently and silently.

A bolt of lightning struck the columns nearby and Marge screamed and huddled close to Phil. Wished that was me. The drops pounded loudly on the old, zinc roof, a lengthy pitter-patter.

We chorused like an orchestra until we reached seven. Then we all let out a whoop of joy, we had done it. Would he come?

The rains came, strong and thunderous, in torrential maniac that shook the roof, and further darkened the stable.  ‘I was expecting, just one person. Who is the first wisher?’

The voice floated from the walls; we searched but saw no one. My body trembled from the cold and the fear sneaking up my sleeves. Marge screamed and hid behind Phil. Phil was ash white and his hands shook like a wet dog.

I looked at Brian, he was not afraid. He turned to face the voice and raised one hand to his hip. ‘So, you do exist! I best start the wishing.’

Short story Gabel

There was an authority in his voice that I had never seen before. We all thought him a coward.

‘Very well, Brian, come closer and place your hands on the wall,’ How did he know his name? Did he know mine as well? Brian walked to the wall, placed his hands against it, and something like cobwebs ran up his hands and covered his shoulders.

‘Your wish is rather unique, are you sure that is what you want? It will cost you something more. You must give me two things in exchange for this one.’

‘I am sure. I will give you both of them, then.’ Brian smiled.

‘I have taken the first one. The other has a conflicting wish. Do you wish to change or should I proceed?’

Brian nodded in agreement. Marge screamed as Phil vanished from beside her. The lightning seemed to shower down on the building for a while longer.

Brian turned and faced me. He smiled again. ‘Goodbye Mathew, I couldn’t have done it without you.’ He turned to the voice again. ‘I am ready.’

I felt my heart collapse and I fell to the ground. Brian and Marge vanished into thin air. And so did Gabel.  There are times when I hear the raindrops and hope that Marge will come through the door.




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