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Knights of bourde, p.1
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       Knights Of Bourde, p.1

           Robert L. Shelby
Knights Of Bourde


  By Robert L. Shelby

  Copyright 2013 Robert L. Shelby

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  - ONE -

  He got up in the early hours of the new day, on a quiet and lazy Sunday. The night was short and sleepless, his thoughts were long and restless. He got dressed - ripped jeans and an old t-shirt, no underwear and no socks. While taking a morning leak he thought about how long it takes; when he was younger it would take him half the time, but now it seems to flow indefinitely. Then he thought about what it will be like when he grows old - movies have taught him that old men have trouble taking a piss. Brushing his teeth resulted in spitting out some blood along with toothpaste and water. Nothing serious, for now. He drank a glass of orange juice, took a banana from the fruit basket and left the house.

  The air was fresh and almost cold, but you could feel the summer warmth rising with each breath. The inside of his car was cool and he shivered for a moment. He looked around - there was no one in sight; everything was peaceful and seemed almost abandoned. It felt like the day had not yet begun for the rest of humanity.

  He started the car and sat there for a short time.

  Set the controls for the heart of the sun

  Over the mountain, watching the watcher

  Breaking the darkness, waking the grapevine

  He drove from his house down the narrow road through his sleeping village, passing the meadow where he often saw deer grazing the grass while keeping watch on its surroundings; passing the silent concrete houses from both sides of the road; passing the dogs staring at him from their porches; passing all his neighbors and finally passing the whole settlement. He turned left, away from the city centre, towards the hills and vast forests; towards nature.

  As I rise above the tree line and the clouds

  I look down, hear the sound of the things you said today

  The air was much different here and he cracked open the window on the passenger side. He kept driving; above the speed limit, but not too fast. Slowly, he left behind the hills and forests, reaching farm lands and houses made of wood. In the distance he saw farmers getting ready to plow the fields. He thought about the never-ending plains, the far away horizon that was obscured by clouds and the stars beyond. He decided to pass them all and he drove on almost forever. Eventually he reached the outskirts of a desert; the road had ended and he got out of his car.

  Just one man beneath the sky

  Just two ears, just two eyes

  You set sail across the sea of long past thoughts and memories

  - TWO -

  He stood on the border between the worlds - the silent, empty desert in front of him and the chaotic lands behind. He took the fruit, slowly peeled it open and ate it, all the while looking into the infinite sands before him. Without a second thought, he dropped the peel onto the ground, as he had done so many times before; it was not pollution or lack of care, merely the idea that bio-degradable products were not harmful to nature. The last thing he took from the car was a notebook with a pen attached to it. He carefully folded the notebook in half and placed it in his back pocket. The car was parked on the side of the road, driver’s door was left open, the keys were in the ignition and all his belongings were left behind as he started walking away, not once looking back.

  So you think you can tell heaven from hell? Blue skies from pain?

  Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil?

  He walked for ages; he walked in eternal sun and eternal heat. He walked on through storms of sand, through winds of fire and days without nights. He traveled so far and so long that his shoes fell apart and turned to grains that were swallowed by the earth. His upper body was exposed - the shirt was now covering only his head and neck. And he kept on walking, not once looking back.

  And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking

  And racing around to come up from behind you again

  His eyes began to deceive him, so did his ears and his nose. He saw people who could not be there, he heard music that could not be played and smelled food that could not be made. Somewhere in the middle of the desert, a voice came to him - a voice long forgotten, a voice that was once soothing and calm, but through the years became angry and distant. She asked where he was. She asked if he would be home for lunch. She said they needed to talk. She said it could not go on like this anymore. She said things had to change.

  And he kept on walking, not once looking back. He walked so far and so long that he was not himself anymore. His eyes turned to a different color, his body became weaker, but his mind became clearer. His skin became harder, but his heart became softer. He was someone else, but not quite one whole man.

  Using words you will find are strange

  And mesmerized as they light the flame

  Feel the new wind of change on the wings of the night

  - THREE -

  The oasis laid there as if it had been waiting for him all those years. A small body of water as blue as the sky above, surrounded by four palm trees and low-growing bushes. He sat down in the shade of the tallest tree, right next to the water. There was no one around, but he did not feel alone. He leaned forward to the water and extended his arms to take in that which brings life. Just as he was about to touch the surface he saw his own reflection on the steady blue mirror.

  Is there anybody in there?

  Just nod if you can hear me

  Is there anyone at home?

  As he observed the reflection, he realized it was not himself who was looking back, but a number of faces with a number of eyes and a number of indistinct voices. In the mirror he saw the face of a fat kid, talking to himself as he walked alone in the evening streets with a plastic container full of fresh cow milk. He saw the kid grow taller and he saw people around him; and they laughed and played and talked; and they left. He saw the young man lost, searching for his place in the world. And he saw the young man cry for a girl. And he saw the young man laugh with a friend. He saw the young man walk his own way. He stood up and shouted, but the young man did not respond to his words, his warnings and screams. He fell to his knees and hit the mirror with both hands; and the mirror broke into millions of pieces and those pieces turned to millions of waves and those waves turned to calm water and that calm water turned back into the blue mirror, but the young man was gone. Instead, an old man was looking back at him and his lips were moving. He put his ear to the water, but no words were heard. The winds began to howl and the palm trees began to sing. The water began to dance and the old man disappeared.

  But it was only a fantasy

  The wall was too high as you can see

  No matter how he tried he could not break free

  He took off the shirt, folded it next to him and sunk his head into water. When he came back up for air, the winds had ceased and silence settled back in this little oasis in the middle of nowhere. Marooned on a small island where no treasures or adventures await. He rested his back on the mighty palm tree, took the notebook from his back pocket and placed it on his lap. The pen reminded him of his former workplace, from where it had been taken. He remembered the tight rope around his neck and the promise to himself to never go back.

  - FOUR -

  You can have anything you want

  You can drift, you can dream, even walk on water

  Anything you want

  He opened the notebook, took the pen in
his right hand and started writing. And when he was done, he looked upon what he created and read it out loud to his listeners - the water and sands below, the bushes and trees around, the sky and stars above.

  Days can get lonely, days can get long

  but only for her, we sing this song

  No matter the sun, no matter the wait

  soon she will come and decide our fate

  She is calling from the deep

  summoning our souls to endless sleep

  She is calling from the deep

  summoning our souls to endless sleep

  The night is our queen, her beauty unseen

  and when she comes, don’t stand in between

  No one will ever know of our names

  only the stories passed around flames

  No one will ever know of our names

  only the stories passed around flames

  And so they sang, and so they danced

  those brave Knights of Bourde

  And so they sang, and so they danced

  those brave Knights of Bourde

  He ripped the page out of the notebook, made it into a little boat and placed it on the calm blue mirror where it waited to be picked up by the winds and carried to faraway lands. He sat under the tree, his eyes fixed on the horizon where the shadows of his life danced in silence. He thought about the boy and what happened to him. He thought about the old man and wondered when he would come. He looked up towards the sky and he began to understand why he could not speak to the boy and why he could not hear what the old man had to say.

  Come on you raver, you seer of visions

  Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

  - FIVE -

  He wanted to find himself, but in order to do that he knew he needed to get lost first. And now that he was lost; now that he had wandered alone for some time, it was time to find a way back into life, back into civilization, whatever was left of it; and try to rebuild from the ruins he left behind. He sat under the tree and for the first time ever his thoughts were empty; there was no noise, no flashing colors and no nonsense.

  Steps taken forward, but sleepwalking back again

  Dragged by the force of some inner tide

  A loud siren cut through the peaceful desert. The effect was devastating - it crumbled the oasis into the ground; the bright orange color of his surroundings turned to grey, the sands turned to concrete and the light in the sky went from red to green. Trees grew into buildings, reaching the sky and stars. The continuous honking forced him back to reality; the noises returned stronger and were followed by words and gestures from people behind him. He started moving, slow at first, then faster and faster.

  Whether the sun will fall in the evening

  Will he remember the lesson of giving?

  Set the controls for the heart of the sun

  He pressed ‘eject’ and took the home-made album, placed it in the square plastic box amongst others of its kind, turned off the radio and drove back home in silence.



  I feel like I should explain this story, just a bit, in case folks out there don’t “get it”.

  A completely fictitious guy, who is in no way a representation of myself, gets up one morning and decides to go for a ride to clear his head. He puts on some music (which most of you should recognize) and drives around for a while. Everything that happens after seeing the farmers is a representation of his thoughts and memories; a journey to find and improve himself and his current state of mind. Yes, you may think it’s a dumb concept for a story, but that’s what it’s about. As for the title, it really has nothing to do with anything; and the explanation would be a let-down, so let’s just leave it alone.

  For more of my short stories and other stuff, go here:

  P.S.: I honestly don’t know how to categorize this story, so I apologize if it is not the type you were maybe expecting.

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