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An Old Man's Search

He searches, but will he find?

There was a man,
a man with a can.
A man with a can and a plan.

This man, he collected money,
this man, he collected smiles,
but deep inside him was fear.

Fear of rejection,
fear of death,
fear of not living to see his daughter again.

He collected cash,
sold his possessions,
yet still he had not enough.

He hitch-hiked his way across the plains,
those vast, unending desert plains,
those vast, unending, unforgiving desert plains,
he walked, he busked,
yet he got nowhere.

Now, this tale, I'm telling,
I'm telling it from the middle to the tail,
and back again.

So, here's the beginning:
This man was in jail.
He escaped with only his life.

Why jail? For nothing more
than keeping his family alive.
A loaf of bread, he stole,
his eight year old daughter was starving,
his wife dead from starvation already.

There was nothing he could do:
He had no money, no job.
This land was brutal,
his life was brutal.

Life in jail, for stealing bread that was stale.
The man was not stupid,
he hatched a plan.
"I'll get out," vowed the man.

He waited, bided his time,
for years, he waited.
Silent, plotting, planning.
Then, one day, it went into action.

He didn't tunnel, nor did he dig,
he simply sat sewing.
What he was sewing, nobody was knowing,
until that day...

He waited, bided his time.
For hours, he waited.
The chance came but once,
he had to get it right.

The guard came,
always at night,
checking the cells,
that's when he'd slip
out of sight.

With a flash, he was out,
with his new clothes, unrecognisable.
He stole a razor, shaved his face,
blended in with the human race.

This brings us back to the man in the desert,
the struggling man in the searing desert,
too exhausted to move,
yet too tenacious not to.

With his daughter in mind,
he just kept going,
mountains he climbed,
deserts he crossed,
until one day, he finally made it.

Months had passed,
and he found his hometown.
Razed. Burned to the ground.
His daughter gone.
Everyone gone.

The man, he fell, he fell to his knees,
the man, he sobbed, he sobbed "oh, please!"
As if by magic, a man appeared,
"In the next town, you'll find her there."

Unquestioning, unwavering,
the desperate man
set off to town.

He looked around,
and saw a face.
It wasn't hers, but it was familiar.
An old, kind face,
he never expected in this place.

Smiling, the old man walked towards the face,
but it disappeared,
without a trace.

"A ghost?" He muttered,
saw it again, and spluttered.
He followed it, this time sprinting,
then ended on his back,
stopped in his tracks.

A muscular man was in his way.
The muscular man was heard to say:
"Old man, are you okay?"

The old man smiled and walked away,
the muscular man said "come this way."
"I have to find her!" The old man did say.
"Come with me, have some food."

Reluctantly, old man came,
they walked together,
until they reached it.
It was awesome!
"Do you live here?"

"I am the prince, you're more than welcome."
The old man stayed, and had his feast,
but a pain came from beneath his breast,
it was the pain of loneliness.

Once again, the old man sobbed,
he sobbed so much
he thought he'd never stop.
A white cloth appeared before him.

A soft hand took his.
The old man took the tissue,
he wiped his tears,
then looked up.

"It's you, isn't it?" He smiled, and hugged her close.
"Father?" She sobbed, and held him tight.
They hugged and hugged, and the prince came back.
"What is going on?"

The princess exclaimed, "This is my father!"
"The one who was in jail?"
"I've only one father."

The prince saw red,
then his rage softened.
"Why were you in jail, old man?"
"I stole a loaf to feed my girl."

Hearing this, the prince did growl,
he stomped off in a fury.
"Is this the man who put you away?"
"Yes, it is."
"He must pay!"

The prince, with his eyes of red,
took the man and took off his head.
"This is my decree! From this day, you will all be free!"

And with the prince’s decree,
they all lived free,
but most importantly,
the old man had his daughter back,
and that's all he ever wanted.
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright of the author, Circle_Something, rights reserved 2021, plagiarists punished etc. Seriously though, don't steal my work, in part or in whole, nor steal my audio stories, it's just wrong, and you'll be eaten by rabid mice if you do.

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