“In The Dream I Left My Home”
By Ladislav Kuzela

We spoke now, in hushed tones, and amongst ourselves, in small groups. The fire was quite large and cast mad dancing shadows upon the beach, over the sand and the driftwood and the rocks on the shore. The smoke rose and was in our nostrils and in our clothing. It rose higher, twisting and curling and throwing shapes into the night sky and was gone. A few last stragglers joined the group.

One person finally stood up and we all settled ourselves comfortably in the sand, feeling the coolness of it beneath us and the warmth of the fire upon our faces. He stood up and was lit by the glow of the fire, and he addressed the group. He talked of all of the things which he had done and the things which he was going to do which were great and noble and gave us all joy, and there was no dissention or jealousy or egotism. We laughed and smiled with him and we all wished him great luck and happiness and he lifted a glass and we all lifted our glasses and he drank and we all drank and he smiled and saluted and threw his glass into the fire where it sent a plume of embers careening towards the heavens and then he turned and slowly walked away into the night over the sand of the beach and then he was gone.

Someone else then stood up and he made a great speech and we all listened and we loved him and he toasted us and we toasted him and we drank and he was gone. Then another stood and spoke and was gone and then another. Soon there were very few of us, and the speeches were longer and the love was great and we began to feel sorrow at the going. Then the last speech had been made and I toasted alone with the one who had spoke and I drank and he drank and he was gone and I was entirely alone on the beach. The fire died down to glowing embers and I was alone on the beach with the waves booming and somewhere a mockingbird whistled and cackled and laughed.


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