In the far west, there was a town called The Nodilles. This town existed not on maps of the known world but outside of it, over, and inside again. The Nodilles was a town where every dream ever thought of, lived.
Inside of him, within his heart, a small flame burned.
A young gentleman named Robert dreamed of becoming an important and most of all successful doctor. Because of his family status he couldn’t pursue his dreams. Instead of that he followed the expectations of his family to become an heir of their fortune, a man of business, someone collecting the wealth of others and storage it in his family treasure troves.
This gentleman worked with gold, jewels and money since he was a little boy. Most of the people around him would say that he has the most wonderful life. No one really knew him. Robert was special. Inside of him, within his heart, a small flame burned. A flame so powerful that woke him up at nights with heart aches. In the most severe winter the flame kept him warm even in light clothes. And with all the gold he worked with, he could never wear it since jewelry always left a burning mark on his skin.
His family thought of Robert’s condition as a rare disease. They tried to hide it from the rest of the world. His father on one hand proud of Robert’s obedience, he was disappointed because of his difference, his standing out of what a gentleman should look like and be like. His compassionate mother was fearfully waiting for the day that Robert will find out he is different and he will leave her forever.
Robert tried his whole twenty-one years to fit in and make his parents proud. But every night when he was alone and sleeping, the flame woke him up. Never let him sleep until he started thinking of his real wish, his small boy’s desires of being a doctor and help people in need.
Whenever he started thinking of this childish dream, the flame in his heart became more bearable. It didn't burn anymore, it became just a warm nice feeling.
It was the day of 21st of June and Robert was celebrating his twenty-first birthday. Instead of being at home celebrating with his family and close friends, the high society guests and all his parents acquaintances, he got stuck in some town in the north. He had a few hours left and he was wondering around the town's libraries trying to find a book that will tell him something about his condition.
With the sound of the violin on the background he entered the dark narrow street.
He entered a small bookstore in a hidden and dark alley, so hidden that even at the sunniest day, no light permeate in. An old man playing a violin told him that he should see this antique bookstore. With the sound of the violin on the background he entered the dark narrow street. In the end of it there was a sign. He couldn't read it, it seemed like the sign was changing all the time. Robert didn't pay much attention to that after all it was so dark that the shadows could just easily played with his imagination. Once in front of the door he eagerly entered.
The moment he took the firs step inside the store, the violin music behind him became lauder and more vivid. In a split second he thought to turn around but something pulled him inside, like a magnet. The old door slapped behind him.
He knew there was something important in this bookstore.
Robert looked around the store, no one was there. »Good day! « he jelled but no one seemed to notice. He made another step admiring the strange old books and parchments. His whole life he was attracted to this kind of writings. Every spare moment he had, he took time to study the old, forgotten texts in unknown languages. He knew there was something important in this bookstore. His heart's flame increased and the heat and the ache were spreading in his entire body just like it's doing every night when he tries to sleep.
Robert trod gently in front of all this old treasures with his hand passing over the books. He could feel the importance of those written words and stories. His heart was beating fast and loud. The feeling was so intense that when reaching the last book his head and body was waving so much that he finally felt on the ground unconscious.
All was black.
A bipping noise in Robert's ear lasted a few seconds longer when he already regained his sight. A big wrinkled face bent over his, was slapping him and shaking his body to react. It was Robert's first time he ever fainted. He was completely lost and disorientated while looking around trying to figure out what was happening. »Where am I?« he yelled, but couldn't hear any answer even though he saw the man's lips moving.
The bipping sound slowly vanished and Robert calmed down. He sat on the floor, trying to find some connections. He found himself on the street where he took the left turn for the strange bookstore. The man in front of him was the old violinist.
Robert looked at the old man asking: »What am I doing here? Who took me out of the bookstore?« and the old man smiled at him and answered: »Young fellow, you collapsed in front of me just now, you were out a few seconds, no one dragged you anywhere. You must be tired and exhausted from this heat wave that covered this town today.”
Confused Robert stood up and passed the hand over the trousers to clean them. He was here before; this is the exact place where the shadowed alley was before and now there is a stone wall instead. Still perplexed Robert thanked the old man and wandered away. He knew exactly what he was sensing in that bookstore, he knew exactly where he was, he even recognized the violinist. Robert turned around to see the man again and in shock, he saw him selling apples instead of playing the instrument.
Trying to stay calm, he went back to the old man. »Here is something for your help old man«, said Robert and stretched out his hand with a pouch full of money. The old man smiled, took the money in his hands and slowly kin his head to thank him.
»Every answer lies in your burning heart«
Robert was sure the old man and the violinist were the same person but he couldn't figure out still what happened. When still thinking of it, the old man gave him three big red apples while saying: »Every answer lies in your burning heart«.
When Robert finally arrived at the port still a little dizzy he realized the boat that would lead him home has already left. He was left there with nothing but some coins in his pocket and three apples he just received.
Without thinking he counted the money and run toward the railway station taking the first train. On the train he had some time to think about the events that happened in the last hours. It was impossible that if he fainted for a few seconds, he would lose the boat, he had more than enough time to catch it, and how did the apple man know about his burning heart? Could be a coincidence? Robert didn't understand all the things that happened. He knew he experienced something important and that in that bookstore there were something very significant for him.
Thinking and going trough every moment of the past hours he eventually felt a sleep. This was the first time in Robert's life that something like this happened during the day. But this time his heart didn't wake him up. He dreamed of a compass leading him to his lost heart. The dream was so intense and realistic almost like a memory emerging in his dreams.
Never ever had he dreamed of anything. But this time he did. He slept until the conductor woke him up letting him know he reached the destination.
Still half asleep, Robert stepped down the train and then he realized he was standing alone in the smallest railway station he ever saw. There were no buildings around as long as he could see. The train departed and Robert just stood there. It was his birthday, his whole family was waiting for him to return and no one knew where he was, not even him.
The dream he just had gave him strength to continue on foot since he didn’t had enough money for the train. He started walking on the side of the road wishing that eventually someone will pick him up.
The day was coming to an end and Robert was still walking alone with no house on the horizon, no people passing. Just when he almost got despaired, a carriage stopped beside him.
» Are you going to the festival?«
» Are you going to the festival?« yelled the woman driving. »Just trying to get home« he answered, »could you give me a lift please? I have no way to pay you though, just some apples«. The lady was in good mood and waved the young Robert to get on her carriage and snap the horses to start pulling. The woman was quiet and so was Robert until there were some strange noises coming from far and a light from a big fire was seen. Then the woman spoke «It is a big festival today, we are celebrating. Stay and celebrate it with us, after all it is an important day for all of us, you too«. Robert didn't have the strength to argue. He was hungry and tired, not to mention confused with all the situations and doubtful messages he was receiving that day. And he stayed.
The people were chanting and dancing around the fire, around some big stones he didn't realized he knew. He lied down, drank some wine they offered and just felt back to sleep.
When he opened his eyes again he was renewed. The people were still dancing, drinking and having fun and in a moment he thought that they were all looking at him but he again thought that he must be wrong. He stood up and started dancing with all those strange people, drinking and having fun until someone pulled him away from the crowd.
Still jumping, Robert smiling and with a big question in his mind looked at the person that pulled him away. It was that same old man from that morning. In a second Robert straightened up and stepped back like he was afraid what he would do to him.
But the violinist, now dressed for celebration, with the violin in his hands smiled at him saying: »Follow your flame!« and he went dancing around the fire and lost himself in the crowd.
He decided that he will change his life...
Robert didn’t understand what he just heard. Was it just a celebration chant or does the man really knows something about him. He started thinking that no matter what strange things happened to him that day, that was the first day in his entire life he could sleep in peace and his heart didn't woke him up. He felt something really powerful when seeing the old books and scripts and that's where he decided. He decided that he will change his life to follow his heart, no matter where it will lead him, no matter what will end up being.
He took a quick sip of wine to get a little more courage to forget his past and follow his future toward his destiny, his inner peace.
He looked at the cleared sky knowing exactly where he was going. He studied the maps and the stars for hundreds of nights when everyone else was sleeping. He followed them and trusted they will lead him to his next step.
And they did. They did lead him to the port, to a big ship with the unknown destiny. The young gentleman knew his destiny when he persuaded the drunken captain to sail toward the unknown land, toward the place where he could save his dreams, toward the town named The Nodilles.
In this book are Robert's thoughts on the way to this far land. I will post Robert's thoughts on Instagram and Facebook.