Tag Archives: storytelling


In my opinion an artist should attempt to reflect their own life, feelings, experiences and emotions and the way they tie in with current society. Sometimes to evoke change, sometimes to highlight differences, always to tell a story.

I’m sorry that I haven’t posted too much but you all know that the first instalment won’t be the last..I’m working on it :D  Can’t wait to share with you.

Don’t let me be misunderstood – Nina Simone


You could tell a lot from the skies, far beyond the time of day, or of night. The world would always take pleasure in telling you all the things you were not. With it’s stance above majestic and humble attentive onlookers were cloaked in velvety dreams and purpose, the sky could remind you who you were.

Abia wondered why the people around her tried to predict the future. She never saw that any good could come from knowing that no good was ever coming. Merolas was like an impressionable adolescent that sought answers for the inexplicable, swallowing all kinds of nonsense tales to satisfy it’s own wondering. A traveler from Eastern Asia had once told the locals that if they carried all the riches they owned to the top of Sugarloaf mountain, and blessed them in an ocean stream on the way down, anything they were spent on would be fruitful. If you bought bread it would go as far to feed your whole family, if you bought seeds they would blossom into trees that would flourish into a Forrest. Naturally superstitious there was not one local that ignored the travelers truth. A week later nobodies livelihood had much improved, and there was not the makings of a vineyard in sight. Such phases changed with the moon.

Merolas was home to two women, the sabio (wise). Their families had lived on the land for generations, growing and working, listening and whispering, and it was believed their bloodline had acquired knowledge throughout and beyond the world’s corners. If something bad happened, if someone needed advice, they would often ask the mystical women to offer guidance and council. After Tia Carleta miscarried her baby boy, Abia had seen them reading her tea leaves in a search for hope. Carleta’s face as white as east side orchid, they told her she would conceive again in the fall when the heavens would open and cry down on Merolas in full force. Skpetical of anybody who told her they knew what was coming before it happened, Abia doubted such logic and reserved herself to trusting her own instincts. As long as she could look above, as long as she could settle in her own thoughts she would know exactly where she was in that instant, and that knowledge to her was more valuable.

© elenaxtina.com, 2015 in Skies over A Shanty Town

XIX. Legacies

The day she saw him again the skies above the city were overcast. In so many years so much had changed, and yet at the same time, threads of her old life remained embedded inside her, laying dormant.

Trivial things reminded Abia of Merolas, the memories like jewels as jewels are passed on like memories. Two years before, ‘The Incredible Hulk’ was advertised outside the local cinema. The green monster-man so tall on the poster canvas she believed it must have been scaled to his actual size. It took one glance to recall another lifetime, her mind reminiscent in colour and laughter. Such is the thing about memories, you can never control the remembering. You could be home to a thousand at one time yet surrender as many in an instant. Sometimes the ones you remember are the ones you would most like to forget, and vice versa.

Her mind swum into a sea of green and a childlike sense of adventure washed over her. Like rapid waves rushing through her veins it was a memory she felt through her entire body. The first time she had seen the green monster-man was on one of Mr Avedias comic books, the only one he was never prepared to sell. When Tariq would barter with him for tobacco, she would steal a peak and build a story. Not being able to read, she had created elaborate escapes and voyages that evolved with each turning page. Now the green monster-man was a film, and she could walk right into the backstreet cinema and watch the story unfold in moving pictures before her eyes.

On occasional evenings, the sun lulled in the sky, growing sleepy before it set. Too light to sink and too heavy to sit for much longer on the horizon, it chalked a hue of gentle indigo over the entire city. A sunset that formed only one place in the world. A sunset of Merolas, of home.


He hadn’t aged how she’d imagined. His hair with streaks of feathery silver and crinkles growing toward the corners of his eyes. In a shorter blink she would not have recognized him, but a deep tug pulled her gaze, palpitations in her heart warned her to look again.

‘Who is that mama?’. Jorge pulled at his mother’s skirt.
Emmy turned back, her big blue eyes, two azure stones gazing up at her.

‘That is your abuelo (Grandfather).’ she uttered in a hopeful tone and the makings of a smile upon her face, almost despite herself.

© elenaxtina.com, 2015 in Skies over A Shanty Town

XVIII. Blurry River Roja

Abia stared at herself in the reflection of the blurry River Roja. When the wind was high its jade green waters gushed fast and wild like her imagination. When the gales settled, so it did, reduced to silent ripples.

She had never thought of herself to be womanly. She gazed at her slender frame, with no noticeable hips and wondered if she would ever look the way her mother did. Rose was comfortingly shapely with porcelain skin and cheeks that ran her namesake plushy pink when she sat out in the sun. She often caught the eyes of the townsfolk, her own a rarity gift, two azure stones that imitated the ocean. She was a breath of fresh air, naturally beautiful.

Abia crouched on the riverbank, brought her knees up to her chest and clutched her elbows. Bony and cold. She was a lot darker than her mother, with thick hair and sunken eyes that were almost black. As a child her frame was her advantage. It was easier to run and climb trees, she was quick and agile and could keep up with the boys in her village. Although she tried to fight the feeling, now as a young woman, she felt inadequate, incomplete.
Arriving to Merolas she had had her fair share of attention from the local niños (boys), especially the ones in Rainbow. When they climbed trees to pick ripen nectarines, (no longer a race, she could still beat them to the top) she would glance down and catch them staring up her skirt. She noticed they hurled remarks at anyone and everyone. Old escorias (prostitutes), even mother’s with children. Sometimes she saw them flicking through Mr Avedias magazines, sniggering in suggestive slang.

She peered again at her reflection, held in the river. A leaf fell silently off an oak above it’s landing sending ripples through the liquid turquoise. Her thoughts glided to Tariq. When he looked at her, she wondered what he saw.

© elenaxtina.com, 2015 in Skies over A Shanty Town


XVII. Dreaming Hour

His bedroom sat five shelters high above Rainbow. A window to the world. He would shove his arms through the slated wood and light a cigarette (Mr Avedias finest). Sunrise reminded him of Abia. Calming, sensually sweet but by nature naive, always posing questions and always desiring answers.

Tariq had lived life long enough to know that not all questions were answered. Why was pana with seeds and nutmeg cheaper than plain bread? How did they fit those tiny boats in tiny bottles? Why is it that we hurt most those we love?

Before bright light awoke the world Tariq would feel most settled. A population silenced in slumber, this was his dreaming hour. His thoughts free to run and all possibilities unrestrained. The golden hues quietened his internal quarrels, blinded his pride and flooded his ego. Only the days tasks lay before him, which he had learned to be a lot easier for a man lightened of such terminal traits.

This morning, the sky rose in blackened tones and reality dawned upon Tariq. His eyes dipped into a murky pit of purple his thoughts would not settle, and he found no ease.  He had known this day would come, when explanation would surpass him and instead, the complexity of change would attain a voice all of it’s own. His own held at ransom.

Deep in his chest he could feel it, rising and falling with urge to burst out and duty to stay hidden. A secret he had kept, a truth he had buried.

© elenaxtina.com, 2015 in Skies over A Shanty Town