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Sketched Worldsa variety of

by Fabrice Schomberg

There was a man that lived in a puzzle.

  It was of a pleasant scene and made from lots of pieces. However, even though the picture pieced him and all fitted its place, the man felt awkward in the puzzle since he found it odd to be part of a picture that he had not made himself, nor crafted any of its pieces, so one day he decided to create his own puzzle from pieces he would make.

  For days the man worked on lots of unique pieces. He made each to his liking then, when he was done, packed them in a box and set off to fit them together and create a beautiful puzzle like no other, a world of mountains with trees and rivers. He was happy with what the picture brought, so he decided to complete the puzzle by creating corners and finishing the sides.

  He straightened off the lower section and made it the ground. Then he went to the top of the puzzle to turn it into the sky. He then finished one side and was turning to the other to make the picture whole, when he realised that if he now closed off his world, he might have to live in it alone since it could no longer connect to another. Therefore the man decided that before he'd finish his perfect world he'd go out to seek a companion since, without one, his world would in fact be imperfect and empty.

  Leaving his puzzle behind, he ventured to seek a companion with whom he could connect. The man traveled from puzzle to puzzle, from landscape to world, but could find no one to be his partner and share his life with, until one day he came across a completely different landscape to the one he had made, a world composed of sea and dunes of sand.

  And there he met the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen. The landscape she lived in was not really to his liking but, nonetheless, he couldn't help but fall in love with her, and she with him.

  Alone in his world he could never have dreamed of such love and passion as he had for this woman.

  They lived happily together for a while amongst the sand dunes and sea, and he told her of the world he had made, and had left behind. He described how it was so very different to hers with mountains, trees and rivers.

  He realised then that although he truly loved her, he missed his life amongst the trees, rivers and mountains and that even though he had become used to living on the dunes, he did not feel that he could live on them all his life and he had a longing to go back to his land, so he then suggested for them both to migrate to his land as he so much wished for them both to live together and could bare the beach no longer.

  After giving it some thought, she obliged. The great love she had for the man was enough to part her from her land, and from puzzle pieces he built a carriage that took them away.

  The man enjoyed showing her round the mountains, through the trees and up the rivers and she enjoyed it too. He was glad to be back in the land he made and to be together in it with his loved one, and for a while they were both content. But just as he had longed for his home after living in hers for a while, she now longed for the sea and dunes of sand, and, as much as she loved him, she was torn between the two.

  Seeing her like this, the man then offered to take her back. They boarded the carriage that took them back to the sea, then the sand and then the dunes. However, her happiness to be back was tinged with sadness - how were they ever going to live together? they wondered.

  The man proposed to join both lands and have the two worlds meet. Thus they could live in the best of both worlds and still be together.

  They agreed to try and the man tied a hook on a chain he made and threw it all the way to the world he had made and it caught on a tree. Then he pulled the chain carefully so that his puzzle would not fall apart and his world gradually neared hers until the two locked together. As they did, strong gusts of wind came gusting down the mountainsides and blew the sand from the dunes till they were gone, leaving only an island upon which the man and woman stood upon. The sea became rough, overflowing the rivers to his land, leaving only the mountain tops as islands.

  The impact was devastating. The pieces just did not fit and the lands would not connect.

  The man had no choice, but to let go of the chain. As much as their love for each other was strong, their good will was just not enough to combine the puzzles, and as the man's world gradually drifted away, the wind calmed, as did the sea and the dunes began to reappear.

  The man sat saddened in despair and held the chain as his puzzle extended into the distance and the woman felt the man's agony and comforted him by sitting by his side. As much as she wanted to be with him, she did not want him to live in a world he did not feel for.

  Was there not a way they could connect their two worlds from afar so not to cause such havoc and still be together? he thought.

  "Of course!" he exclaimed.

  Enthusiastically he got up and went about making an anchor. He attached then it to the chain he was still holding and threw it in the sea with the chain still reaching his land. He then clamped on the chain and pulled his way back to his puzzle.

  The landscape had changed his last visit; the land, once fertile, had salted due the rise of the sea, leaving desolate grounds where nothing grew and only on the mountain tops, where the seawater had not reached, were there still plants.

  Nevertheless, from new pieces he started to build a stone bridge over the void, and after a long time he had reached her land.

  They were both delighted to meet once more and to mark the occasion the man had brought back with him some flowers that he had picked from a mountain top and seeds to plant. Yet, there was no fresh water to put the flowers in and they quickly drooped, nor could the seeds sprout roots in the sand. Even so, they crossed the bridge back and forth from their own land and enjoyed being together, and sometimes each stayed in their own land and wrote letters.

  With time his land became fertile again, so fertile that eventually the roots of the trees reached between the stones of the bridge, breaking them apart. The seawater coursed over the pathway from the other side, eroding it and the bridge collapsed, leaving the man and the woman on different sides.

  The man realised that even though he had worked hard, such a bridge was not made to last and bridge the gap, so he decided to approach his love's land in a different way.

  Gradually, bit by bit and piece by piece, from the end of his landscape he started to make lower hills that gradually became meadows and then a plain to reach her sea and became a beach. Unfortunately he did not realise the nature of the sea and when his land reached her sea it flooded all his work again until the mountain tops became islands once more and he was washed up on one of the mountain tops.

  There, he was in despair and did not know what to do for a while, when suddenly the sea retreated by relieving and revealing his land once more. Then from a valley and up a river appeared his woman and after a kiss and hug she took the man down the river and through the hills and meadows and where once were the plains, she had made a lagoon to channel the sea water that over flooded over a coral reef when the tide came in separating the tides sweet and salt water. The wind that came in from the mountains also calmed upon the lagoon

  and the picture was finally whole.

edited by Janet Cartlidge, copyright © 2011 Fabrice Schomberg

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