Tales of a Modern Sufi: Short Stories By Nevit Ergin

To commemorate the release of Nevit Ergin’s latest book, “Tales of a Modern Sufi”, here is a recently written short story. The stories in “Tales…” range in tone and setting, but this might give you an idea of their feeling. Here is a link to the book’s listing on amazon.com: Tales of a Modern Sufi: The Invisible Fence of Reality and Other Stories by Nevit Ergin


“Prey for Serenity”

I thought I would be the first at the park to watch the sunrise, but there was a lady dressed in a black jumpsuit standing on the edge of the water. She was facing the horizon where the sun was about to rise. Her bag was on the bench I used to sit on every morning.

Naturally I was disappointed and sat on the next bench. I started to watch her strange dancing. I am sure there is a more proper name for the slow, harmonious movements of arms, hands and legs she was making. I am also sure every move had a deep meaning and explanation. But I wasn’t going o ask these from the lady who was so deeply involved in her motions. I was sorry I knew so little about this exotic dance that had been practiced by millions for centuries.

Looking at her, I sensed an invisible wall hiding her from the rest of the world. The scarf that covered her hair was also covering a part of her face, giving her an obscure serenity.

Her movements changed, they became stranger and faster with the rising sun on the horizon. Then she stopped.

She returned to the bench. I didn’t know if she was aware of my existence. I turned my head to the other side and stayed still. But I was curious, when I looked at her again, she was meditating. Her feet were crossed under her legs, her arms stretched with her hands resting on her knees. Her eyes were closed.

I was afraid to disturb her silence. I got up and walked toward the other bench farther away, behind the bushes. There I could see her between the branches, but she couldn’t see me.

I noticed a couple of ducks showed up out of nowhere, with more following them. Some had green feathering on their neck, they all walked aimlessly with a great sway. She acted like she didn’t notice them, staying motionless in the lotus position. I was praying these nuisances wouldn’t destroy her meditation.

Then she suddenly jumped off the bench with remarkable speed and grabbed one of the ducks by the neck. She squeezed hard, and I could barely hear the weak desperate sound of the duck. The rest of the birds ran off, some even tried to fly.

This crime scene was so short and quick that no one seemed to even notice. The lady put the lifeless duck in a bag and walked away.

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