Future eyes and wandering feet

An Espresso Tale


Accipiter G. Goshawk

Once, some time ago, a man freed a genie from a particularly dusty old bottle. The genie was so grateful, that it swore to make the man’s greatest wish come true.

“All I really want is to be happy,” the man told the towering creature. “Can you help me do that?”

The djinn gave the human a quick once-over, as if it were trying to solve a particularly complex problem.

“Tricky,” it said at last, “but it can be done. Hold still, this may tingle.”

The genie snapped its fingers, and immediately the man’s eyes and feet changed. They were almost identical to those he’d had before, only that now they seemed to pulse with an undercurrent of magic.

“The eyes of the future and the feet of wondering. These are my gifts to you, generous one,” the colossal being thundered. “Be warned: it may take you some time to learn how to use them. Follow your heart if you can, and all will be well.” It then disappeared with a pop, leaving the man to ponder his new magical body parts.

He soon discovered that if he blinked twice, his eyes would bring him forward in time, allowing him to see the possible futures he could create for himself. All of causality and possibility was set out before him; all he needed to do was pick and choose.

Elated, he immediately set off, convinced that he could finally find happiness.

That was when he discovered that his feet had an enchantment of their own. For every future path he tried to set down, his feet would wonder down another, bringing him away from what he desired. He saw riches in his future, he moved towards them…and his feet twisted away, taking him elsewhere.

His feet took him to waterfalls, canyons and into lands of magic. He met new people, made friends, met loves and saw countless marvels. But every time he directed his feet to follow the future his eyes saw, things would go awry. Countless plans slipped through his fingers, and in a way, he was more miserable than when he started.

Finally, he tried to force his feet to do what they were told. But that only got him more muddled and he soon lost his way.

Then, one day he figured it out.

As these things usually go, it happened by accident. The feet had once again disobeyed his orders and had taken him off the beaten track. Profoundly frustrated, the man had closed his eyes, surrendering to the relentless wondering of his bewitched extremities. When he opened his eyes, he found himself in the middle of a forest so enchanting, that his heart was moved.

For the first time since freeing the genie, the man began to just walk, following the paths laid down before him. He let his eyes wander, letting his future adapt as he moved forward. Soon, he found that he could look a small ways ahead, permitting the wandering and the future to complement each other.

He realized that he’d been too attached to one concept of happiness, one path through life. Now he followed his feet and used his eyes to help him along the way, finding the things he cared the most about, admiring them and carrying them with him.

The future no longer became a place to get to, but rather a place to visit occasionally. From time to time he became lost and where once that would have frustrated him, now he smiled. It was all part of the experience.-

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