The River flowed through its bed, but it didn’t feel the way it always did.
There was a time, a long time ago, when the River was younger, at a time when titans and deities and mortals roamed the land together, and when it too wielded all sorts of magical powers.
That was a time when the River was home to many magical beings, and the rushing of its water would produce melodies so hypnotizing that it was rumored to have been the true cause for Sleeping Beauty’s prolonged nap. But now only a meager stream flows through the River’s once majestic bed. Nevertheless, on days when the water is not as murky, you can still see your reflection.
Ah, there used to be a time when the most beautiful of mortals would be enchanted by a reflection so clear, so true, that entire generations of youths were transformed into beautiful flowers.
Narcissus, Rose, Lilly, Violet — all victims of the River’s reflective enchantments. Now you’ll find them all in one of Prizren’s many gardens, like in some sanatorium, standing pretty and barely remembering the lives they once led. But then, a life of beauty cares not for such distractions.
And as the old River reminisced and reflected on its glories of old, by its banks, for the first time in a long time, approached a youth, her eyes stuck on the screen of her phone. And the River was happy.
“Finally,” it said, “someone worth enchanting.” It was a fine day for metamorphosis. The sun painted heavy shadows over the Kej’s floodwalls. The soft breeze brought the smell of freshly cut grass. The river stones began a symphony the likes of which have not been heard ever since that new club nearby began playing loud music.
Nara sat by the riverbank. She took her shoes off and dipped her bare feet. The wind blew through her hair and turned it into a flock of black eagles in flight. She rested one of her hands on the ground, straightened her back, and — just as the River was certain she’d take a look at the water and see her reflection — she raised her other arm with the phone in hand. She looked at the shiny screen and in it found her own reflection.
“It is not fair,” the River thought, “these are not the rules of the game.” But the Screen just stood and recorded from a high angle. Bit by bit, pixel by pixel, Nara was slowly absorbed and uploaded into the screen, her existence slowly erased from the physical plane.
And the River lamented the end of the old magic, until all was left of Nara was her likeness on the screen, a couple of hashtags, and a newly created emoji for the newly invented Nara flower.
Feature image: Majlinda Hoxha / K2.0.