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“HEADLINE” by ARGJEND Mehmedi

All opinions are that of the author and not necessarily those of the website that it is published under.

“Well young man, you’re going to write my name in the headline, and you’re going to say something good about it…, don’t you?!”. Those were the words that a famous and rich politician told the journalist who was attending a cocktail party in honor of the politician’s election campaign. He followed those words with a huge sarcastic smile, than he added: “They say the sky’s the limit my boy, and I truly believe in that; and I want everybody to know that. People need to understand how powerful I am, because that’s what will make me a winner. They must know that I, myself, have built my past, I own my present, and I control my future. Make sure you write all of this, you can even underline it. Hahaha…”.

It seemed like his laughing echoed down the street the journalist was walking now. It was noon, and he was wondering around the city, and thinking about last night’s party. He didn’t know what to write in the article; what title should he put there. It had to be good, because the politician was a very good friend with the owner of the newspaper he was working for, so if he wanted to keep his job, he better did as he was told; although he didn’t like it. He had heard about some unclean stuff in which the politician was involved, but searching for another job was not an option, especially with all the crisis that was brewing around.

While he was wondering through the maze of thoughts, a small raindrop fell on his nose. He looked up and saw a sky covered with dark clouds. It was going to rain heavily, he thought. The world became pretty dark for that time of day. He started to walk faster, but it seemed like the rain followed his rhythm. Shortly after, it was raining a lot. Then came the lightning; than the thunder. Now he was running. There were other people on the street, of course, but he didn’t mind them. Actually, many of them were running just like him.

When he thought he was going to end up like a surfer under an ocean wave, he saw a dark figure that was waving his hand. As he was approaching the figure, it seemed more likely he was waving at him. Finally he reached him. He saw an old man in front of a store, or something like that; there weren’t any writings on the windows.

-You were waving at me old man?- he asked.
-I was waving at anyone who needed help, actually!- the old man replied smiling.
-Well, maybe I needed more than anyone else – said the journalist.
-Yes indeed…; come inside, son, we’ll find an umbrella for you somewhere, you probably don’t wanna walk away without one.

They went inside. It was very dark, and just when he wanted to ask why,…

-Lightning won the fight with the electricity – said the old man – but don’t worry I have a candle here somewhere, at least I think I do. I’ll turn the switch on in case the lights come.”
-Were you headed home? – asked the journalist.
-Yes, I just closed the place, but when I saw people running from the rain, I decided to stay and offer any help I could.
-Thanks.
-Oh, it’s nothing.

The journalist smiled with himself for not being aware that there was no electricity around town. Was he so afraid from the thunder, or from the article he needed to write!? Anyway, something else was bothering him. He couldn’t see or understand where he was actually. Was it a store? A workshop? Was it…

-Here is the candle, no let’s find the umbrella; he heard the old man somewhere in the dark.

When the candle started to make some light, the journalist was seeing some dim reflections in one of the corners of the room, but he couldn’t decipher any comprehensible shape or form.

-You’re not from around here? Asked the old man; I haven’t seen you before!
-Yeah, I came a couple of weeks ago; I came for work as a matter of fact.
-Did you find it?
-I did. I’m working for one of the town’s newspapers.
-Oh. OK.
-Well, it’s not quite OK to tell you the truth.
-What do you mean?
-I have to write an article about one of the candidates for the coming elections, and I’m kinda stuck. He wants something striking, the best headline possible, and I’m still trying to figure it out somehow.
-May God help you son.
-I hope He will… I hope indeed; he said to himself.

The search for the umbrella took forever, so he decided to finally ask the old man what was he working in that place.

-What do you do here, if I may ask?
-Of course you can son. In a way I do the same thing as you do.
-I don’t understand?
-I also write names, as headlines you may say. Not exactly as you do it, but I do it beautifully indeed. You can call them the headlines of life.
-Headlines of life?!… Oooh, I think I understand now, you write names on cradles for newborns, that’s why you call them headlines of life, isn’t it?
-No, no, no. I… oh here is the umbrella; at last.

At that moment the lights came on, and what the journalist saw, stunned him. Now he knew what the old man did. Now he understood the reflections. They were coming from marble plates. But what truly shocked him, was the moment he saw the name of the politician he needed to write for, engraved on one of them. The man spoke the truth when he said they were headlines of life, and he certainly wrote them beautifully; on a tombstone.

All opinions are that of the author and not necessarily those of the website that it is published under.

1 commentaire ““HEADLINE” by ARGJEND Mehmedi”

  1. worth reading the whole content of this short story, not only the headline… deep, wise meaning and very nicely written
    thanks for sharing it

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