Harvest – Short Story

They were both sitting in front of their tents, crossed legs, thinking, abandoned themselves to the majesty of the mountains. Sun was not yet to rise but the fire was already up for the tea. The dog was still asleep. Hammock between two trees was just oscillating by the wind with a book inside it. The noise that dry pine tree pieces make when burning, the singing of the birds, the sound of the boiling water gave peace to them. As the scent of the pine gets in the air, who knows what or who, they were thinking. A crescent was hanging in the air as the day got brighter.

-In few moments, the moon will fade away. Nobody will need it. Yet, it is the moon that shows the way in the darkest times.

-Blah-blah! What are you talking about again?

-I’m talking about the moon, about how we forget about it when the sun rises.

-What is wrong with it? Who needs moon when there is the Sun?

-It’s like a little child. With the thoughts gathered from the Sun, brightens up while the sun’s gone. Like a teacher’s assistant.

-An assistant that will never grow up. Even the biggest version is a Full Moon.

-You’re right. Even if you are full-moon, your reign is until the sun comes up. Isn’t it the same with people? No matter how much you grow up, you’re still a child, or there is someone bigger than you.

-It’s true that you’re still a child.

-And you? A Grown-ass. That’s why you are dying to get into adventures with me. To get rid of your boring life.

-I call that “holiday”. You’d have known if you had a job.

-I call that life.

-Won’t you ever grow up for God’s sake?

-When and how, a person realizes that he’s grown up?

-…

-Maybe never. And, what the hell does growing up means? If it means growing old, I’m aware of that, all the time. But they say getting mature, that I do not get. Are we fruits? And matured fruit falls off the tree. I want to stay on the tree.

-I believe these are just words you made up to escape reality. You are well aware of everything but you just don’t want to be responsible. Because you are scared.

-Scared of what? You make me laugh. All I fear is a routine life. What you call responsibility is indeed only daytime slavery chores.

-So you don’t have any chores?

-Of course, I do. I just wish I didn’t.

-I still think you’re a coward.

-And I think you’re an over-matured rotten dotard.

-So be it…

They gathered around the campfire and focused on their breakfast. They ate real fast without even an eye contact and enjoyed their tea afterward. Hussein, moved towards the hammock with a book in his hand when Özgür yelled.

-Let’s be in our ways before the sun goes to the top or else we’ll both burn. We’ll walk to the village, don’t you forget.

They gathered their tents and garbage and got on the way. Their dog woke up and started walking behind. After narrow paths of going up and down, they finally reached the valley. They were both tired when they decided to rest under a tree for a while. The sun started to feel its presence. The moon on the other hand, still hanging in the air. After a brief pause, they started walking again.

The scent of wildflowers was strong enough to burn their noses. The sun was roasting their shoulders, yet they keep going no matter how sweaty they get. The dark-skinned one started whistling. Other one joined, after a short time of listening. The dog, a strong Kangal, sifting around while it was obvious that he got so affected by the hot weather. Özgür stopped whistling.

-Don’t you get bored too?

-From what?

-I don’t know. Work, life…

-Of course.

-So what do you do then?

-I get on a holiday.

-Does it get away?

-It does.

-Every day is a holiday for me but I still get bored…

He started whistling again. They forgot how long have they been walking among these plantations. But the hot weather and thirst, made them feel like they’ve been walking for hours. There was smoke going up from some houses in the village. In those houses, lived the eldest grandmothers of the village. This is why the stoves always had fire whether its summer or winter. While the dark-skinned young man was walking in silence, the one with a skin white in winter, red in summer broke the silence.

– You were the one who wanted to come here. You left Istanbul for this village. You live here, in evergreen. Why are you bored now?

– I don’t know. Something is missing.

– So, what will you do?

– Let’s go home first. Then we will think.

They kept walking. Kangal was sometimes leaving them, checking the path, then come back and walk in front of the two young men. He had no leash. He would easily escape if he wanted to. But he was good in this village. His stomach was full and his tasks were easy. Protecting some sheep, barking at strangers at night, were just ordinary things.

They’ve finally reached the village. Kangal quenched his thirst from the fountain in the village center. Two men left their bags in the dooryard and laid down.

– Would you prefer the jobs in the city?

– God no. Here, my body may get tired but my soul is fine. And I’m not attached to anybody.

– So why are you bored?

– I’ve been doing the same things for months now. I feel like going back to Istanbul just for one night and drink until I pass out.

– Nobody is holding you.

– I fear, if I go, I won’t come back. Let me at least see my works recompense. Harvest is almost here.

– After the harvest?

– God knows…

– Which God?

They both smiled and checked around to see if anybody heard that. Nobody was around.

They went into the room with the stove. Grandmother of Özgür was sleeping in front of the stove, a white kitten just beside her. Two young men started preparing the meal. One placed the teapot over the fire while the other made the table ready. When everything was set-up, Özgür wanted to wake his grandmother up. He knew something was wrong as he touched her shoulder. He grabbed her and laid her down on the sofa. She was dead. Özgür went out to look for the Imam. Meanwhile, the villagers filled the house.

When Özgür came back with the Imam, everything stayed the same. Özgür thought about the harvest time. It was so close…