I would like to tell you a short story I thought up a few years ago for a film, a dark fairytale to be precise.
(It is viewable on YouTube if you're feeling intrigued.)
I don't want to say too much about Ponda as I feel the story says it all, but I would like people to hear this story because I am intrigued as
how people interpret it.
Before you read Ponda:
I must mention Peter Fellows, who found the words to tell Ponda in a way I couldn't.
Also to encourage you to email me your ideas and thoughts once you have finished reading.
And finally, to thank The Listserve for giving me the opportunity to tell the tale of Ponda to so many people. I honestly am so grateful.
Tales of Ponda: Ponda
Story by Rikki Udagawa, Words by Peter Fellows
A curious young girl, Ponda often felt, she was being followed by something else. A darker presence, in the corner of her eye, a crooked hand reaching out, but just out of sight.
One winter noon, she ventured, down a dusty road, where she met a withered old man who sensed her forebode. With crusty eyes and wrinkled mouth, he frowned as she described the dark presence, following her around. She didn’t bear to face what might be there, just too frightened to turn and face its glare.
With a smile he sighed, and said ‘Although you’re afraid, my dear, you must face up to this presence, and recognize your fear. Life must go on’. Considering his wise words, Ponda thanked him and travelled on. Before long, she felt it there, sneaking up behind her, breathing in her hair. With terrified eyes, Ponda turned with all her strength, saw grimy fingers appear from nowhere, snatching at her, taunting her, binding together; a body appeared from the depths, a cloaked figure, the one called ‘Death!’
Ponda couldn’t believe her eyes. She wanted to scream, but tears were all she could find. She begged for more time, promising any life mistakes would be set right.
Gently taking her hand in his, she felt all fear simultaneously dismiss. With tender voice, and wanting tone, he told her ‘I’m just tired of being alone. I’ve fallen in love with you Ponda, and I wanted you to know. Your commitment to me would mean a life in darkness. I’d care and love you. We’d be eternity’s partners. You’d sit upon life’s throne’.
Recognising loneliness, Ponda promised that she would. But not until she’d reached a ripe old age, and lived her life as she should.
Promising to leave her, until that fateful day, Death let go of her hand, and disappeared from whence he came.
Several years passed quickly, for Ponda now felt safe. She no longer felt the presence, the fear of being chased. Until, one morning she entered, a forest ripe with growth, where she once again felt tingling, and knew she’d been followed.
Turning, no fear present, she witnessed death’s gritty hands, reach around her shoulders, and pull her to the ground. Her soul was released to the air, from beneath the woodland soil, Death grasping her body close, no remnants to tell her toil.
Perhaps death was angry, or his love was just so strong, he couldn’t bear for them to be apart, not for so long. Or possibly, her time to die, had finally arrived for Ponda. It’ll never be known, which is the truth, and that is something to ponder…