A fable

There was once an actor who didn’t listen to the advice of his friend and went ahead to take a part in a strange film that was about a thirsty wanderer who lived in the desert and grew lettuce without water. After he had taken the job he used to take the train daily into the city to look for employment, but try as he might he couldn’t find a job.
One day he decided to go back out into the desert rather than wander around like a ghost and argued with himself that enough was enough, there were no excuses any more. He took a deep breath, calmed down and borrowed his friend’s creation, a strange woven cloth that contained parts of an ancient royal robe that was said to have a terrible curse. He mentioned this to me, the narrator, one day, but I didn’t understand.
The cloth was decorated with beetles and, I guess, what looked like little pictures of furniture. It was very old, and so in parts it was repaired and had been darned.
While the ex-actor was out in the desert there was an enormous earthquake in the city that sounded like the end of creation. It continued for a long time and the sound of crashing was like cannons booming through the hot air. After a few hours from the direction of the earthquake there came hordes of people carrying furniture and other provisions. These people were not on vacation, they were not visitors, they were thirsty and tired people escaping across the desert with all that they could carry.
The actor sat at the base of a palm tree and thought….the people were in danger, after a few minutes, the ground started shaking again.

The old cloth was cursed. It was causing the earthquake. The actor buried the cloth in the sand. The shaking stopped, the actor and the people were safe, the desert disappeared and the actor woke up on his bed and realised it was not a film.

The end.

This week’s crossword.