One stormy night, much like the ones you remember where the wind rattled windowpanes and thunder boomed outside, a knock sounded at the door.
A poor troglodyte who had been travelling for eight years across the vast continents stood outside in the rain as a slightly older woman answered the door. The man could see a warm fire and a table set with the woman’s dinner inside the cottage.
‘What do you want?’ the woman asked. She pulled her shawl closer to her shoulders and stuck her face out to check to see if the man was alone. He was alone and from his shivering she could see he was cold.
‘Could I have a bowl of soup and some bread,’ the man said. ‘And perhaps some respite from the storm.’
The woman looked the man up and down and found his tattered clothes and walking staff to be no real threat and she consented. ‘Wait here,’ she said, and she closed and locked the door and returned back inside.
Before too long she returned to her dinner, ate, and retired to her favorite chair by the fire. The rain beat harder outside and she pulled her most prized quilt closer to her chin. Then a knock came at the door.
The woman rushed to the door and, now quite put off from a second disturbance of the night, asked, ‘Who is out there?’
‘It is I,’ the weary traveler said, ‘the one you made promises to.’
‘Oh,’ the woman said, aghast at having forgotten. ‘Yes, just one more moment. I was putting things together when you interrupted me and I had to stop. Please give me a minute.’
‘If that is all you ask,’ the man said, ‘please take another, and thank your dear soul for helping me. For you see, I have not eaten in almost six days and barely have enough money to get to the next village. Anything you can do will be most grateful.’
‘Not only will I help you,’ the woman replied, ‘I will add a few coins to my gift and see that you are most taken care of. My aunt owns a tavern just down the road and she will put you up for the night. Just give me some time to put your things together.’ With that she closed and locked the door once more.
Turning back to the fire her thoughts drifted soon to the cold rain outside, to her full stomach, and to all the people she knew that loved her, or even if her friends and family did not love her she believed they were thinking of her at that very moment.
She sank back into her chair, pulled her quilt up to her ears and thought of how such a long day of feeding the horses and goats and chickens deserved a nice nap before reading a book before bed. After all, she lived alone in her cozy home and only then did she recall of having forgotten something or someone. Then a knock came at the door.
The woman pushed off the quilt, her head now hurting from all the noise from the storm and the constant banging at her door. She was not quite sure what she was thinking, as you often do upon first waking in the early hours of the morning, when she screamed out, ‘What the hell do you want?! Can’t you just leave me alone?!’
The poor man, for that was exactly what he was: without job, without money, without family in this foreign land, looked with sad eyes at the woman standing in the doorway and turned without a word and walked back out into the rain. The woman stood for a moment watching the storm and darkness devour the visitor and only then did she realize what she had done.
The next day the sun rose and spread its rays onto the wet ground, drying slowly but surely as if there had never been a storm. The woman, however, intended to find the traveler that had come to her door, but she decided to do so after a nice, hot breakfast and a short nap. She had stayed up late the night before and considered it wise to get some rest before taking on a journey that might last the whole afternoon.
At the hottest point in the day the woman, all sweaty from her own travels through land and lane, found the traveler seated quite peacefully in the shade beneath a great oak. The day was in fact beautiful but the woman believed it horrid since she had to walk in the hot sun for hours.
‘Why didn’t you come to my door this morning?’ the woman asked. ‘I had promised you food and money and a place for the night. If only you would have waited.’
‘And where are these things now?’ the traveler said, looking over the woman who only had her bare hands to show him.
‘That’s not the point,’ the woman said. ‘I promised—’
‘What is the point?’ the man said. ‘This is a new day, I am a new man, and I no longer need your help.’
The woman, hot and confused from her own private journey, stared at the man for a second longer than she had wanted to, and it was only then did she see him for the angel he was.
CG FEWSTON is an American novelist who is a member of AWP, a member of Americans for the Arts, and a professional member and advocate of the PEN American Center, advocating for the freedom of expression around the world.
CG FEWSTON has travelled across continents and visited such places as Mexico, the island of Guam, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Taipei and Beitou in Taiwan, Bali in Indonesia, and Guilin and Shenzhen and Beijing in China. He also enjoys studying and learning French, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.
CG FEWSTON earned an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Administration (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors) from Stony Brook University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University, where he had the chance to work with wonderful and talented novelists, such as Richard Adams Carey (author of In the Evil Day, October 2015; and, The Philosopher Fish, 2006) and Jessica Anthony (author of Chopsticks, 2012; and, The Convalescent, 2010) as well as New York Times Best-Selling novelists Matt Bondurant (author of The Night Swimmer, 2012; and, The Wettest County in the World, 2009, made famous in the movie Lawless, 2012) and Wiley Cash (author of A Land More Kind Than Home, 2013; and, This Dark Road to Mercy, 2014).
Among many others, CG FEWSTON’S stories, photographs and essays have appeared in Sediments Literary–Arts Journal, Bohemia, Ginosko Literary Journal, GNU Journal (“Hills Like Giant Elephants”), Tendril Literary Magazine, Prachya Review (“The One Who Had It All”), Driftwood Press, The Missing Slate Literary Magazine (“Darwin Mother”), Gravel Literary Journal, Foliate Oak Magazine, The Writer’s Drawer, Moonlit Road, Nature Writing, and Travelmag: The Independent Spirit; and for several years he was a contributor to Vietnam’s national premier English newspaper, Tuoi Tre, “The Youth Newspaper.”
You can read more about CG FEWSTON and his writing at
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN won GOLD for Literary Classics’ 2015 best book in the category under ”Special Interest” for “Gender Specific – Female Audience”…
Finalist in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Romantic Fiction…
Finalist in the 2015 Mystery & Mayhem Novel Writing Contest…
Praise for A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN:
“Fewston delivers an atmospheric and evocative thriller in which an American government secret agent must navigate fluid allegiances and murky principles in 1970s Tehran… A cerebral, fast-paced thriller.”
“A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a thrilling adventure which takes place in pre-revolutionary Tehran. Author CG FEWSTON provides a unique glimpse into this important historical city and its rich culture during a pivotal time in its storied past. This book is so much more than a love story. Skillfully paired with a suspenseful tale of espionage, A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a riveting study of humanity. Replete with turns & twists and a powerful finish, FEWSTON has intimately woven a tale which creates vivid pictures of the people and places in this extraordinary novel.”
CG FEWSTON‘s new novel,
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN, was published on April 2, 2015 —
10 years to the day of the publication
of his first novella, A FATHER’S SON (April 2, 2005)
“Thus one skilled at giving rise to the extraordinary
is as boundless as Heaven and Earth,
as inexhaustible as the Yellow River and the ocean.
Ending and beginning again,
like the sun and moon. Dying and then being born,
like the four seasons.”
found in Sources of Chinese Tradition, p 5
Axton C. (right) & CG FEWSTON (left)
Dec. 30, 2014