12, College Street
20 March, 20××
You never know when and where life will throw new surprises for you. Three of us got ready for the wedding. But an ancient Mariner particularly stopped me to listen to his tale. I had no mood or time to listen to his tale. But the old Mariner with a long grey beard and glittering eyes wouldn’t listen to me. The bridegroom doors were ‘opened wide’. I was an important member of the bridegroom’s family. The guests had come and the feasts were set. Only I was not there. The Mariner was holding me with his skinny hand and I was completely under the spell of his glittering eyes. I could do nothing but only beat my breast in despair.
The old Mariner continued with his tale. He described at length how the ship was cheered when it left the harbour and how it was chased by a violent storm that dragged it southwards. The ship was surrounded by huge icebergs. Then came the auspicious bird, the albatross, with a favourable wind. The sailors hailed him in God’s name. One day, the ancient Mariner in a fit of mad anger killed the albatross with his cross-bow. The killing of the innocent bird brought untold miseries to the sailors. The curse of the bird never let them live in peace. Instead of the cross, the dead albatross was hung around the neck of the ancient Mariner. It was a reminder that sufferings and curses are the wages of sin.