Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Cannot Silence This Ancient Tribe

Every night of my life had been the same. I went to my bed when the sun did and there I was taken by sleep. I would not wake till morning. Last night was different. I did as I usually do and went to my bed when the sun did, but that night sleep did not come. It was kept away by the noise of the night. It must have been freighted or thought it was day, for night is never full of noise. Night is quiet. Night is still. Night is when all you hear is the trickle of the brook or the rustle of the trees in the wind or the hoot of the owl as it stirs. Night is when sleep comes and visits all who lay in their beds, waiting.

I waited last night. I waited very long. Normally, I do not need to wait long; sleep is my friend and it comes to me first before anyone else. I waited all night and sleep never came. I lay with my eyes wide open in the dark. I saw flashes of light from far off and heard noises. I heard stamps and stomps, many were running around. I heard shouts and cries and tumbles and bangs. And some things that came to my ears, I had never heard before.
I saw my sister sit up in her bed, sleep had not visited her either. Her eyes shown in the black light and her body trembled at the fearful sounds and she cursed last night. I heard her whisper between her teeth, “get out and be gone!” but the noise did not obey, it stayed put. It stayed all night and did not silence until dawn.
When morning came and the sun arose, I climbed down from my bed. My muscles were stiff and my eyes were sore and shone with a tint of red, for sleep had stayed away last night. My sister had already gone outside and from her I heard a cry and a laugh of insanity. I joined her and as the sun hit my face, the eerie still and silence and the wet darkened ground broke my heart as well. For upon the ground lay my life and my love, broken and torn in pieces, shattered beyond repair. Bodies of my kin and friend, drained of life, stared me down, their eyes open wide. My sister fell to the ground and wept. She wept until her tears were gone like seaweed swept away by the tide. I closed the eyes of everyone and counted all the dead. My entire village was there, my sister and I were the only ones walking, the only ones who had been safe in our beds. I could not weep like my sister did for I was the man now, and the only one remaining. I went inside and gathered our things, ready to depart, ready to be in charge, ready for things to be changing. We could not stay; we could not bury our dead for we could not let last night’s noise know that we were missed.
We went to the river with our things on our backs and swam to the other side. I took my sister by the hand and led her through the forest until we came to a large group of shrubs and I told her, “here we must hide.” Hide in the day, run in the night until we are far, far away. And when we are gone, so far gone that no one will know us, there we can stop. We can take down our packs and no longer hide and stand tall and no longer be afraid and speak with pride. For the noise of last night was fierce, evil, and came to destroy us, came to frighten us. Yet when I grow old, we shall be strong again and the noise of last night will see, that they cannot silence this ancient tribe, they cannot silence my family, and they cannot silence me.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback