Otagawa

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The Otagawa River continued its twisting and flowing next to rocky banks and overhanging trees. For a time, only wild creatures roamed beside it, keeping the circle of life going day after day, year after year, sun by sun.

Then the people came. They built a great castle with arching peaks and pinnacles. Slopes and balconies built up story after story, rising above the canopy of trees and shadowing the Otagawa.

Small settlements flourished on the Otagawa delta. Fishing boats darted between channels next to the towering castle. Beautiful birds soared above the villages and time went on.

Armies came. The people retreated to the castle as boats of war rowed down the river. Clouds of smoke exploded from arquebuses, sending tiny metal balls raining down on the Otagawa. The possession of the castle changed hands and blood was spilled, but the sun still rose over the magnificent river and the fish still swam in its murky depth.

A flood rippled over the banks of the Otagawa. The castle had to be repaired as the war ended. The town grew into a city. The economy flourished again as a port was built at the end of the river. Boats came and went with exotic foods, spices, and clothes and more people moved to the glorious city.

Cotton mills and industry plants started on the river’s banks. As war broke out again, guns and military supplies were produced in great numbers. The city became a center of military and industrial trade.

Time ran on and wars ended. Generations of children played on the banks of the Otagawa, fish still swimming in the murky depths. The waters that flowed through the city saw decades of joy, sadness, and celebration.

Then one day an airplane flew over the city. It dropped a small metal object, which sent a black cloud over the Otagawa. Everything ended in one atomic blink. There was nothing left, not even the strong castle that had overlooked the water. No more children stood laughing on the riverbanks. No more fish swam in the now black water. No more beautiful birds flew in the sky. The buildings and history were gone forever. A few red leaves fluttered from some far off place and settled in the rubble of the city. The Otagawa flowed silently in the disaster’s wake, not praising victory, death, or loss, only that time continued and that autumn had come.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

hi5 said...
Jan. 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm
Great story, the entire time I was reading it, I was trying to decide the location of the river based on the context clues. Try to be consistent with using active voice instead of passive.
 
Mary said...
Jan. 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm
The descriptive words made the story come to life! I was able to close my eyes and picture the scenes the writer captured. Very well written!
 
smiley said...
Jan. 28, 2009 at 3:47 am
i liked the story and suspense was good.
could do a little more detail, but i did find out in the author's comment it was about a part of history. After reading author's comment it came more to life.
 
Joet said...
Jan. 27, 2009 at 2:38 am
I liked the article for the idea of suspense it displayed. One could feel that a great event was coming and one that was not good at all. I also liked all of the descriptive words which enhanced the article. The only criticism was that perhaps the name of the country in which the river was located could have been mentioned but then in a way the suspense would have been diminished. Very, very good story!
 
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