Reunited in the Sky
Author's note: I wrote this story while thinking about life and family. Everyone has secrets; sometimes these... Show full author's note »
Scars of WarAn elderly woman strolls through the ruins of what used to be the town center of the once glorious town. Charred structures dot the landscape, burying the deceased citizens. The old woman stops near a broken fountain. She finds a part of the base that managed to stand and sits down. Her body creaks with age and the lingering ash seeps into her lungs. Wispy, jarring coughs rumble through the silence of the rubble, seeming to rouse the sleeping victims.
Her eyes flutter against the stagnant air filled with death and she suddenly stops scanning her surroundings. She spots the body of a teenage boy sprawled on a heap of bricks across the blackened street. Slowly, the elderly woman rises and waits as the torturous aches surge through her feeble body. After the pain subsides, she gradually steps over to the destruction.
The boy looks to be nearly eighteen. His face seems rather calm, despite the crimson stains on his cheeks. The old woman notices his left arm is twisted backwards and the bone is sticking out.
“Poor boy,” she sighs. “You foolishly ignored me and look where you are now.” The elderly woman laughed. The revelry of her success halted when she noticed a leather book in the boy's hand. With hesitation, she bent over and retrieved the book. Her joints wailed in pain but her joy overcame the aches.
“What is this?” she pondered. The old woman lifted the weathered cover and found a page that claimed the book was the journal of Matthew Amuletta. However, someone marked through the words. In small letters, someone had written in the corner, “The Story of How I Came to Be Alone.”
“So, you're Matthew Amuletta?” she asked the corpse. “I never would have guessed this would happen.” Her aged laughter became lost in the crisp winter breeze. The cold chapped her lips, but she refused to seek shelter yet.
“I told you,” she murmured. “I told all of you!” Dementia eerily crept inside her brain, calling eccentric thoughts to conquer her mind.
“No!” she screamed at the voices. “I will not eat his ear!” The old woman flicked her tongue to wet her lips. “I'm not crazy. I am merely an intelligent human being,” she spat. “I am magical!” Laughter thundered through the rubble, mixing with the howling wind to create a morbid lullaby for the dead. The elder slipped her finger under the frayed page and flipped it to discover immaculate paragraphs filling the next page. She ruffled through her pockets, found her cracked eyeglasses, and settled them on her nose. Leaning forward, she began to decipher Matthew Amuletta's story.