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 »
Withered BeautyThe walk seemed to take hours as my longing to view the beauty increased. Finally, I turned the corner and spotted the sparkly streams swaying in the sun. My pace quickened and I darted towards the fountain. I found a bench near the edge of the pool and sat down to watch the show. Flashes of light swarmed my eyes, growing my anxiety. Suddenly, an urge overcame me. I stood up from the bench, climbed onto the marble ledge of the fountain, and plunged into the cool water.
Like a swan, I emerged with my arms spread wide. My wet shirt clung to me, forming a suit of damp cotton feathers. In that moment, I was the swan. A smile dragged my lips upward and I looked out at the bystanders. The people stared at me, anger blazing in their eyes. I realized the citizens did not approve of my immature antics. Swiftly, I clambered out of the pool and dashed into a nearby alley. I sighed in relief when I realized no one pursued me. Turning to exit the dank corridor, I bumped into an elderly woman.
“Miss, I am so very sorry!” I exclaimed. “Please, forgive me!”
Her icy blue eyes pierce mine. The ebony cloak she wore cast an ominous shadow upon her face. My heartbeat raced and I began to shudder with fear.
“Boy, do not come back here again,” she whispered. Suddenly, she began singing.
“Flesh to ashes, bones cracked by flame. Alas, it appears life will never be the same. Terror from the sky. From the heavens, fire shall fly. Screams echo from all around. Due ash, all shall drown. Prepare ye foolish, ye sinners alive! All will die . . . all but I.”
The elderly woman clamped her lips tight and waved me along. Fear shattered my joy and I scattered wildly out of the alley. Chills tingled through my spine as I walked home. Upon reaching the house, I sluggishly sat down on the rugged couch in the sitting room. Mother walked in and sensed something was wrong.
“Matthew, you look like you have seen a ghost. What is wrong, dear?” she asked.
“Nothing is wrong, Mother. I am exhausted from the move,” I lied.
“Alright. I believe you,” she smiled. “Come on, supper is ready.”