To Tear A Stone
Author's note: I wrote this because I felt like I had to. I felt powerless against war, as though I could do... Show full author's note »
Glass BottlesThe wind screams over a silent land, whipping charcoal up into the air and blowing it into the eyes. The smell of smoke claws it’s way into clothes and into hair, sticking it’s sent to a person. This is a pillaged and ravished land, blackened by fire and twisted by explosions. The girl’s face resembles the land. She is beautiful, but eyes are harsh, scared and cruel. Her hair is scruffy; her face is stained by charcoal. Her face is shadowy, sharp and strong. By her side is a half person. A
The wind whips around both of them, making her skirt billow and flutter around him, making them one creature. Her hand is on his shoulder, holding him close as though he might suddenly slip away from her. The girl’s body is strong, with wide shoulders from which sprouts a long, strong neck. The little boy is frail and weak, gentle and sweet. The girl’s bright eyes watch the shuffling people, as though expecting attack. The girl watches madwoman carefully as madwoman wanders by.
Madwoman carries her dead child close to her heart. As though her beating heart could revive her child’s cold one. Madwoman could from no words, only whimpers and wails. Her legs swing beneath her like pendulums on a clock, she sways. The screaming wind hits her full on, whipping her long and tangled main of hair about her. Her mind has been lost to grief, her child as been lost to a bullet. Away she wanders, no longer seeing the charred village. Into the woods she goes, into the woods where the packs of dogs roam. Dogs that used to be pets, and are now wild creatures thirsting for blood.
Life is like a glass bottle, thinks the girl. You live inside it, separate from everything without noticing. It’s not till tragedy strikes, and that bottle breaks, do you see the real world. Then the screaming wind whirls about you, and soldiers spill in. They are here to kill, pillage and destroy, to take everything and give nothing back. These are the fruits of war, thinks the girl, these bodies that litter the streets, this village burned to the ground and all these lost and shuffling people. Her mind is of the practical kind; she has already decided to stay in the village. Mamma and papa are gone, as is elder brother, but she is strong. In their memory she must not leave this village. She will rebuild her home again, for this little one, she will rebuild.
Wild boy’s eyes were large and strange. He opened his eyes to wide, making his handsome face seem strange. His hair was dark and stuck out around his haggard and stone like face. He watches the girl, for she is his heart’s darling. There has never been a time she has been out of his heart. To wild boy, people are strange creatures. To wild boy, people do not matter. All people, that is, except for the girl. Wild boy watches the girl from a distance, watching the little one cling to her side. Wild boy is harsh and strong. His body is hardened to cruelty, and his mind hardened to people. To him people are cruel and strange, and the world more so. He wants a world without people and without pain. Wild boy wants a wide-open place, green and bright, with freedom from people. He wants not so much for himself, but for the girl. For his happiness depends on hers, without her; there is nothing.
The girl leaves the little boy in a cave of rubble, where his small body is protected from the wind and from view. Then she goes out in search of food. No plants will grow in this parched soil; no animals roam though the ash. The girl finds a dead man, with a loaf of bread clutched between his hands. The dead man’s sightless eyes stare across the ground, his mouth has swung open in death. The girl is afraid. She knows of the sin it is, to take from a dead man. She pauses; watching the dead man for movement, then plucks the bread from his hands. If there were punishment, it would be inflicted on her and not the little boy.