And when the rain fell, they looked at each other and they laughed. Running through puddles, pushing and pulling at each other as they ran. Their laughter was loud and happiness radiated from their eyes. To live in the moment was a miraculous thing.
And then with 5 little words, the stresses were gone. The words came out of nowhere, from somewhere behind her and were so very much familiar… and British, that she actually felt herself sigh.
“Stick the kettle on, then.”
And then the whistle blew, the results were in and everyone sat there waiting. There could be only one. The weight of the world was on everyone’s shoulders. Until the name was drawn and the weight of the people passed over onto the chosen one.
And then the knife slid through the silk scarf as though it was butter. It would have been beautiful to watch if it wasn’t such an obvious threat.
And then the sky turned red and the people stood in awe. There was peace throughout the land. Finally it was over.
And it was only in nature that she saw them. It was never from peering out the window or walking down the street. She knew that in order to see them, she had to make that effort. The walk was quiet, up the hill and past all the townhouses with their chimney’s smoking and up through the snicket. The woodlands was alive with birdsong, the air filled with magic and secrets.
And it was here, always here, that she saw them.
And she looked around, took in a huge breath of clean air and jumped. The mountain was high and her board left a wave of snow behind her. Her mind was silent, her body moving so effortlessly down the slopes… is this what heaven feels like…?
And then she wailed. The birds, who had previously been singing their eve song, closed their beaks. Even they knew this was no longer the time. The air stilled and a respectful, unsure tension overcame the earth. A wail that was so powerful it stilled every nation could surely only come from an unbearable, unspeakable pain.
And as the carriage sidles up to the door, the wheel snags on the cobbles. The lone passenger corrects his hat, moving it back down over his eyes, slanted slightly to one side. Moving his hand, he reaches through the carriage window for the door handle. There is only one thought running through his mind as his foot finally hits familiar cobble: home.
And then one day, the lights went out. The walls closed in, faces became blurred, words went unheard and there was nothing but silence.
And it was deafening.