Washed Away

A short story by Natalie Holloway

The darkness crept around the valley like a sickness. It seeped into the branches of the trees and the bottom of the churning creek beds. The air reeked of blood, the saltiness boring into the pores of the villagers.

The night before, there had been an attack, a massacre of sorts. Dozens in the small village had lost their husbands, fathers, brothers, children, wives, sisters, and mothers. And like the blackness of the night, the sorrow and grief hung in the atmosphere.

The moon hadn't even bothered to bless the sky with its pearlescent glow. It hid away in the hills where it rose, crying for its lost children.

In the village, a child stared up at the empty world above him, the endless black that could have swallowed him whole. He thought of his father; his grimy cheeks stained with tears.

In between the empty houses, the forgotten market stands, bodies lay, twisted and contorted into odd shapes, blood soaking the dusty earth beside each one. Sobs and low moans are all that one could hear; the cries of the souls who were now lost and alone.

The child continued to watch the night.

Suddenly, a low rumble of thunder was heard, and then the sky ripped apart with a slash of white lightning, like the multiple battle wounds on the fallen below. And like the clouds were grieving with the villagers, the heavens burst forth with torrents of rain, spattering the dirt and rooftops.

And the pounding waters began to wash the streets clean of the blood, the tears of the Gods bringing a new world, one free of misery, one free of loss.

The blood and filth ran down the path separating the village and to the trickling stream at the end, pouring the evidence of lost life into the bowels of the earth.

After the cleansing of the night, day appeared gently, soothing the village with a soft gray light.

And the villagers understood what Nature had decided for them, that not all was lost, many still had their lives, and that they too could wash themselves of sadness.

And life moved on.

(A/N: Thanks for reading, if you did, and it would mean a lot if you would comment if you have the time or if you liked it. Thanks:)