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January 12, 2018

20 Days of Chill: High, low, in, out - fiction

20 Days of Chill
Today's prompt is 'High, low… in, out.'

Night came out after day left. It watched a woman as she leaned against the trunk of a leafless tree singing a lullaby. When she finished, she said, "Time to go." But she paused in her movement seemingly unable to continue. She was looking up, frozen in place. A flash of light fell from the sky. Night shut its eyes. When it opened them again, the woman was gone. In her place was a pile of black-gray ash. Night had seen this before but it had been several years ago. But it knew the woman had die. Night began to wonder if there is anyone missing the woman now that she is gone. But as night pondered this question, day came and took away Night's time.

When Night returned later, it could still make out the black-gray ashes of the woman. The wind had kicked them astray but some remnants of her was still there in the dirt and grass. Among these was a gold band. It sparkled under the moonlight. Night studied it but could not concluded why it created a small yearning in the center of its mass. Night was after all, not human nor did it have a body but Night knew a bit about the highs and lows of humans, the rollercoster of emotions, the ins and outs of existence. But it never tried to understand them. It had never occurred to it that these might be something to understand. Night had lived for centuries in a plain existence but now it began to question if it was truly alive.

Every evening, Night looked down upon the gold band that had gathered dirt and grime, rain and snow and still, it could not understand the terrible ache it created inside it. It asked the wind, the trees, the sky, the vast clouds above but none had any answers. Still, Night did not give up.

One night, a man came upon the leafless tree. Through the many days and night that passed, the tree remained bare boned. The man held a flash of light. He was searching for something. Every few steps, he got down on his knees and spread his hands around the ground. 

After a while, the man shouted. He held up the gold band in his hand. He was smiling but his eyes were filled with liquid. Night could not understand. How could a piece of metal make a man happy and sad at the same time? Night pondered and pondered but at last, it just could not understand. It was after all, not human. But Night began to search out for answers by closely observing all the humans that passed its way. It was sure it would find an answer eventually.

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