Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta elders. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta elders. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, 3 de marzo de 2017

Cold town

   It started very early one morning, as everyone in town was sleeping. It was very unusual but every single person was asleep and didn’t see the clouds forming in the darkness and the first tiny rocks of hail fall from the sky. What awoke most of them, hours later, was the sound of thousands of little balls of ice falling from the sky and hitting their windows and roofs with a certain insistence. Only some dared to go outside and check on their belongings like cars and such. It wasn’t safe.

 The white curtain created by the downpour looked almost solid at one moment. Everyone was fascinated by it, mainly because they had never really seen hail or anything similar to ice falling from the sky. The small town was located in a warm area, not that far from the sea. So the occurrence of a hailstorm was extremely rare and certainly very special for everyone there. Every social gathering was canceled and every family had to stay home, without studying or working.

 This resulted in very interesting conversations between members of families. People that didn’t really have a great relationship started speaking about something that they thought was interesting and harmless in a way too. They hall had theories as to why they had been hit by a hailstorm but the most people popular theory was that there was a cold front that came rushing in from the south and it collided with the very warm weather of their valley and then created the hail.

 The point was that everyone now was talking, every house in town had member that were now sharing thoughts and, after a few hours, those theories did not have a limit: some people found it easier then to explain to their children how babies came into the world and children would understand very fast. Other families discussed things they had left buried and unspoken and suddenly they were all solving problems that had been harassing them for years.

 It was difficult to explain. Some blamed the actual hail, others the temperature and others the fact that people had been made to stay in the same rooms and houses as their families, making them talk to each other. But they could have stayed as before, not speaking and having secrets from one another. There was something, some kind of special mood that made the families share what they had been ignoring on purpose for so long. Of course, not every scene in town was of love and beauty. Some were harsh as the truth is not always the prettiest of situations.

 But they talked and that was advancement. In a town were many fathers refused to hug and kiss their sons, it was a huge progress that they had started doing that, as the storm grew stronger towards the afternoon. Many years later, some elders said the water contained in the fallen hail had formerly been holy water from a special source. Others said a native shaman had enchanted the pieces of ice with a spell to make people truthful. They all had different and imaginative answers.

 It appeared to be that people were afraid to say they had feelings and that they had acknowledged that for a moment. Because after the storm, everything returned to normal and it made the situation in town much harder than usual. It was the reason for many of the younger people to leave that region and look for a better place for them. They had tasted a bit of something they had loved and now they wanted their lives to be exactly like that all the time, filled with love and not secrets.

 The elders and most of the parents returned to their old ways of not talking to their children and keeping all of who they were deep into themselves. Inside, they feared that they may have gone too overboard with their display of feelings but no one really thought it was like that. Everyone agreed that being open was the best option for all but they all thought this in secret. They did not dare to change what they had been doing for so long, even after the so-called magic in the hail.

 All the inhabitants that had been born over thirty years ago had develop something like a shell around them. They all had it and it was because during their times as children and teenagers, the exposure of feelings and displays of affection were deemed a weakness and something real men wouldn’t do. As for women, it was something one could expect from them but it should never be discussed or addressed in any way. In that part of the world, people had been raised to be like that.

 Young people had also been raised like that but it was the hailstorm that awoke something in them. It made them realize that things didn’t have to be as they had always been. Maybe there could be a little bit more honesty or love in the world. With the memories of everything said and done during the hailstorm, they decided to leave their homes as soon as they were able to and made a promise to always look for a truthful life, never falling back to the old ways of their families and ancestors. That’s why they all left, leaving that small town to die slowly.

 The ones that stayed there died in the following years, at a faster rate than normal. People from other regions came to investigate, as the mortality rate had accelerated in a fantastic manner. Some believed it had to do with a mysterious disease or something like that but no disease was ever found among the dead. Yet, for some reason, every inhabitant of that town was dying much younger than normal and out of nowhere, without any symptoms prior to their untimely death.

 Every day someone died and only one baby was born in the span of six months. Those rare babies would also day after a couple of days. Some people left town during those times but they weren’t many, just scared of death. Maybe that had made them decided they were maybe better off somewhere else. But that was a very rare decision to make, as most people stayed in town to die. Some days one, some other days up to five people would die. All in peace, not violently.

 They were no memorial services, not for any of the dead. They were just buried in the graveyard, and that was it. Life continued after that but in melancholic manner, as if it was slowly giving up on everything that had a beating heart. Investigators looking into the deaths reported in town, were driven away not long after by the sadness and depressing vibes that place had for people that did have warm blood running through their bodies, making them alive.

 The thing was that, all of the people there, the ones that had stayed, were not alive anymore, not like a normal human being. They had been dead inside for quite some time, way before the day the hailstorm hit them with its mysterious aura. It wasn’t anyone’s fault but theirs that they were cold and emotionless. They had decided to be like that, blaming their parents and their beliefs. They decided to accept the world as it was, instead of trying to leave their personal mark in it.

 A couple of years later, every single inhabitant of that town was dead. The graveyard came to be one of the largest in that country and only curious eyes would visit it. Family would not come and friends had never existed. Their houses slowly crumbled to pieces and in a couple of decades, no one even remembered such a place ever existed. And no one ever tried to rebuilt or anything like that. It was a done deal.

domingo, 7 de junio de 2015

Crescent Moon Island

   The island was well known for being shaped like a crescent moon but it wasn’t a small island. Its geology was very different from one tip to the other. In the northern tip lived the Sunasi. They were tall with ashen skin and bright eyes. They inhabit the hills around the three volcanoes that had been dormant for about fifty years. The Sunasi were a warrior people, getting pride from their conquests and their killings. They held a larger territory than their neighbors and had sent explorer to many islands to the north. Some were handled as colonies and the Sunasi got to trade with other tribes as they held monopoly over cinnamon and clover, two spices the rest of the world seemed to crave.

 In the other side of the island lived a smaller tribe of very different people. They were called the Bonio but that wasn’t a name that they used to describe themselves. They had no name to call themselves because they did not consider that to be an important thing. They adored the god of the sea and lived of it, fishing daily and having small but efficient sea farms where they would grow a special seaweed that had a nice taste but also oysters, which grew very large. The women would carry on necklaces or on rings the pearls they found in the ocean and the men lived for their women, as they had a very special place for them in their mythology.

 The two peoples of Crescent Moon Island lived in peace. They knew about each other but they had agreed, without ever saying a word, to ignore one another and let them be. Funny enough, sometimes they looked at each other for long distances and the ones that were most interested were the children, as they had no understanding of the world. Any way, tip and tip were close enough to sometimes see people do things on the other side. But it was rare as the Sunasi only hunted in their southern shore and the Bonio never fished in the inner lagoon of the island.

Actually, by the mid-section of the island, there was a small area only populated by animals and palm trees. The Sunasi were closed but something had kept them from conquering more of the island. The Bonio, not interested in growing as a nation, had never had any weird encounters or things happen to then in the palm tree forest. The Sunasi that came back from explorations of that area, said they had seen red eyes float in front of them and that voices had talked to them inside their heads, telling them to go away and never come back.

The Sunasi elders thought this was another deity; one related to the ground that wanted to make sure that no one crossed a certain point of the island. Some had concluded that the gods had put two tribes in the island and had wanted to given them an equal chance at developing as a grand nation. So each one had received half of the island but only the Sunasi were interested in conquering and growing larger. Due to this occurrence, they decided early on to leave their neighbors alone, as they posed no threats.

 But then something unexpected happened. The Bonio had small boats to fish every day, all day. They never went to far but one particular day the wind was blowing hard and the ocean seemed angry. The fisherman returned to the island or at least tried to because of the boats had disappeared because of the storm. It had been carried far into the ocean, to the southeast, were they had no idea if there were fish or any other type of food. They were only three men and they were scared. They waited until the night fell and decided to follow the stars back to the island. The weather had changed to a more pleasant one and after some hours hope begun to settle in.

 That was until they saw what they saw. They were probably some one hundred kilometers from their home when they saw the largest fleet of vessels they had ever seen. There were very big and would probably be carrying thousands of people. Counting fast was easy and they counted twenty vessels, apparently anchored in that area. They tried to remain out of their sight but as they did they saw the canons in some boats and the men, bearded, very tall men walking on the ships. The Bonio men decided to use all of their strength with the oars in order to get home fast, and they did by next morning.

 Their wives and children came to hug and kissed them but they needed to speak to the elders first and with the priestess. The temple was a normal hut located farther towards the palm tree forest than any other Bonio house. The elders, two men and a woman, and the priestess, heard what the men had to say, that many ships were very near the island and could be there in less than a few hours. The fishermen urged the wise men to do something, as these explorer or warriors or whatever they were, came prepared with big guns and lots of people.

 The elders and the priestess asked them to leave, as they would consider what they had heard. The priestess began to do a potion that would enable her to see all that happened in the ocean and around it. The elders saw her dance and sing and drink her beverage. She said, in hoarse voice, that the Sunasi had conquered another small island to the northwest but that she saw something bigger. The god of the ocean was angry, as people had begun throwing things in it, polluting it with many things. The god knew these people came from a far away continent and they were seeking riches and land to conquer, as they were warriors but far more advanced than the Sunasi would ever be. And what was worst: they were coming. They didn’t know about the Bonio, the Sunasi or the island but they were coming.

When the elders came out of the temple, leaving the priestess to calm down after channeling all of that information, they decided to reunite all the people by the beach. They were about a hundred and they all heard the horrible news. But they also heard a bold proposal by one of the elders: a messenger should be sent to the Sunasi in order for the island to unite against the common enemy. A man in the crowd volunteered to go and talk to the Sunasi and make them realize what the danger was.

The next day, he traveled to their northern shore and crossed the lagoon by swimming. It wasn’t too long before he made it to the other side, where the sand of the beach was darker. He entered the forest and knew Sunasi warriors would be close enough. And just as he thought that, two bowmen fell from the trees in front of him, another from behind. They pointed at him with angry faces and were ready to shoot. But then he said the god of the ocean had a message and that he needed to speak with their elders. The Sunasi’s main god was the one in the volcanoes but ignoring a message from a god was not wise so they took him to the elders, where he explained the situation.

 The elders decided that the Bonio had a very honorable tribe and that they would let the man go back to his family. Then, something like an explosion came from the palm tree forest. As the main town of the Sunasi was on a hill, they could see the smoke emanating from the forest. It was the invaders who had arrived by bombing the forest, chopping hundreds of palm trees with one shot. That hurt the elders, as they knew that forest was sacred and now it was on fire. The Sunasi rapidly organized and asked the Bonio man to o back to his tribe and ask them to organize to attack the invaders. The idea was for the Bonio to attack by sea and the Sunasi by land. The Bonio were not very sophisticated but they would create a diversion to distract the invaders fleet.

 By the next day, in broad daylight, the first warriors of the Sunasi, arrived at the forest and massacred hundreds of invaders. Some wore armors but they were weak and overconfident. The Bonio then did their part, attacking the vessels with coconuts and harpoons. The also used their fishing nets to trap some of the men and then killed them. They took a couple of boats and then launched an attack with those towards the rest of the fleet.

 The battle was brutal and lasted for several days. The invaders were resilient and seemed to be coming in higher number than any of the men of Crescent Moon Island thought possible. But one by one, carefully and with cunning, the two tribes repelled the attack. Hundred, even thousands of corpses, now floated in the ocean or soiled the sacred forest, which had almost completely disappeared. Now, one could one from one shore to the other and not stumble upon a single palm tree. And then, the Sunasi starting praying as the red eyes and voices had come back. They had forgotten about this detail and they just left for their hills and homes, running away from the mess that the battle had left.

 But the Bonio were not affected and it was them who cleaned up, who put the invaders corpses in their remaining boats and burned them. They prayed for their souls and returned to their villages. The day after the battle had ended, a Bonio woman swam across the lagoon and left a gift for the Sunasi: a sculpture of the god of the volcanoes made with the armor of an invader.

 Their alliance had been sealed and Crescent Moon Island would grow stronger and prouder of their might and will to survive.