20

Jan

by thefourpartland

The second of three stories I wrote last night in my return to flash fiction after a month or two off.

The bell rang, a single peal loud and long across the valley. A low sound, a mournful sound, it sent the birds scattering from their perches, and the womenfolk of the village running for the meagre cover of a copse of trees.

The men of the watch tower scrambled to defend their families, but they were ridden over and struck down, and the women in the copse found death at their own hands when they saw what had come. The copse became a funeral pyre, as did the village.

The land withered and desiccated, until the lush fields that had fed the village turned to little more than dust. Wind swept the land, and the last husks of civilization were blown away, eroded into nothingness.

Years turned, and new springs dug channels through the parched ground as rain pattered down. Weeds clawed at the land, their roots breaking apart centuries old rock and dirt. In time, verdant life spread throughout the valley, and men returned, once more turning nature to their hand.

A farmer digging in the field found the old bell with his plough, and it was set once more into a watch-tower, upon the same hill where once the old had stood.

The bell rung smooth and clean, but would only emit a single peal per day, and so the village called it the “Nightly Chorus”, and let its fading echoes mark the coming of twilight, and the end of another day.

Many years passed as the bell sung the death of the sun, and the new village grew large and content, perhaps even becoming a town in the later years. It was a pleasant place, full of country vigour and joy, and people found life there fulfilling, if hard.

The bell rang, a single peal loud and long across the valley. A low sound, a mournful sound, it sent the birds scattering from their perches. That night, the village burned anew.

Comments

  1. Ziggy Kinsella on 01.20.2011

    Top drawer signor

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