Chapter 7

One would have expected wild and incessant wailing from a city as afflicted as Cerenia. But the lament of Cerenia was rather reticent. Their tears had run cold, and their eyes barely blinked as they searched for the remains of their loved ones, mostly buried beneath the ashes. They moved slowly and silently through the thick mixture of ash and snow. Their mourning could be felt but not heard. Their anguish could be heard but not seen. It was as if they had been completely desensitized, or were just finding it hard to calculate a reaction to such a loss.

When the dead had been piled up for their final journey, one of the elders from the people spoke, “Here in this pile are our fathers and our mothers, our brothers and our sisters, and our sons and our daughters. Did they deserve this death? I can’t say. But it is certain that Cerenia has paid a price. We have paid for our misdoings. Surely such a thing should not have happened otherwise. It is we who must have been at some fault! Our lacking has therefore brought this misery upon us. Such is the fate that we have been given. Such is the life we must lead.”

As he spoke, a young man from the group broke his silence and shouted, “No.” The old man, visibly startled, looked towards the youth who had dared to disrupt him. Strongly but woefully he said, “The truth is that our freedom was targeted by a tyrant, a power-hungry fiend, who only desires is to watch the world burn. Why must we then demean the sacrifice of our fellow Cerenians by blaming ourselves for this calamity?!”

Though the lad sounded a little rough, the Cerenians somehow began to see a thread of reason in what he said. They gave him their undivided attention as he continued, “Look at what we’ve become – just walking sacks of bones! Where is our ability to reason and think for ourselves? Why must we accept a fate that the enemy would have us accept? Why should we burn for his pleasure?…. I for one choose to deny my enemy that pleasure. Who says that Cerenia is conquered? It may be burnt but it shall rise again. With the sweat and blood of every one of us, this land will sustain life once again. So what if we only see bones around us right now. Let’s breathe life into these bones!”

Published in: on September 17, 2010 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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