The Village

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Grandpapa's Stories

Submitted: March 12, 2017

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Submitted: March 12, 2017

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“What story’ll you tell me today, Grandpapa?”

 

“Get up on my knee, young one; I think today, I’ll tell you the tale of the Village.”


 

There once was a small village, nestled right up against the coast, where the cosmopolitan way of life, of bustling energy and of choking smoke, held no sway. Now, there are many places where this is true, but this one was special. In this particular village, they had something that differed them from just about any other village in Britain.

 

They respected nature.

 

But it was more than that; it wasn’t this petty, single-sided respect that today’s environmentalists practice. No, this was something more. In this village, they shared a real connection to nature. They, unlike any other, acknowledge the Earth as a creature just as you or I. And, as with the Earth, all aspects of nature are represented somehow. They never practised unsustainable harvesting - they only took what they needed, and never anything more; they never had pets, for the animals of this village were far too wise and proud for that; they were at home in any weather, any season. They were as close to being as one with nature as it is possible to achieve.

 

But then came the great factories, embodiments of the cosmopolitan way they shunned and eschewed, of fire and of ash and of death. They settled in, taking all for granted, and began to grow deep their mechanical roots. For thirteen years, they polluted the skies, razed the forests and scorched the land with artificially selected bovine and boar, these insatiable scourges of humanity’s creations. For thirteen years, the factories waged silent biological warfare against the village. Until, one day, they left.

 

They left, and left nothing.

 

The forests in which so many wolves and deer and hares had lived were no more. The hills were fragmented, dented by TNT and perforated by machinery. The rivers cried black with the blood of trees, the very air they breathed was saturated with ash and dust. The ground had been stripped bare, ripped of its nutrients and returned nothing.

 

And so, the village was left with nothing. For four seasons, they survived on the most meager of rations; the animals, what animals had survived this cataclysm, did not approach them, and the sorrowful storms offered no respite. They lived - no, survived - with part of their heart, their soul, torn right out.

 

Until winter returned.

 

And winter arrived to a scene it had not been acquainted with the last time it left. The scene winter laid its eyes upon, one of complete and utter devastation, inspired a fire in its cold, cold heart. The surprise and sheer, icy vehemence the winter felt was more powerful than any of man’s mechanical monstrosities. The wizened earth froze over and the empty hills howled in resentment. What once was a blanket of descending snow became a rain of knives, driven by the rage of winter and fuelled by the fury of the storms. The village, already at the end of its rope, finally let go of their lifeline and hit the bottom of the chasm they were dangling into. Buildings shook, their meager harvests were destroyed, cobbles were ripped from the ground and tossed about like fists.

 

The village died that day.

 

 

“Grandpapa, that story was really sad. Next time, can you tell a happy one?”

 

“Of course, my little pumpkin. But remember, it's the sad moments in life that mean the most.”

 


© Copyright 2017 Avery Greyfield. All rights reserved.

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