In the garden, the birds
serenading each other with their high pitched songs. I sat their intrigued with the music they made.
“Viorella! Come in darling, come.” I barely heard the familiar voice calling me from in between the trees. I was in tranced by the birds that I could hardly pull myself away until she spoke again and I had to abade to her call. She was my mother’s mother, old and frail as she was, she was strong like cement and still had plenty of life kicking in her. I ran through the trees to find her standing at the edge looking for me. She never dared enter the forest, it scared her so much and if she is frightened badly, I’m scared she’ll clutch her chest and fall over dead from a heart attack. “My child, come let us go and find food to fill our bodies.” I held her firmly under the arm and we took baby steps through the grass to the little cottage we had. We were poor, even the dirt was richer than us, but we were happy. We didn’t need much to live on. We had a little cottage that my grandpa built when he was young and alive.
Tonight, dinner consisted of bread and salted meat. We drank alcohol because water was costly and rare to find. We live in an era of war and destruction. Nothing is going right. Children are walking around with inflated empty bellies, men and women bleed to death from gunshot wounds, and the adolescences hand themselves from trees and jump off of building because they are tired of living with this torment.
The wind outside howls, imitating the screams of the suffering. My grandma sat next to the cackling fire and with sadness teaming over her eyelids she looks at me, “Viorella did I ever tell you there was a monster, a beast that controlled the mood of the world?” She smiled as I shook my head from side to side, “well tonight you will find answers to unanswered questions. We are going to go back to a place hidden from devious eyes. Her name was Adle, she once was a human but no longer is. She was something people would find revolting and would kill her on sight. She was a monster, a thing, a beast. She was not a pretty sight, but she did play an important part in our lives that we spend walking down the street popping bubble gum; Adle controlled the mood of our little planet. It was a life she chose, well more like fate had chosen for her. It is a life full of loneliness and pain, but Adle became used to the quiet and vast emptiness at the heart of the world. Life on the surface was in turmoil, always fighting, always crying. Pain was ubiquitous and death was inevitable. Smiles turned into frowns and hope disappeared, love turned into a fairy tale and left in its place was hate. During these times of havoc, Adle would sit her chair and listen to the world’s woes and fight the urge to make everything right because she knew there is a balance. A balance of good and evil. She had to wait till one side out balanced the either by a smidgen and then she’ll balance it out. She would fall asleep to the screams of the dying, the wails of children, and the gunshots that seemed never to cease its fire. Days, weeks, months passed this way until she couldn’t stand it and shouted “LOVE” at the heart of the world. Life the domino affect everything started to get better, the skies cleared, the flowers blossomed, the sound of bullets flying through the air was replaced with the buzz of bees and songs of birds. Frowns turned upside down and laughter was like eating a piece of chocolate cake after being deprived of sugar for years. Adle smiled and lad back in her creaky old chair, she enjoyed the peace that enveloped itself around everything on this planet.”
She finished and I was left confused, “grandmum, why is the world in peril now?”
“Because Adle died and you are going to take her place.” I sat there and stared at her smiling lips not believing what had just escaped them. “Just leave, you know where to go. The path has been laid out before you, now you must tread upon it. Go my sweet child, go.” She kissed my forehead and rushed me out the door. I looked back and realized I was never coming home. I stood in front of the cabin, to bid farewell. I waved and walked the opposite direction, letting my gut guide my feet. I walked for days, I tried reversing my direction, but realized I no longer knew where I had come from. I walked up mountains and through valleys, swam in foreign waters until I found a cave that beckoned me to enter. Its darkness sent shivers down my spine like a cold wind that blew down my spine sending chills to the rest of my body. My first step, I was nervous; my second, I was anxious; my third and fourth steps, I felt the heat of a fire; my steps up to twenty, led me deeper into the cave and my soul calmed. Above me I heard torment and suffering, I remembered the story of Adle and what she shouted. I mimicked her exact words “LOVE!” The walls shook and rocks descended from their spots to smash into the ground, but everything quieted down as if something automatically made everything serene. I smiled, it was ‘love’. Love is the answer.
© Copyright 2016 Penelope Garenther. All rights reserved.