City of Bones

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Review Chain

This is a metaphorical story expressing the dynamic changes we go through in this journey we call life. This story is part of the contest in Review Chain, themed on Journey.

Survivors of a ship wreck fought for their lives on a beach, like fish placed on land. They chocked and vomited out the ocean that had swallowed the rest of them. Storms and hurricanes had suddenly struck them without warning, easily capsizing their ship.

“Are we in an Island or afterlife?” a pirate asked.

“Could you see an afterlife in the treasure map?!” the captain quipped.

“You should be looking for a boat or making one boy, not making up stories with no sails or cannons to guide us to safety!”

They had no food, water, or shelter. The ocean had claimed ownership of their possessions. Stuck in a strange land without basic needs wasn’t fun at all, though one of the sailors had found humor in the predicament.

“We’ll die! We’ll all die!” he shouted, as he laughed boisterously.

To avoid creating a scene to possible inhabitants, the chubby pirate was forced down, tied, and muffed, like a madman.

The sun was setting fast. They were clueless as to their location. Their compass and sextant had gone with the waves. Something had to be done really fast.

Before nightfall, the captain had recruited five men to penetrate deeper into the land, to find anything edible or a shelter they could all fit into.

“Are we all here?!”

“Yes, aye, captain!”

“Let the journey to the unknown begin!”

They marched forth, as though they were expecting a warm meal in their homes. Some of them wept silently when they remembered their farms, wives, children, and faithful canines across the vast ocean.

Before the break of dawn, they had arrived in a city like no other across the seven continents. The ground, walls and gates were as white as marble. Everyone looked happy and content.

A man suddenly appeared out of nowhere, pulling a wooden cart. He looked old, edgy, but very knowledgeable. Adorned with a long tunic decorated with bones and shark teeth, he resembled a Gothic shaman.

“Do you know where we can get fresh supplies?” the captain interrupted him.

The man halted casually, and stared at them analytically.

You aren’t from around here, am I right?”

“Follow me if you want to live…..”

The mysterious man then continued with his journey, as though he hadn’t talked to anyone. This experience made all the pirates to have goose bumps, including the one whose mouth had been gagged.

Lost and desperate, the pirates had no choice but to follow the man. The more they walked, the more they saw houses and bridges made from bones. Scarecrows in the firms were also made of bones.

Gradually a big city emerged from the horizon, as they got closer. It looked like a collection of bones placed in an orderly manner by a giant.

“Welcome to the City of Bones,” the man said, when we arrived.

“You’ll get all your supplies here…”

Thousands of inhabitants crowded the streets and alleys, all made from bones. There were also tour guides, who were narrating the history and culture of the city to a group of tourists. Shock and confusion could be seen on their faces.

According to the history scrolls, the city was originally made of marble. That was way before the City of Atlantis. Prosperity and peace shone well upon them, until the day a massive earthquake shook the entire city, bringing walls and pillars down. Then, a massive storm came close to the Island, dragging a whale skeleton with it. Assuming it to be a sign from their gods, they built a city out of any animal bones they could find, including their own, after they died.

The pirates’ days to be alive could easily be counted using fingers. They had no clue they were sooner or later to become a festive meal, together with the tourists.



Submitted: January 23, 2018

© Copyright 2020 Teddy Kimathi. All rights reserved.

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