By Amanda Paulger

The lights lit up the sky, some vast darkness carrying the sounds of stars over the ocean like the ghostly antithetical cries of sirens, lost in the crash of waves.

On the backs of those wanderers that climbed up the vast cliffs that rose up over the ocean, they carried each individual soul of some lost heart, some lost idea, some lost grievance.  Each carried the weight of consciousness there, a burden of ethereal stone like the burdens of all those who came before them.  They carried these things on their backs only to find the summit, where they would cast them back out into the darkness of the sea.

The luminescent skin of these wanderers glowed under the overcast sky. The shadowed sky suffocated us, like the ash of a thousand volcanoes had spit up into the highest atmosphere, casting their shadows over the world and warding off the sun in an effort to break down our spirits, us who dwell here in the shadowlands of thought and mourning.

We watched them, this luminescent line of wanderers climbing up the cliffs with the sadness of a thousand souls strapped to their backs – these bearers of burdens carried that which did not belong to them.  They carried them up and up and cast them away so that the world could remain in bliss.  They scoured our souls of all guilt and woe and broke those feelings on the back of the ocean.  “Back into the sea!” they screamed as they heaved those burdens out into empty air.

They carried all these oppressions, a thousand years of grief and greed, sorrow and suffering, to the apex of this great place where the dark land met the even darker waters.  They did not have anyone to bear their burdens.

With time, we watched them, over and over, slowly fade and disappear into the darkness where the sounds of stars carried over the ocean.  In having all of the poison siphoned out of our souls, we lived forever, and they evanesced back into the skies.

Category: Short Story, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing, SNHU Student