Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Drop

The long silver bomb fell through the clouds and the women dropped to the ground. It wasn’t that they consciously thought of ducking, but their bodies melted and substance that had once been known as skin and bones and hair fell to the rumbling earth like heavy dust. When the waves of hot vibrations passed, the women looked through the remains of their buildings. They pulled out pieces of things they had once called children. Under heavy pieces of crumbled walls they discovered the loose remains of fingers and little toes. Tin cups that were once held by small hands during breakfast lay beneath a broken wooden table. When they found someone breathing, they called the remaining un-bandaged men and with sheets and what was left of their strength, they carried them to a makeshift infirmary in the place once known as the park. Only there were no trees left, just little sticks that had managed to stand up to the waves. They would have to find a new name for this barren land, it was no longer a park, it was nothing they recognized.
And their city, there would have to be new words to describe this collection of rubble that they once called Nagasaki. It was no longer a city, no longer a collection a tall cement buildings and crowded urban center. This place was a land of broken pieces. They combed through the piles of glass and wood looking for people once known as friends. They salvaged items their memories categorized as useful. The fire wind had come just a few hours before. The end of the world moved through them like a white cloud. It ripped through them, surely they had found hell, this was the landscape they had been warned of. It came from the sky, but they would have to search for understanding later. Now, they looked for their memories.
An old woman looked up to the clouds, to the blue dome she once believed contained her god. Was it the destruction of nature or man? What had crumpled everything she knew? Who had the power to flatten her home? Who had the power to take her children, to turn them to dust? She turned back to the land of cement. Back to the landscape of twigs and wrinkled flesh. Maybe they would understand later. Now, she looked for the things she recognized, before the hot wind had come. Before her home and children had turned to dust. Before there were crumpled men that needed water and bandages. Before the world was flattened. She picked up a pitcher of water and walked towards the wounded.

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