thulcandran: (Default)
Thanks to Maslab, for the prompt: Fallout, Stallion, Bell. I suppose you could say it's about the fall of Carthage. In a way.

It was after, that things narrowed. It was after, that things made sense again. It was after, that things began to make sense for me, because nothing made sense, and I found my way in the vacuum. When nothing made sense, you worked with what you had. If that was nothing...

I walked from building to building. I walked to places where I could find food, and keep food, and I found food outside the walls. I slept in sheltered places, where I found them, and I spoke no words aloud. What was there to say?

When the wind blew, things shifted, and it scared me, for reasons I had no way to understand, anymore.

It was a different world, after. And I needed a different way to understand it.

The sky was a void; the ground was complex, and I learned to read it-- how to figure out where I was, based just on the radial cracks that flowed through the pavement, where it was. I learned to follow them, to break them, to navigate the ruins that had been a city world-renowned, a city where emperors had been blessed and saints had lived and oh, the gardens, and-- and I learned to walk, in the emptiness, to walk and to be silent in the silence around me.

I remembered, sometimes, and then I forgot how to live for a while, and stayed, standing, for more than parts of a day, smelling the smell of burned straw, where a stable had been, where I had seen the soldiers, and the sun upon their steel, where my brother had ridden his fine stallion when he rode it out the gates and the hooves on the ground made a sound in my chest where the hard was...

And then an eagle would pass above, or a lion somewhere, or simply the sound of the wind, maybe bringing the soft leaves together, maybe echoing in the now-empty bells on the towers, a soft sound like the ghost of a ring, and it woke me, and I remembered.

The walls were dust. They had come with Greek Fire, never used on land before, and they had come with seige weapons and they said that they had salted the land.

(It wasn't true. But they salted the cropland; that was enough for most.)

It wasn't a city anymore, and that was good, because I didn't need a city. I knew how to live; how to make things make sense. How to walk from place to place, and gather food for a day, and hide from the rain and the lions, and how to forget. How the rocks fell, how the trees grew, how long it took for grapes to grow how long, the flowers, how long they bloomed there before falling to the ground, and bringing there the insects...

How long I wandered there, I do not think I shall ever know, or seek to know. I remember the day the bell rang, and I remembered against my hardest tries, and I remember how the hoofbeats sounded, as the world changed again, and the sense of the world after was shattered.

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thulcandran

May 2013

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