пятница, ноября 10, 2006

A Village

(Inspired by Matsuo Batsho's "[A village without bells – ]")

The first thing I realized when I arrived at the village was that there were no bells. The sun was setting, shedding its last rays on earth and sky. The upper and farther clouds shone with a red and orange glow. Yet, the clouds above the small village were dark. Some stars were appearing shyly above the horizon. Apart from the stars and the clouds, the sky was empty. No bird was seen flying to its warm nest. The air was still. And so was the village.

I walked through the main street, which wound up and down a smooth hill. A few houses were scattered along the sides of the street. On the summit of the hill, a small square was perched in the middle of the path. There were a few empty benches and an old oak, its long branches spreading from its thick trunk. The leaves shed a greenish shade upon the grass.

Night was falling, and it was about time the bells would ring announcing the overcoming darkness. However, I heard nothing. I looked around, gazing at the small village scattered on the green hill. I did not see anybody. I asked myself in a low tone of voice, "How do they live?"

Somebody answered: "We do not live."

As I stared openmouthedly around me, the secret inhabitants of this strange village began to surge from their abandoned houses. They moved in my direction, shouting from the top of their terrible voices. I ran away, as fast as the wind that blows away the flowers in Spring. Then, I was alone.

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