2018-10-21 21:12 fiction flash-fiction Benjamin Brood

The Song

Singing settled into the valley. It washed over those houses and hamlets, a series of voices that came from everywhere, from the sky, from the trees and rocks and river and from their own tools and even their own children. It was a harmonious confluence, this steady group of voices, which they attributed to ancient ghosts or gods or spirits. That each of us can hear them, that each of us is in connection with this world of voices — it was at first an amazing revelation. Then over the weeks and months they wondered why such a power would be so relentlessly beautiful. Mean, unforgiving, punishingly beautiful. It was gorgeous and transcendent, how was it possible a thing like this existed? Perhaps it doesn't exist, some said. If we deny the ever-present voices, maybe they will subside. The weeks and months turned into years. Why are we being tormented? Over time the voices washed away the houses and hamlets. They were worn down into smooth obliterations, a kind of polished, perfect beauty that no man or woman could withstand. The few remaining wandered through the valley hoping to escape this song. The ever present, ever changing song. They put their heads into holes in the earth. They stuffed copious feathers and mushrooms into their ears. They hid themselves in hollow tree trunks. They crawled on the ground looking for relief. They shrieked and howled as they ran naked across the now dry river beds. Without homes or villages, without clothes or tools, they became animals who heard only those voices and the singing which would never stop.