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Salvation: A Short Scene

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Gustavus chapter.

And so the party, long worn and tremendously weary,

Set out quietly into what remained

Of the old countryside. Through the blurry screens of their sleep-encrusted eyes

The moor loomed uncertainly — dull, dark, and impenetrably vast.

The sky above lay pigment-thick, all traces of night’s blue

Muffled in steely gray, the faintest possibility of light

Completely obliterated, as on those long, dreary January nights

Marked by incessant snowfall. Even their footsteps fell

Soft and soundless, sinking into the damp

Earth as they rustled through unseen grasses and shook off the clinging

Fingers of thorny underbrush from their boots. If you thought

About it in the right way, the night was almost pretty, almost touching —

Gorgeous, even, in the wild fear of its wide eyes. It looked just like a child.

Somewhere beyond the old fencepost, the wind got all the stars to join in howling

At each other. It had been ages since they hadn’t cried themselves

To sleep. Branches scraggled and whapped at their pantlegs, at the songs of

The crickets — the crickets choked up startled at rabbit feet thumping softly

In the weeds — the rabbits hid while the moths flickered their wings

Like the few feeble stars that still managed to shine out through the smog.

They had nearly forgotten what this sort of silence sounded like.

It was so rare these days, so lost behind the roar of

Bursting shells and broken glass and screaming, hate-filled eyes.

So sad and fragile and moon-soft. They did not break it, marching single file through the dark. Broken bones, broken promises, broken people, broken spirits — they were so very tired of the sound of breaking. They would not break this.

One by one, rustling through the underbrush and the purple shrubs,

They picked their way across the field and hillocks

Deeper into the abandoned wastes of the moor before them,

Shoulders burdened but hearts fortified, at least for the time being. It was too dark

To see the blood on the ground, or even their own weary bones and purple-lidded eyes,

But still they looked up at the stars — silent and wrinkled and gold — still they listened to the silence — unbroken and silver and cold — and dared to hope.

Salvation lay ahead, somewhere along that long and weary road,

And it had only to be believed in.