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Hymn of the Night

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Candle

I was walking through the streets, minding my own business, when suddenly a guy grabs my shoulder.

“Excuse me, could you tell me where I can find the station?” he asked me. I frowned angrily. How can he?! Just grabbing my shoulder and ask me such a rude question?

“No, I can’t and don’t be so impolite!” I walked away with a firm pace, leaving the scary and threatening man behind me in the middle of the street. I shook off the worries from what just happened. It was a beautiful day and I was not going to let it be ruined by some jack-ass.

I kept walking, in the direction of my home. I wanted to get home before noon, because I needed to eat before going to sleep. The people around me were very active that day. It was crowded downtown and the shops had opened their doors early in the morning. It was a hot day, almost boiling hot, exactly as I liked it. There were no clouds, which made it even better. The only thing bothering me was the wind.

There was a breeze flying between the houses and shops and I wanted it gone. Just as I wanted the fishmonger gone, who was standing on the sidewalk I was walking on. Now I had to cross the street, where I obviously have the priority, but the drivers always shout because they are too asocial to stop. But I started to walk to the other side anyway.

“Don’t cross!” somebody shouted. I looked around and saw a woman standing there, with wide-opened eyes. She looked a bit hypnotized or at least "off the world" and I wasn’t sure it was a good idea to follow orders from such a person. So I shook my head and crossed the street. Big animals on wheels with one or more drivers in them were racing in front of me. A particular blue one raced towards me from the left and screamed, agitated.

That wasn’t surprising, I would be agitated too if there were humans sitting inside me and using me like that. I shook my head disappointed and kept walking. Other cars stopped too, some in better condition than others. A red one was all bruised-up and exhausted. I wanted to talk to the owner, but he looked really shy, waving his fist in the air. I mean, you should be waving with your whole open hand; it draws much more attention if you do so instead of with your fist.

I opened my eyes. It was completely dark outside and the wind was blowing loudly. I stepped out of bed, fast enough to feel dizzy. I liked that feeling. I walked to the bathroom and entered the shower. Soon the cold water embraced me. The drops falling on the stone floor made a funny sound, perfectly in harmony with the louder footsteps in my hallway. It doesn’t take long before the wind cries hard enough to participate in the hymn.

I turned the shower off and got dressed again when the footsteps stopped. The anthem wasn’t the same without the irregular tip-tops. I went downstairs to the living room and suddenly a child’s laughter echoed through my house. I smiled. It was completely dark down there, so I lit a candle and put it on the glass table in the middle of the room.

The footsteps commenced again, but this time they were upstairs. I think it was in my room. The wind was still crying and except for the little sphere made by the candle, there was no light to be found. I heard a soft moan and not long after that, there was a weeping sound rising out of the dark corner. I slowly turned towards it, still with a little smile on my face. A girl was sitting there, with her head on her withdrawn knees. She was most certainly not older than seven summers.

“What is it, sweetie?” I asked carefully. I didn’t want to frighten her. She lifted her head and two beautiful, eyeball-less eyes looked at me.

“I want to join the song,” she said.

“But you already participated in the hymn yesterday and the day before yesterday,” I explained to her. She sobbed.

“But why can’t I just hum along a little?”

I sighed and nodded. She had a beautiful hum, that was for sure. At least I made her very happy, because she showed me her sharp, red teeth and stretched her legs in front of her.

Suddenly a loud scraping sound pierced through the air. It was time. I turned my back towards the little girl; I knew she would join the rest of the children in a few minutes. And they were sitting in a circle around the glass table. Some looked at me with an expectant expression and others stared at the candle. One of them moaned softly. The wind was crying louder than before and the footsteps moved from my bedroom down to the living room. The little girl finally sat in the circle too and started humming.

I heard a tick on the window, and a few seconds later another, and after that a third, and a fourth. The ticks had joined the hymn and sounded every few seconds. One kid fell in with a hum, different than the one of the first little girl. A boy clacked with his tongue and another warbled a shrill melody. After a few minutes, one last girl commenced singing a high, filial-voiced song, incomprehensible for anyone who doesn’t know the lyrics or the language. I loved it.

And so echoed our hymn for the whole night; wind, ticks, tip-taps, hums and voices together in one harmonious, tantalizing anthem.



Written by Dervall 
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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