Nightfall by Jason Anderson

To Alfretta Moody.


Last night was rainy so the ground outside had turned into mud. As the water dribbled off of the roof, Alfretta reminisced on her childhood. Running bare-footed in the grass, and becoming one with insects, and trees. Sunshine. But now dusk was upon her, and she couldn't even go back to that place and rest with the tree which had grown and will continue growing until the end of natural eternity. Perhaps after nightfall she could go back and say her last goodbyes. Maybe. Mildred was running in the mud like she used to. She was simply a child but she was not stupid; she was genius like. Loraine walked in the room and carried a large pail of water, our mother. She grabbed a ladle and filled it with water. She wanted to feed it to Alfretta but she knew she wanted to savour what independence she had. She slowly sipped at the water gazing out into the rain, watching the tree branches sway back and forth with the fluidity of the water.

"You can go get help. Yalyu said he'd be more than happy to help," said Loraine.

"If it is time, then it is. There is no point in delaying it. The cycle will continue. Soon I will become dust, and go to the Hunting Grounds," she said very soothingly.

"They will land. I have dreamt it. The sun was nowhere to be found. He refused to look upon us that day. The seas, tainted with red"

"Yes. I have seen. It is inevitable. We see, but cannot prevent. It is not our place. We cope, and we do it well. That's all we could do for the last hundred or so seasons"

"I also hear a noise, but cannot comprehend it. I hear screams in my dreams, but suddenly silence"

"I have seen it. Man's ambition turned to unimaginable power. I don't know when, but it will bring our mother to tears. She is strong but everyone has a limit. But she will cope. She is a master"

"I don't understand why," Loraine asked.

"Even our mother has an end. But we can't look back. Time will continue and you must flow with it. Do not become a rock in the river of time"

"I understand. I only worry about Mildred"

"She is strong. Stronger than both of us. Her power is great. She will cope and continue," she put her head back, and let the water flow through her; she felt its power,"We will continue throughout time and life, Loraine. My date is here. My love is strong for you, but don't ever look back because you will only see regret, and stagnation. Cope and move on"