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  • Writer's pictureMarías at Sampaguitas

Flash Fiction by Jacob Greb


As the trees make music, his head makes structures. So easy for him to bend the metal and form it to a weapon. So easy that in fact he became disgusted by his abilities long time ago; but the world hasn’t changed. It’s still the same black and white colour. There are still the strict rules to divide the right from the wrong, and divide the people by such equation. As his fingers sink to the mud, the empty and lifeless cemetery grows darker and the drizzle becomes a roaring thunder and a downpour. He didn’t make it happen, although his sister possessed that power, he has missed her. That is what happens when he tries to chase away the dreadfulness of his misspend life, a downpour, and the only remaining blank tombstone stands at the corner of the graveyard. No one bothers to raise stones and engrave them with grievances and names anymore. There is too much death to keep up and care.

A sweep of wind shakes the black leaves. Their music woos death’s welcome as much as does his appearance and he throws his body up to the air, levitating above the ground for a moment before crashing down to the mud with the thunder. The anger has overtaken his damaged body, but he has a duty to uphold. Judge and jury, the house of courts disbanded centuries ago. There was no need for them as life had little meaning and a swift execution was much feasible remedy. The populace overrun the land that fed them and the Clerics began to hold the virtue of knowing best. All the scriptures direct so; but he knows it is a merciless job, or at least he has begun to feel it. After all, the man’s body is already decomposing in the mud in front of him, what is left to do is set it on fire. Ashes to ashes, let the land replenish itself and vegetation to flourish in the bodies of the deceased.

But as simple as it is for him to liquify metal, he lacks the ability to ignite a spark, and in this rain, the body of the man can only be bestowed as a gift to the roaming wolfs in the nearby woods. At one point, they had a ritual for it; now it’s as simple as removing the cloths and setting the body to a fetal pose, as if sleeping in the eternal abyss. A heavenly welcome. That’s the only reverence left.

He leans as an old man would bow to his master removing the man’s kaftan. His head hanging with disappointment looking over the man; his bare feet firmly settled in the ground; his teeth clenched. This is duty of the Cleric, to reiterate the last rights, thank the dead for their nourishment.

“As I praise you, my divine, the celestial beam of light, the earth, and sustenance,” he murmurs and presses his palms to the man’s soles. “Sleep in amity.”

How easy it was to snap the man’s neck. How easy it is to take life, only because he was granted his abilities, as if he was chosen because only few are chosen. Those elected with their powers, become the Clerics, and he had no right to refute such responsibility. But this is his last hunt, he promised himself that.

“Sister,” he whispers. “Sister,” calling her. “Sister Amanel,” pleading. “Turn me to dust.”

But as always, she doesn’t answer, because she has been gone to her eternal sleep, and the rain continues to pour, washing the dirt from his fingers. With a flick he uproots the bare tree; it is obviously dying; and he bows to whisper, “Sleep in amity.” He knows that with another flick he can uproot all the trees at once but that would be wrong and wrong is punishable by death… and as he’s about to rip another tree from the earth, he stops mesmerized by something he has never seen before. A leaf that looks like a leaf. A leaf that only holds two colours. Black in the rain and white in the sun. This however is neither and he has no name for it.

A leaf that looks like a leaf but it isn’t black and it isn’t white.

“Amanel,” he whispers, the first name that always comes to his mind. “You will be Amanel. Distinct like her smile,” and as he touches the leaf, another turns from black, and then another. His fingers rise from the leaf and point to the sky. The vast blanket that turns black in the rain and white in the sun. It has always been so. The black and the white. The right and the wrong… and maybe he isn’t able to ignite a spark, but the sky, the sky he paints Amanel.

Jacob Greb is a pragmatic introvert, living a quiet life with his wife and a twelve-year-old feline named Pretzel. His work spans from struggles with mental illness, life, love, and at odd times science fiction. Jacob’s work of fiction and poetry has appeared in Stigma Fighters, Two Drops of Ink, Terror House Magazine, and Magnolia Review.

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