Ancient healing tune

by | Jan 16, 2012 | Fiction, Flash fiction | 8 comments

Ancient Healing Tune
By Laura McHale Holland

Golden clouds collided in a chameleon sky the day everyone walked to the shore. By the hundreds, by the thousands, up and down the coast, moms with hair tied back and toddlers in tow, skateboarders wearing bruises like badges, office workers in suits and dress shoes, young couples with fingers entwined, mechanics in overalls, octogenarians in orthopedic shoes walked, ran, shuffled, danced, biked, drove, skated and slid to the end of the continent.

All electronics powered down, all shops locked their doors, all schools closed early; people gathered on piers, in the sand, on rocks and driftwood and watched the crimson sun set slowly in the west to the sound of songs sung by each one of them in an ancient tongue coming up from the fevered heart of the earth.

Colored shards in the sky shifted rhythm to the music until the moment the sun bled below the horizon. All was still for one slippery minute, and then people’s everyday concerns clenched their minds. In the twilight they disbursed to wend their way home, where all memory of the sunset slid back into the ground.

But sometimes in the night, when people are especially troubled or sad, they return to that afternoon in their dreams, and when they awake, they stretch and smile, unaware as they dress they are humming an ancient healing tune.

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8 Comments

  1. Jerry Kohut

    I could watch the sunset everyday especially over the water. As the sun set over the horizon it looks like a red rubber ball and just minutes away for being gone from sight, going, going gone waiting again to start of a new day. Yep there is a healing taken place when there is music in your heart

  2. admin

    I like your interpretation, Jerry!

  3. Ann Philipp

    …’where all memory of the sunset slid back into the ground.’
    What a great line!

  4. Barbara Toboni

    When I first started reading I thought the world was going to end or something drastic like that. I was relieved to see it was just the end of the day. I love seeing the sun set over the water. I lived for many years on the island of Guam. The sunsets there spoiled me. Another gem.

  5. Jo Lauer

    Love your poetic imagery. I feel like I was there. For a moment, I thought you were writing about the last day on earth. I was ready to sign up!

  6. admin

    Thanks, Ann! I hope your writing is going very well.

  7. admin

    Ah, the sunsets on Guam must be spectacular, Barbara. I love seeing the sun set over the water, too. But I recall some magical ones from my childhood in the Midwest, too. There is no ocean there, but there is the vast expanse of the Great Plains, which has its own sort of magesty.

  8. admin

    Thanks, Jo. I’m glad the imagery drew you in. When I began the piece I wasn’t sure where it was going, and I was glad it went in a hopeful direction. I was following the images that appeared in my mind.

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