Last Song

This story was written just this afternoon and has had minimal editing. Its also a bit morbid.

 

Rain falls down in freezing sheets. Those not dead yet would be soon.

The one benefit of the rain was that it numbed the pain and washed away the blood that had pooled. The rain was hypnotic, lulling them gently into their eternal slumber. The dying seemed content in silently meeting their fate for the most part. All except one.

She had lost all feeling in her arms and legs, and was fading fast. As a last protest to her fate, or perhaps more to the fate of the others, she began to sing.

Her voice was soft and shaky to begin with, stuttering over words as she fought the chill winds. But her pure soprano voice became clearer and stronger as she wove a son that was both intensely sorrowful and eternally peaceful. For a moment it seemed the world held its breath, even the rain seemed quieter, as all listened to the song. One by one more voices joined hers as the dying took up the song.

A choir of hundreds sung with her, mourning the passing of hundreds more, and their own deaths. Like her they had started weakly, but the song strengthened their voices, though not their bodies. They kept singing as long as they could. Strong singers until their final breaths. Their voices flowed across the land, searching.

One voice remained, singing a clear soprano of unsurpassed strength. It drew him like a siren’s call. Forgetting the cold and the rain he pressed on as if in a dream, seeking that voice.

When he had first seen the town ahead there had been many voices. He had welcomed the promise of shelter and company that the buildings and voices had offered. He had worried he would be intruding on a funeral, but was too weary to care. There were no lights ahead though, he noticed now, and no smoke coming from the many chimneys.

He fought the urge to retch when he pushed open the town gates. The road was littered with bodies of both the young and the old. They had not died easily, all massacred messily. He could see the people here had bled to death, only a rare few were killed cleanly. The blood flowed in the gutters still, the heavy rain still unable to wash away its taint completely. He followed the siren song, followed the hope of life.

He looked down each alleyway as he passed, unsure where the woman’s voice was coming from. However when he reached the main square he knew this was where he would find her. Here the bodies had been dragged into a large pile, where their shared body heat might have kept them alive for slightly longer then the others. The woman stammered over a few words, and her voice became softer.

In a panic he began searching every woman he could see, so many of them were dead. She was stammering more now, struggling to get out even the simple words.

He found a woman lying on her side on the edge of the pile. Here shirt was moving, he could almost believe she was breathing deeply. It could be trick of the wind. He hesitated for a moment.

The last note of the song was cut short, the voice faltered. The woman he turned over was dead as well.

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