The Occupants

The storm door slammed shut and blew open with an ominous repetitiveness. The wind raged, so strong you could feel the massive gusts through the weakening and weathered walls of the home. Inside, the occupants huddled within themselves, seemingly unaffected by the storm ripping through the world around them. Tearing down structures, flooding the valleys, taking with it the sense of peace the occupants had once known.

The cold had overcome the growingly smaller fire, finally diminishing it, leaving the occupants with a chill that shook their bones and chattered their teeth. The days before the storm seemed long ago, even the first fateful days filled with optimism and survival strategies could not be touched with outmost stretched of fingertips. Followed were the days of tears, rationed meals and grim acceptance. But today was different, it was the seventh day. The seventh day promised to bring the end of the storm. The storm would not go peacefully though, it would take anything and everything it could with it. The occupants being what it wanted the most.

The seventh night had now begun and a new sense of hope had begun growing within the occupants, though they dare not express it for fear of it growing too large. It began to blaze within them as the eerie creaking of the walls softened and the breezes that had been ripping through their bodies lightened. As dawn neared the faintest of smiles appeared on their lips. The occupants now swelled with hope, believing their savior had slayed the storm haunting them. They had been spared. The occupants now rose as a mother, a father, two wide-eyed children, a family. They wept with joy, tears flowing like beautiful rivers down their faces. The family hugged and kissed and continued to weep as they heard the final feeble gust of wind brush against the walls. Everything was well again.

The family stepped outside for the first time in what seemed to be a lifetime. The sun had almost fully risen and everything now appeared still and quiet. It was beautiful and wonderous although everything around them wrecked and dismembered. The occupants could see nothing but beauty though, until the oddest of phenomenons began to occur. The dust, the debris, all appeared to be floating. A deafening booming began to sound, the occupants hurriedly covered their ears and turned around to see the wave. In moments it was upon them, and then beyond them. Leaving nothing behind but a blank quiet canvas.

The occupants had now almost never existed. No sounds of weeping could be heard for miles, there was no hope to swell with and no joy to be felt. There were no last loving embraces or tearful goodbyes. There was nothing.Even the walls they had imprisoned themselves in were now gone. Not a single sign of them was left. If anyone were to ever walk by this barren road again, they would know nothing of the occupants or even the storm that had ripped through it. It would be just another road, but maybe, just maybe, when they felt a slight breeze walking through they would be stuck the strangest of sadnesses.

Credit: Brittany Daniel

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