Skip to main content

Bulla

The mountain of putrefying refuse was filled with the tiny bones of discarded infants. Every layer of the garbage mount was proliferated with their decomposing remains. All the way down to the very base of the rotting pyramid which had degraded into a foul liquid. As the city that the dump serviced expanded, so the peak grew higher and higher. As wealth poured in and people prospered more children found their way into the mound.
Lilya lost her parents at the age of nine. She hadn't been unceremoniously dropped into the pile as a baby, but without a family, she had lost her only tether to the wider world and found herself going where all discarded things go.
She lived off what she could scavenge from the fetid mass. She competed with the insects and other animals roaming the edges of the city for any edible morsels that might be hidden in the pile as well as with the other people who had no place in the civilization whose trash they fed on.
The sun was rising over the city. The trumpets heralded the beginning of the new day, and slowly the great urban engine began to hum, and the city seethed like an ant colony. The maze of urban corridors flowed with currents of human traffic carrying on the processes of commerce the most vital function to the continued growth and maturation of the supraorganism.
Lilya may not have had a place in the city, but she was keen on its daily movements and cycles. A new day meant the mountain would inch up just a little bit, and somewhere in that debris would be the sustenance that would allow her to have at least one more day.
She watched a shimmering brass column of soldiers march past her. The appoint guardians of the state paid the emaciated little girl no mind. People didn't like to look at the dump and its tiny glimpse of earthly hell. Even if you ate and had a home today, the terrifying truth was the dump could still claim you tomorrow.
She was following a trail of ceramic jar pieces. When she looked closely, she could see a wide variety of tiny multi-legged creatures tracking for the same thing she was. Finally, she found a large fragment of the jar's round bottom. She could see drops of olive oil glistening in the sun. She quickly snatched it up and began greedily licking what she could off the jagged shard.
She felt something sting her foot. The pain shocked her and made her shriek and jump back. She looked down and saw a fat horned insect biting her tender flesh. She kicked shook her foot and kicked it away. A rose-colored circle appeared on her flesh, just another blemish among the other cuts and soars.
She found a shady spot and continued to extract what oil she could from the piece of broken pottery. She had just tossed it away when she heard the faint crying of a baby. She could see it's shrouded little body tucked away in a crevice of the waste.
She approached it slowly and pulled down the creased cloth covering its face. Unmuffled its shrill cries were suddenly twice as loud. She carefully picked up the child. Lilya arms were weak, but the baby seemed to weigh nothing at all. Its eyes didn't open enough for Lilya to see what color they were. Its face was red from crying, and a whisp of lite blonde hair sat on the very top of its head. Instinctively Lilya gently rocked the baby until it's crying began to subside.
After a while, the child was still. Its breathing was light, and its tiny mouth and slanted eyes didn't move. Lilya gently placed the infant back in the crevice. She saw a small golden pieced necklace hanging around the baby's neck. It had a name on it, Cassia. Careful not to wake her up she slipped the necklace over the baby's head. She rubbed her fingertips over the smooth surface of the small shiny amulet. After a moment she tightly clenched it in her hand and scurried away with her loot, leaving the infant girl for the predators that stalked the putrid mound.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Science and Semantics

Leonard Malcon Warner was one of the God’s that reigned over the modern industry of information. The dimensions of his wealth were such that if any of it shifted in any direction, it made ripples in the economies of entire nations. His investment decisions could irreparably alter the lives of the millions unaware their personal destinies were so bound by the whims of wealth. Aging happens gradually then suddenly all at once! Before he knew it, Leonard was leaving the middle years of his life behind. He repeated every futile attempt to reclaim his youth. The cosmetics, the surgeries, and the models were all expressions of the same tragic realization, Leonard was getting old. LMW hadn't become one of the wealthiest men by accepting any sentence handed down from fate, even if it was what natural law demanded. Warner had a panoramic view of the world, and he understood what moved it. People like him. Reality need never be an impediment to human will. Science is the most effective t

Ghosts in the Memories

It was a bright and mild morning. A few billowing white clouds drifted lazily across the ocean blue sky, the gentle sun reflected off the dew coated grass and flowers, giving the world a shimmer. A human stream filled the streets and sidewalks as the city rose to life. One lonely widower had a different reaction to the beautifully emerging day. Hibiki closed the shutters on his windows, locked the door, and sat his tired old body into a reclining chair in front of a blaring television. To Hibiki, the day’s crystal sky was a dark omen and a visceral reminder of that horrific moment all those decades ago when a flash of light took away 100,000 people. Hibiki had been there when it happened. He was a doctor at the time, and while the bomb canceled the workday for most everyone else for people in Hibiki’s line of work, there was an additional layer of hell to endure. “Please...Please..help my daughter!” Hibiki could hear a woman pleading from the street below. With a trembling hand, he

On the Eve of Extinction

The river was like a massive indigo snake coiling in the shadow of the canyons its eternal flow cut out of the very earth. Somewhere along the watery corridor, settled human life grew out of the muddy banks. The tribe sustained itself on the arterial river, steadily expanding and contracting with the rhythm of its flow like a beating heart. As far as anyone in the tribe knew no other arrangement had ever existed. The river had birthed them, molding sand and clay into flesh, and infusing the husks with its life-giving waters. Life under the desert’s smooth turquoise sky seemed safely stagnant. There was no inkling, no deciphered omens, absolutely no hunch of the approaching cataclysm lurking just out of sight obscured by the landscape’s jagged ridges. Not far from the isolated patchwork of green and brown earth settled by this tribe, the scion of ancient god well into his twilight years was on the cusp of fulfilling his divine purpose. Harmakar was sitting in the dust staring into t