Once Upon the Ruins

Bernardo Aparicio Garcia 

The bitter blend of sweat and blood on her forehead glistened under the mid-afternoon sun as she darted between the mounds of brick and stone on the street. The sky was overcast with towers of smoke that watched like sad sentinels over a dead land that seemed to fade away down below. Now that the guns had been quiet for two hours, Sara could hear nothing except her own heavy breathing pounding in her ears like blows of thunder. She felt foolish for straying so far from her company, but she had heard cries for help that she could not ignore. Despite much frantic searching, however, she had found nothing except a growing sense of danger. She felt surrounded by an invisible wall, and she understood that she needed to get out and away but could not see how. The day drew slowly to a close, but still one could see the morning in her eyes.The rest of this story is available only in the print edition of Dappled Things.