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Spark

Such loud silence.

There wasn’t a single creature in sight.

The dark rocks were rooted in a darker ground that bore cracks all over.

The withered leafless trees punctuated the endless expanse.

It seemed like a dessert, a lonely abandoned place.

There was an eeriness. It drifted through the decaying flora. Unlike a good breeze, it smelled of death and waste.

It should have been dark because the skies were. The skies were pitch black; no moon or star hovered above. Perhaps there was no sky at all. Just emptiness, infinite darkness.

But there was light. So many little lights. One flew by, gliding aimlessly in the air. I watched it closely. It was a pen, a broken miniature pen with a soft aureate glow that gave it the semblance of a tiny sun.

There were so many of them. So many tiny suns. I watched as they floated in thousands in the stillness, bumping into one another on their way to nowhere. Each one had in its centre a tiny object, a miniature of a random thing. There was one with a knife, another with a pair of scissors, then a guitar, and then a screwdriver. And they were all spoilt, broken along their frames.

I walked through the numerous suns, they had hijacked my curiosity. I wondered how they sailed in the air. I wondered where they had come from.

Then I saw it.

It was a stone well.

 

It sat some yards away from me.

 

It stole my curiosity from the hijackers and it called me unto itself.

 

I acquiesced.

The little suns seemed to be concentrated over it. And for a brief moment, I was very sure I had seen one more pop out of the well as I drew closer.

I looked down this cryptic well. It was filled with water. But beneath the membrane of silvern aqua, there was a view of a world below, the world of men.

I watched them, hurrying up their lives. Most of them were dimmed—grey and dull—moving through a monotony they called life. Their lives were the expression of mediocre standards set by their societies. They lived without thrill. They lived without wonder. They lived without living. They lived only for a living.

A few were aglow though, most of the young ones. But soon they started to lose their glow as they went through an education that crippled their true selves. They were no longer themselves but an expectation of society. They gave up on their dreams and passions. And that was when they forgot who they were ... that was when they forgot who they ought to be ... that was when a little sun would bubble up from the shiny waters. The suns would leave their hearts and end up in this stale land—broken, unused, and wandering in nothingness.

I watched as a new sun came up. Rising from the core of a young boy. His glow left him and he joined the drab grey masses. The new sun broke through the silver film and the object in its centre, a metal carving of a treble clef, snapped as the sun joined the thousands on this side. Alas, the young boy would sing no more.

There were so many greys and so few glows. But the glows that persisted brought forth some magic. They embraced their true selves and filled the world with their genius—their diverse genius.

They were athletes.

 

They were discoverers.

 

They were inventors.

 

They were leaders.

They were musicians.

They were scientists.

 

They were teachers.

 

They were artists.

 

They were alive.

 

“Such a pity! So many of them stop living so early,” a soft voice behind me said.

 

I turned in affright.

 

In front of me stood a young black-skinned girl wrapped in robes whiter than light. She gazed at me with her deep intelligent eyes.

Perhaps it would have been saner to ask her who she was but all that came out of my stuttering lips was, “What place is this?”

 

“This is where spark comes after humans lose it.”

 

 

 

-Samuel Owusu Achiaw

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