Darkness from Above

Inspired by Pompeii (Bastille)

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2. Yafna

Yafna. I learnt her name from the whispers that flew around the mill, the day that she arrived. Nobody had seen someone like her, ever before. So fiery, so beautiful, so full of life. Some were fascinated by her, others terrified. It was a bit of both for me. And that, in itself, drew me to her, like a moth is drawn to flame. Every flick of her hair, the way her eyes flashed in outrage, the sound of her laughter…everything about her had me hypnotised, and I fell, like a rag doll thrown off a cliff.

They stood together  for a while, looking the abandoned town in companionable silence.  The question burned on the tip of his tongue, but he didn’t dare to utter the words. It wasn’t any of his business.

She turned to him with a smile. “I lost someone here. Just thought I’d come, to remember…again.”

He hid his shock, and murmured “All of us lost something,” quietly.

She sighed. “True, true. But if you close your eyes, do you almost feel like nothing’s changed at all?”

He laughed, but it was bitter sound. “I don’t have the imagination to do that. I live in reality.”

She just smiled at  him wryly.

 I was drinking water when she first came up to talk to me. I knew it was inevitable, talking to her – she made sure she talked to everyone around. And everyone she talked to fell under her spell. Like I had, the first time I had seen her. It was with a sort of pleasant apprehension that I waited for my turn to come up.

“You’re Jax Arazmin, aren’t you?”

The water in my mouth spilled out, spraying the dusty wall, making it look like an expensive work of art. Some of it dribbled down my chin and onto my  worn tunic. She laughed, and wiped my chin with her hands. They were soft and warm, nothing like my own, which were crusty and calloused from the work.

“Well?” she said, her head tilting her head to the side, like a curious child.

 I just stared at her blankly.

She grinned in amusement. The smile lit up her whole person, and she seemed to glow, literally. I could only gape at her, dumbstruck.

“I’m Yafna.” she said.

“I knew that,” I mumbled.

“Like I knew you were Jax?” she asked, linking her arm through mine. For a minute, I couldn’t breathe, or think. I muttered something incoherently.

But she just smiled that spectacular smile of hers again, and said “Come on, I have something to show you.”

And I couldn’t do anything but let her drag me along.

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