“We are children of the mist, our ancestors used to say. But I think they were wrong. We are of the earth, like the animals; for us to return we must end up burnt; so we commit ourselves, to this death inherent in life, to let our bodies die when our children have only just reached maturity ready to take our place and repeat the cycle.” Meridule paused, looking forlornly into the fire that burned and cremated the house that had been destroyed as the sinkhole beneath it had given way. "But we come here this evening to remember the lives of Sauel, J'nifer and their newborn lost far too early to this tragic event. Their hard work lost to the community, but the memories we have of them live on and set the example of what we ourselves must live up to - working for the community, helping raise children when called on, and friendships that never faulted. They go with the winds to settle in the lands somewhere else and be a part of the world again from where we all once came."
Jansuell glanced upwards as fire rose and shone orange against everything. This Dim Day made light again. But upwards with the flames would go the bodies that lay in the pit below, the wood floors, walls, beams and window frames, charring up and rising too with each spark that flung out, each wraith of smoke that billowed; all of it rising and dissipating outwards eventually to be a part of the clouds above and then depart outwards, away from land.
...away from the land. Like clouds drifting across the skies to coalesce into the mist.
Maybe the ancestors were right. We are of the mist. And my parents just wanted to know where we came from, or at least, just what was beyond. The same worlds as ours? The same neighbours growing the same fruit, farming the same crops? Why is everyone else so happy to just shrug their shoulders and say “It’s just mist. There’s nothing in it, there’s nothing beyond it.”? There are other people beyond the hills in the opposite direction, there must be other people beyond the mist. Surely. Why can’t we get to them?
Why can't we be like my parents and just try?