Our world was dipped in warmth; the evenings were painted in hues of honey, and the days were drenched in fiery reds. Sand flew around us like golden rain when we ran and we were always laughing. We used to watch the stars peeking at us through the amber haze hanging above. Our little planet made of diamond dust twinkled in the black sky. You would chase me over the sparkling dunes across the world, leaving trails of swirling dust that could be seen from space. In our world there were two places, separated by a winding river of blue flames filled with hungry monsters. But we were safe together.
Our giggles were songs to which our friends all danced. Our favourite friends were the eyeless birds, they had no voices and couldn’t see, so we sang to them to make them smile. In return the eyeless birds carried us across the blue flames whenever we liked. Flying was the most fun. They lifted us up into the sky and we spread out our arms like wings and surveyed our world. Dipping and weaving through the hazy air like ribbons waving in the wind. When all our friends had danced goodbye and gone to sleep, we would lay back and whisper secrets to the drifting sands around us.
That was when we were smaller, the days were shorter and brighter then. When we had grown a little taller you visited our planet less, but when you did we began to build the great cities. Waving our hands like conductors orchestrating a symphony, the sands followed our fingertips to form golden towers that rose up dramatically from the ground. We climbed every turret and even learnt how to write messages in the stones. When we got tired and laid back to admire our creations you whispered less secrets, but I read every letter you etched into the walls and guarded them like treasures. You were braver than me, and cleverer; you made the red silk-rope bridge that fluttered in the breeze so we could run across the flames alone. I was happy you were here but I think this made the birds sad. They danced less that summer, and you didn’t want to sing to them anymore, but I still sang to you.
Then you were taller than me, and you only saw our world twice that year. I spent every warm day running my hands through the sandy waves waiting. I must have fallen asleep, and when I awoke the birds told me they had heard you here. I searched every crumbling ruin and ran across the fraying bridge looking for a sign that your laughter had touched this lonely planet. Then in the tallest and furthest tower I found your words; Goodbye little sandy world, goodbye little eyeless birds, goodbye little laughing love.
I watched the burning sunset sink into the horizon alone, and for the first time our little world went dark.
~ Author’s Note:
This is an experimental short story inspired by this piece of music; https://soundcloud.com/awintory/journey-threshold