Short Stories

Short Story: Tranquility

It started with one sage sitting on a mountain, the revolution. It swept through the city starting from the first mind that had touched the holy man. On an old noodle place run by a husband and wife, who had inherited it from their parents, it jumped on to others. At first, it brought harmony to all of those who had taken refuge from the cold rain that night and eaten at the restaurant. Harmony that filled the bellies better than the special noodle soup. As the people went homes, they spread the art of being content at the moment. The revolution took over the city in a week. People sat cross-legged at their porches, drank tea at the park, or soaked their bodies in the cool breeze of the autumn air. They listened to the migratory birds sing their last songs and the grasshoppers play their fading tune. All was perfect; everyone was at peace. Then came the first visitors.

No one thought anything about the missing people. Instead, everyone saw they had wandered farther into the city or the mountains to find their peace. But then more disappeared. Not only around the noodle place or in the city. Other areas that had been touched by harmony lost their daughters and sons. No one acted upon it. They let their children vanish out of existence, concentrating on pushing their feet deeper into the grass and feeling the soil as they squeezed their toes. They gave no thought to the screams at night or the bones and blood left behind in their kitchens, living rooms, and yards. So it was. The remaining had their inner peace.

Only the faithful followers of the sage’s mind let the visitors eat their muscles and tendons and drink their bone marrow without a sound. Some would barely even clench their teeth to suppress the scream wanting to come out of their mouths. They would soothe their death by brushing their fingers against the soft fabric of their shirts, repeating their mantras: existence is nothing but a moment that passes; it holds no value; it has no purpose; it just is, and then it is gone.

The noodle place stood still. Just the bones sat on their benches as the fish rotted on the counter. The radio that had been left on played the same song over and again, Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby.

Thank you for reading ❤ Have a beautiful day!

© K.A. Ashcomb

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