Sareh listened to dying songs.
Hymns echoed up and down the stone tunnels. Music held the hope of a place without snow, a place without smoke, a place where children could breathe and never again be forgotten. A place where tears never froze on their cheeks.
She covered her ears with her cold pillow. The sound still crawled into her ears, into her mind, caressing it with mournful tones.
Sareh remembered old Pater. She heard his voice talk about an old rugged cross. “And then the sun stopped shining. It wasn’t like it is now. It wasn’t that the clouds covered it up. It wasn’t that the moon hid it. No, the sun stopped shining. You think it’s cold now? Imagine a time like that when there was no sun at all. That is the cold of hell. And that was what he felt, right then. The lake of ice swallowed him up so he couldn’t breathe.”
She gripped at those memories as she wrapped her arms around her knees. The music invaded her memories. Pater taught her the songs. “Even if you cannot remember a story, you can remember a rhyme. And in pain, a rhyme can carry a truth that will bring you relief.”
She had no right to listen to those songs. She trespassed on holy ground. She served the dying; she had no right to listen to them.
Only one voice. There was only one voice she longed to hear among them. A voice she had not heard sing in so many years.
She prayed for Danal.
She prayed for her brother.
She fell asleep with his name in her soul.
Read more of the world of Snow and Smoke here.
Read the previous story, Waiting for a Cure, here.
Read the next story, Coming Home, here.