|Janaera's Tear by J. L. Ford
Amella opened her eyes and looked around. Her instinct was to embrace these people staring down at her, so she reached up and hugged them.
"She's well! Let us sing!"
Amella found herself opening her mouth and singing as well, though she knew not what she was singing. It was instinctive and beautiful and she sang for as long as her family sang. When they were finished singing, Samur, her father, spoke up.
"Well, now, let us speak. We haven't much time."
"No, we haven't. Thanks be to Janaera for giving us any time at all! This has certainly not been a good season for us."
Amella looked around and noticed everyone was lying in a circle, looking inward at each other. She laid down and followed suit. She felt a cold sensation, but couldn't find a way to express it. The room they were in was blue and the walls seemed so thin. Amella thought she could press on the wall and it would give way, but she didn't dare. Who knows what happens when that happened.
"You're right Shayana, Janaera does not weep so often, anymore. Which is why we must discuss quickly. What have you felt? Pranna? Why don't you start us off."
"Father, I have meditated and prayed since I first awoke so long ago. I feel Janaera's pain. I think she's stopped weeping because she cannot cry anymore. She is in too much pain."
"Pranna, don't be so blasphemous! Janaera is highest of high! She could summon an infinite number of tears if she so chose! No, don't be silly child! Does anyone have anything serious? Makir, how about you?"
"Father, I suspect the problem is that she's unhappy with us. I believe some of us do not believe as we should believe." Makir stated emphatically, shifting his view from Pranna to Amella.
"Makir, that is a serious accusation! Amella, you do not have to answer to that!" Samur said. "We are running out of time, people! Can you not feel the pull on our world? Every minute that passes we are descending into oblivion!"
"Father?" Amella spoke up.
"Yes, Amella, what is it?"
"What did I wake up from?"
Samur stammered slightly before recovering, "The Great Sleep, Amella."
Amella was now playing with the floor, which seemed to be just as flimsy and soft as the walls seemed to be. "What is that?"
"Well, our world does not exist for long. We exist when the Creator, Janaera, weeps. When she is no longer sad, she closes her eyes and we are gone. When next she opens her eyes to weep, we awaken. Why do you not remember this, Amella?"
"I remember sleeping, Father. I remember dreaming. I remember a fantastic world! Here, we are all the color of the world. The world feels so thin. This all feels so very thin."
"Amella, this is distressful. You will stop speaking of such things before you upset Janaera. She does not weep when she is angry! We must continue to find ways to make her sad, so she will weep and allow us to live!"
"Father, you know not what you speak of! Why should we want to sadden our Creator?"
"Amella, stop talking! You are only proving Makir's point! Perhaps she is infuriated with the blasphemies that this house speaks!"
"Father, there's something more. I can feel it. I wish you felt it, too. Maybe we can feel it." Amella pushed with all her strength against the wall of the world until it finally gave way. The coldness began to envelop her much more quickly than before as she began to descend much faster than the rest of her world. She looked around and saw the rest of the universe, rising up to meet her. Out beyond her reach was the world she'd dreamt of before. She saw great curls of brown, rising up on shafts of darker brown. She saw small lines on a gray background slowly change, taking shape. She saw small round dots, two of them! Those dots were placed on a much larger dot, but she saw tears form and slowly cascade down. She knew those must've been eyes on faces. But they were smiling. They were happy and they were crying.
"That's it!" Amella cried out. "We must not sadden Janaera, we must make her so happy she cannot help but weep! Like these faces weep!" But as she called to her father, she suddenly felt very sleepy. Her mind slowly sank away as darkness took over. She felt her descent end with a very soft landing, then she felt nothing. Amella had fallen asleep.
It was a hard spring, Jack and Christine knew better than anyone. The farm couldn't survive another drought like last year's.
"Jack, I think this is a mistake! We just need to give it some time!"
"Christine, we ain't got no time! The farm's goin' tits up and there ain't a damn thing we can do about it. We need to sell what we can and move to the city. They got a lot of factories and they're always hirin'! Junior and I can find work there and you can take care of Missy and Sara."
"Jack, think of the kids! We can't just pull 'em out of school!"
"Christine, listen to me! We can't survive another drought! The bank has already threatened to foreclose on this farm! I got a fellar from Texas offering to buy out the loan for the land and give us a little extra to get us a place in the city. It's a good offer!"
"Jack, I don't want to move to the city!" Christine shook her hands in the air and screamed at her husband until they were interrupted by Sarah, their youngest daughter.
"Mommy! Daddy! I don't want to move to the city."
Jack bent over and picked up his daughter, "Sara, I don't either, but we can't afford to stay here."
Sarah emphatically bobbed her head up and down, "Yeah we can! I asked God to send some rain."
Jack sighed, "Kiddo, I wish it was that easy."
It was then that the skies darkened. Rain clouds started moving in and within minutes, rain started to fall. Everyone was outside, dancing around in the rain, playing and having fun. The trees even seemed to green up almost immediately. And little Sarah was catching raindrops with her tongue.