Image: Sherri Terris
In the increasing silence, a lone wind blew across the bitter landscape.
The wind knew the days when it could caress the leaves of the mountain slopes, dipping the heads of bluebells, and upsetting the boughs of trees, causing them to shake slowly and steadily in retaliation. But those days were gone now.
A monstrous footprint smote the land – the wind whistled a little mournfully within it – three toed, and monstrous heels with spurs.
The land was scorched and trampled. Leaves lay baked into the mud by sun that no shade remained to stop. Nothing but rain and more mud, turned the ground a uniform shade of brown, and even new seeds and sprouts seemed to be biding their time before springing up, lest the catastrophe return.
A howl shook the air, troubling even the wind, as she blew over the western bluff and down into the next valley, buoyed by the breath of rising moisture.
Trees ground into matchwood. Mudslides capturing huge scores in the ground of claws and tail.
Villages crushed and torn apart.
The dead scattered – a glade rendered a scene from hell. Here not all the trees were destroyed – but that only lent contrast to the carnage, as human lives were cut short, men, women, and young.
The trail of destruction led east.
But the wind was flowing south.