Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The River Runs Red for +Bianca Lee


The river ran red. It was beautiful, in a strange way; the leafless trees arched over it like claws, and the white snow was tinted pink at its bank.

She liked to come here and just stare at it. At one time in her life, when it was normal water, she could remember coming here to fish with her father. She could remember pulling up carp and catfish, often bigger than she was; but now they were all dead, forced belly-up by what was in the water.

She had decided, not long after it happened, to find the source of the red. She had put on a dark blue jacket, a her pink backpack, and a colorful winter cap over her brunette hair. She could remember how she looked so determined, how her mother had laughed at her, saying she was "so cute."

But why didn't anyone care? Were they just going to let the river remain like that?

"No." they said. "We're just waiting for the authorities."

Waiting? While the river turned red?

That's what she thought now; as a child. she just accepted it. She was a curious little girl, though; so she set off down the river bank, stumbling over rocks and branches, with her little pink backpack filled with sandwiches.

She never did find out what made the river red.

Now she was an adult, though. She was taller, faster, and had lost her baby face. But she was still curious. And so she started down the bank once more.

The snow crunched under her feet as she walked. It was just as rough as she remembered it; there were spots where the trees were so thick you could barely make it through; she had to get down on her hands and knees and begin crawling. In other spots, there were large rocks that one had to climb over; in these slippery winter conditions, a dangerous proposition,  but she couldn't lose sight of the river. She didn't know the countryside as well as when she was little and could get lost easily.

So she climbed and she crawled to get to the source of the red. The beginning of the insanity that had started in her youth. She crested a hill, and found something unexpected; a cliff. It continued on, deep into the black; the bottom black and twinkling with what looked like stars.

But they couldn't be, could they? The river couldn't be flowing out from the gap?

Was the Earth bleeding?