A Hopeful Melody
Written by Ourali
This work was last updated March 13, 2016
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(Inspired by Transformation from the Brother Bear soundtrack. When they start singing, you can listen to that song while they do to get the full effect. Listening to Remember from The Lion King soundtrack helps as well.)
Exhaustion plagued every fiber of her being. They had been walking for weeks without an end in sight. Akani was becoming impatient, which surprised her greatly. She wasn’t used to feeling impatient. Panting softly, she looked up from the flattened grass path that she followed to look around.
Around her were countless bodies, old and young and of every colour and size. Many, like her, were looking down at where they stepped. Some, she suspected, were concentrating on not getting an ankle caught in the coarse strands, but others wore facial expressions that echoed what the girl was feeling. The vast majority did.
Breathing in sharply and fiercely closing her eyes, she forced back the tears that stung her eyes for what felt like the millionth time in the past few weeks. Pretending to grab at the tight strap of her bag, Akani pressed her hand against her broken heart as it pounded with every step she took. Biting her lip, she looked up to the azure sky and towards the heavens.
Somewhere, out there, lay the rubble of her garden, her house, her kingdom and her heart. Out there, floating listlessly, was the remains of her planet.
Switching her eyes from the sky to the ground, she made herself concentrate on every step. Akani hated that she could tell in exactly which direction their old planet was. Now, the whole of the I’ra population was moving as one towards the West in an effort to leave behind those whose goddesses had destroyed their one and only home.
She thought back to the last years of her life there. The planet had grown steadily colder since she was born. Her father had always made a point of grumbling about how the area where they had lived had been warm all year around. She remembered the cold biting her cheeks during the long winters, but she also remembered the temporary sunlight that would rain down on their little home every summer for a couple months. Akani smiled as she thought back to her garden, but it was fleeting; even the plants had stopped flowering in the last summer.
Now that Akani understood why, she couldn’t help but hate anyone that couldn’t control the same element as her.
It’s all their fault, she thought. The words explaining that the Goddesses had been arguing for nearly a century and that they had caused the gradually breakdown of their world stuck like insistent grease in her mind, refusing to be rubbed away. There were a few who had taken sides but had stayed away from the fray: Malakineth, Kaluré and Sithenel.
Malakineth had been busy with keeping their precious planet together. Kaluré had flown around their world countless times, cleaning the atmosphere and keeping it breathable while juggling the responsibility of carrying messages between the Goddesses and the other deities out there. Sithenel had been concentrated on trying to keep up with collecting the souls of the dying bodies. For that, Akani thanked them, but she couldn’t help but feel like they should have been more proactive in trying to stop the fighting.
Been more proactive in keeping their mother Goddess Obijia from dying and causing the planet to break apart.
When the whole of the remaining population had been plopped down on this planet, the fighting began on land instead of in the heavens. Every element blamed the others. Chaos ensued. People starved, fought and murdered each other in an attempt to prove that their Goddess had been in the right. Barely any celebration occurred when news that Obijia had come back to life. Everyone had been too concentrated on themselves.
This caused the I’ra, her fellow people, to finally take their leave in the middle of the night and make for the West in attempt to hide and live in isolation. Would it be forever? Akani didn’t know, but she didn’t care. Her blood still boiled at the memories of everything that had been said towards Malakineth.
Her clothes had been made for colder temperatures, and she shifted uncomfortably in the sweaty outfit she had been wearing non-stop since they had left. Looking up once more to glance ahead, Akani found herself staring at a distant mountain range that soared so high their jagged peaks were snow-capped. The effect was stunning in the broad daylight; they stood tall in perfect resolution, their edges crisp. Wanting to see more, Akani jumped to see the bottom of the mountains. She could just make out the tops of a huge forest, and hope rose in her heart for the first time in a very, very long time.
It took a few more days, but soon the whole migrating population hit the edge of the forest and began snaking in between the tree trunks. With every step, Akani began feeling excited. The loss of everything she had known was still fresh, too fresh to even begin to reconcile, but now they were all climbing towards a new place where they could call home.
When the first sung note rang through the trees, Akani welcomed it. It was as if she were expecting it without knowing that she had been waiting for it to happen
The song began softly, echoed quietly by a few among them. It repeated, however, the song restarting seamlessly. Each time it repeated, more voices leant their music to the song of mutual pain and of new beginnings.
Eventually everyone was singing as one. The different pitches blended together into a melody that flowed up and through the trees, surrounding Akani with a sense that she wasn’t alone. It was a hopeful melody, bright and springy by the end as it sped up with their steps. Soon, everyone that could was running, jumping over fallen branches as the first peals of laughter joined the song.
The people moved through the forest quickly, reaching the point where the land began its steady incline towards the top. Up and up they climbed, some settling down once in a while in caves or in sheltered areas. Akani followed her family up and up, watching as her people dwindled as they found new homes. By the time they reached the final place where they could settle, they were only two dozen families.
That night, they sat around a large fire and looked up at the stars together. Akani watched as the sunlight of the two suns faded into the colourful tapestry to the glowing nebula above. Surrounded by people she knew, by people who loved her and had suffered the same burden, Akani finally had the courage to look towards where their old planet was, and to let her tears fall one last time as everyone around her began singing again as one.