The Stirring Crowd

Just an idea I came up with...unfinished. Might come back to it later...might not.

She could hear it in the distance; the steady banging of the drums, the screaming voices reverberating down the street.  She grabbed her pillow and smothered it over her head trying to block out those dreadful sounds.  The procession was getting closer.  She could almost picture them marching along the cobbled road, clad in their ridiculous blue sashes, brandishing their banners.  The growing intensity of the crowd was not muffled by the goose feathers and their shouts rang deafeningly in her ears.  As they neared the screams turned to song; the sort which stirs its listeners, a hopeful, celebratory song that seemed to surmise the crowds sentiments in its rich and melancholy melody.  As the crowd grew closer the lyrics chimed out more clearly and despite Sabella’s efforts, nothing could prevent her from hearing them.  She pulled the pillow down ever more tightly, but to no avail.  Their voices rejoiced louder.  Hurtling the pillow across the room she leapt from the small wooden bed and towards the window.  Forcing both open she peered down on the scene unfolding below her.    

The midday sun cascaded down on them as they stormed through the narrow streets, along the twisting passages and past her window, their stunted shadows clinging to their feet.  The rustic stone buildings rattled with the force of their feet as they stomped along the unforgiving cobbles.  People by the hundreds were there.  All celebrating, all relishing in this dreadful day.  As she watched them dance past her window, her hands began to tremble with the anger, the despair that was inside of her and then she saw it.  From the corner of her eye raised high in the arms of the crowd was what she hoped never to see.  The cause of all this excitement.  His coffin.  Why did the sight of it shock her so?  She must have known it would be down there and yet seeing it there, brandished that way sent shivers down her spine.  She watched it as it passed in the street below, the sunlight dancing on the pine surface as it rose and fell on its stormy sea.

Sabella raced away from the window, leapt down the stairs and out onto the street.  The last of the procession was passing and she walked along behind them, grief gripping her eyes to where his body lay enclosed in that cheap wooden box.  Her feet moved automatically, following the movement of the crowd, but she seemed not to notice them there.  Their words bounced off her, their rejoicing insignificant, all that mattered to her now was him.  Soon she found she had followed them away from the crooked streets and into the surrounding fields.  Here the crowd changed.  No longer singing their hateful song, a hush spread through them.  The drums faded, the shouting became a murmur and electricity seemed to buzz through them as they made a wide circle.  At the very centre lay his coffin, now more pitiful in its isolation.  Sabella edged around the circle, trying to glimpse it, but the crowd was thick and impenetrable.  Someone was talking in the middle, shouting at the crowd but from the back his words were inaudible.

The End

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