The circle in the sky was becoming bigger by the day. It seemed as if it was getting brighter as well. Minna wondered if she was the only one who noticed it. In all the old pictures and paintings, it had looked yellow. Her mother told her that it used to look like that back then. She didn’t know why it looked different now. So many things were different nowadays, her mother said that it is useless to worry about things that they couldn’t change.
The circle that appeared when it was dark hadn’t changed, though. The elders said that it was because the creatures who lived in it kept it safe. But the one in the light didn’t have that option, nobody lived there, although some people said that the creators used to. According to them, they had abandoned it right about the time everything started changing. Her grandfather said that even the climes were different now. When his grandfather was younger, the hot climes were shorter than it is now. Water from the sky was harder and whiter and lined the paths. He showed her a picture of his grandfather as a boy, holding a ball of the white stuff. The boy in the picture looked happy. It was difficult to think of him as her grandfather’s grandfather.
Minna had only ever known the hot climes, and the occasional water season. She had always loved the water season. Everything looked and smelled so fresh, and the heat abated, at least for a little while. Her mother always warned her not to get her head wet, so she would sit at the top of the entry channel of her home, with her feet dangling out and draw on the wet, cool, soil. But they didn’t have that many water seasons anymore. The past hot clime had lasted for more than one light turn. Now they had to go farther than before to collect water. Minna didn’t mind it that much, she liked the walk, but even after getting there, there was no guarantee that they’d find enough water for even a day. That made things a little difficult.
Every night as she lay in bed, Minna looked up at the little blinking lights in the sky. Her greatest wish was to see one of them up close one day. As she looked up at them today, her thoughts were much closer to home. She could tell that the elders were worried about these changes. She had come upon them whispering about something or the other. They would hastily switch topics and paste a smile on their faces when they saw children. But she had caught a few words in between, enough for her to realise that perhaps these changes weren’t entirely for the good. She had never thought about them so much before. This was just how everything was, and she had accepted them as they were. Although she did think it would’ve been fun to have the little chittering, flying creatures around, of whom her grandfather spoke at length about, or the white water. No one knew why they were gone, or if they will ever come back. All they knew was that it was getting hotter and that there wasn’t enough water anymore, and that it was because of the circle in the sky.
- In response to prompt 1 of February writing prompts, circle in the sky.