August 4th, 2019

Journaling at Stonehenge

Death

Liloa goes to Marelle, late one evening. The fire's died down, the sun's long gone, and clouds cover the stars. She speaks quietly. "Are we dead?"

Everyone's used to you listening, perhaps, or maybe she doesn't notice you sitting by the fading coals. Marelle smiles back at Liloa, but seems a bit sad. "Why do you ask a thing like that?"

Liloa's words come quick, like they're bubbling out of her. "Because the campfire's the same each night, no matter where we've traveled to. Because the stories you all tell make no sense. Because you grow strange crops I've never seen before. Because the stars are wrong."

She pauses, there, but Marelle says nothing, waits expectantly. You think about the stars, but you could barely see them as a kid even when the sky was clear. You don't know what they're supposed to look like.

Liloa starts again, hesitantly. "Because I went back to my village."

Marelle nods slowly.

"Because I went back to my village, and I saw someone that I knew, and I called his name, and he looked away and didn't respond. And the paths I knew so well seemed strange and uneven. And I ate a banana, and it tasted of ashes and dust."

Marelle sighs. "The Liloa you used to be is dead, perhaps. You certainly can't go back. Those choices have already been made." She seeks Liloa's eyes. "I'm sorry."

Then, more firmly. "But the person you are now is alive, just like the rest of us. We're alive, and making new choices. And maybe you can write yourself a new story."

Marelle looks away from the ashes, off into the darkness. "And if you can, maybe I can too."