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  • Moha Tungare

A New Beginning

The water had begun freezing over the small shack. Candace and her brother Micheal were helping their parents restock the fireplace with wood. Micheal always prided himself on being the strongest in the family, but he was having more trouble than usual picking up a big log of wood. Candace looked over at her brother, rolled her eyes and said,” You can't just swallow your pride and ask dad for help can you?” he snorted and replied,” Yeah I could do that, but I've heard that pride leaves an awful aftertaste and mom’s soup is not going to be enough to wash that down.” Before she could retort, their dad entered saying that they had enough firewood now and instructed the both of them to go help their mother in the kitchen, while he left to work at the mines.

As the day went by, the siblings and their mother waited for their father. They waited for hours, sitting on their small little sofa which was hanging by a thread. The afternoon ticked away, 5:00 pm soon became 11:00 pm. Their father had yet not returned and mother was turning restless. Micheal then reassured his mom and sister, saying,” I will go ask around town if anyone knows anything. If I don't come back in one hour, only Candace will come out to look for me because if dad comes home someone needs to be there to receive him.”He then threw on his tattered jacket and rushed out into the icy, cold snow-covered roads. Michael spent hours looking for his father. He scoured the roads and alleyways and asked at every shop and house he could see till he came to one house which finally ended his search.

It was a little hut with a thatched roof and one crooked little door. When Michael thumped the door an old man opened it and grunted “ I'm sorry lad but I have to rush out to help with an accident”. Didn't they tell you about the crash down at the mines? At 6 o’clock or so the entry to the mines got destroyed by loads of rocks crashing down on it, and then when they were finally able to free the people only one man had survived, I think his name was William, but yes, everyone else is as dead as a rock. I feel that for the people coming out of the mines they on their deathbed, if only they would have been given some water and medicine, right now we would not have had widows, mother’s without their sons and kids without their fathers, however, if the world was so selfless then what would have been the difference between the earth and heaven.”

Hearing this man Michael was stunned. He felt paralyzed, almost as if he was the one stuck down at the mines. He felt breathless and paranoid. Micheal then hurriedly thanked the old man and rushed home, just to see his sister and mother in tears. Candace told Michael that William, who was their dad’s work friend, had rushed home just as he had left and told their mother and sister about the mishap, but as Candace recounted the story she noticed her mom walking towards the kitchen, gasping for air. The two kids immediately rushed towards their mother to help her. They made her gulp down two glasses of water, but nothing worked. Candace and Michael watched as their mother was engulfed by seizures, writhing like a snake till she finally went still. It wasn't just her body that went still, it was her heartbeat, the blood pumping through her veins and her entire life that froze and withered away with her soul as she departed the ungrateful world just to meet her husband in a much more beautiful and selfless place.

The both of them mourned the death of their parents for months until one day Micheal came home with a bad fever. He told Candace that at his school he had just fainted in the middle of the day and had been taken to the school nurse. She had said that he was burning with temperature and would immediately need medical professional help. Candace did not know what to do, but somehow she put herself together and for the many days she slogged for her brother. When the doctor came in for a check-up, he knew Micheal only had a few minutes left. He was slightly perplexed as to how Micheal's condition had worsened so much over just a few days but he let it slide.

Candace then excused herself and went to bring her brother his last bowl of soup. As soon as Micheal took the first spoonful of his soup, he started wheezing heavily. The doctor fiddled with his things trying to do anything to save Micheal but failed. As Candace sat by her dying brother tears gushed down her face. She could not bear another death. Just then, his pulse went silent. The whole room was so quiet you could hear an ant scuttling in the corner. Candace gave her brother a hug, stood up and wiped her tears. Then with a dangerous smile whispered, “your end has been my beginning dear brother.”


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