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The Town Set Aglow

By zhcombs All Rights Reserved ©


a short story

For as long as people can remember, The Town Set Aglow had been famous for its light. The vivid luster was the brightest in all the worlds. If you looked at it, your heart would fill up with this wonderful feeling and your mind couldn’t stay focused for weeks- you wouldn’t be able to stop thinking of it. The only thing more fascinating or wonderful than the light itself, was the long-forgotten way the light came to be.

It was a winter, cold and dark. The country had been filled with losses after the wars and plagues. No one said a word. Several alliances had been broken. Famine spread. People became jealous of the rich even more and thieves came forth. The trees of jealousy, heartbreak, grief, and hopelessness grew and grew and soon that was the only kind of oxygen they breathed.

Finally, the leaders of the towns Dim and Gloom spoke with each other. They didn’t know it, but this was step one to a brighter future. Gloom was getting threatened into being destroyed when the town Obscurity was jealous of the once rich land and wanted it. The leader of Dim was desperate for something new and agreed that Gloom should move into Dim. The people saw this as something weak and they were unhappy and didn’t know the right way to express their feelings, so they argued and fought with the people of Dim. When the fighting and disagreements were at a short break, one villager said, “I remember when there were stars. I remember when there was light.” They all went to bed that night thinking of what the man had said. Most of the people remembered it and longed for it. The tree of sadness grew taller yet and the sky grew even darker.The children asked what it was like. Everyone’s answer was beautiful and bright. The children whined and tormented their parents, as they were unlucky and had not seen it. The tree of envy reached the clouds.

Eventually, the towns had a meeting to end the discord, but instead they only discussed the children’s disruptiveness. The conversations went nowhere because they agreed with the children and wanted light. The meeting ended with no conclusion.

One day, a child tried climbing a tree. It was a little girl. No one could see the light because of the trees and she wanted to reach the top and see. The trees were too slick and smooth for anyone to climb. More children came and they tried and failed. The adults found them and realized the only answer to this mess was light. One man lifted up his child and stood on his toes, however the child still could not see. Then, they realized everything they had done in the past was what kept pushing the trees taller and stars further away. Suddenly, a man lifted another man and he stood on his shoulders. A woman climbed and stood on that man’s shoulders. This repeated multiple times. They climbed taller than the trees and as their ladder of people grew, the trees seemed to shrink. Not just appeared to shrink, but were actually shrinking. The last person to climb up was the little girl. She saw the star next to her. No one had to tell her what to do. She grabbed it. Everyone went back down and the light shredded through the remaining tree roots. Something strange happened that day….. people smiled.

People came from all places to see the star. When they left, they felt happier. Everyone thought they felt happy because of the star, but the little girl knew different. She knew that if the dreaded darkness grew in the towns again, the light would go out.

The towns were no longer Gloom and Dim. In fact, they became one town. That town was The Town Set Aglow.  

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