Niamh shyly touched the stranger’s robe, overcome with astonishment.

“Blue,” Cian said gently. Niamh did not know the word, nor the color, nor any color except grey.

The old men muttered, the women huddled together. But the children were curious.

“Come, see.” Cian led them to the massive steel door which had not been opened in hundreds of years, since the floods, the blistering heat, the scorching wildfires. They froze, terrified.

“It’s safe now. Nature has healed the wounds.”

He opened the door to a miraculous world of fragrance and texture, color and light.

Niamh tentatively took the first step.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
10 months ago

I love this Julie. Beautifully written, it feels so expectant and hopeful. Very nicely done!

Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
10 months ago

I am in awe Julie. I love the gentleness of the narrative leading to the child’s awakening. The image you’ve used is truly beautiful.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
10 months ago

I agree with Carrie, Julie. It feels so hopeful. Like as I hope that nature will heal the scarcity that COVID 19 brought to us. I also love this, Julie. Very nice story. Great job.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
10 months ago
Reply to  Julie Harris

You’re welcome, Julie. Yes, there is hope. 

Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
10 months ago

A gentle story, as Linda noted, but sad that it might take hundreds of years to bring back what we should never have taken for granted. I hope we can change our ways now, and not be locked in a steel bunker for centuries!

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Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
9 months ago
Reply to  Julie Harris

A question, Julie. I tried reading your story out loud to a friend, but I don’t know how to pronounce the little girls name. Could you help me with that?

Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
9 months ago
Reply to  Julie Harris

Thanks, Julie. Those pronunciations add another dimension to the story, and also help me read it aloud.

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
9 months ago

A beautiful story, Julie, a gentle reminder and full of hope. Nature is a wonderful healer and, if we can encourage a few more to work with her, such a miracle might happen before our descendants are forced into that grey world. Well done  ? 

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
9 months ago

At the same time an optimistic and pessimistic take on our environmental situation, Julie. Your story is very well written with many small, important details thrown in. I love it that it is the children that are open to the new situation, while the old people are skeptic. While reading it, my mind went to Plato and his story about the prisoners in the cave. Do you know it?

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
9 months ago
Reply to  Julie Harris

Julie, I have tried to figure out what you are trying to tell us about those names, but sorry to say I am at a loss. This is all I can come up with: From Niamh/Neeve I can make associations to “never”, to “knee” or to Spanish “nieve”, meaning snow. From Cían/Kee-an, I associate to “keen”, to “can” or to the biblical name Kain with all its implications. It will be interesting to see what other readers come up with. This is as far as my little brain can take me.

Lyric The Great
Lyric The Great (@lyric-the-great)
8 months ago

Despite the fact that there aren’t many words, this story is overall beautiful, and I think you’ve done an amazing job here!

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