Time: 10 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.
“Reconciliation Day” (Inspired by this list of silly holidays.)
The tone sounded on the radio. It rang out, long and steady and unbroken. The people stood, arrow stiff, looking to the sky. Aina found it all theatrical and disconnected. The city of Vironevaeh’s old hatchet had been buried. It seemed irrelevant. So they were at peace with Naenaiaeh. The ancestors of Vironevaeh and Naenaiaeh had fought. But Naenaiaeh was all the way on another planet. No one could get into orbit, much less to other planets. Even communication between the two worlds was recent. So they’d been at “war”. How much of a war can be held between two civilizations that can’t even talk? What exactly is a war that consists of shaking your fist at the bright star in the sky and writing scathing plays about those bastards in the sky?
The tone stopped at last. Aina’s classmate Yosef wiped a tear from the corner of his eye.
“How can you be moved by this?” she asked him.
“I don’t know… how can I be moved reading stories from Earth? Or fiction? People that I didn’t know that died long ago or never existed.”
“Long ago, our peoples were one. And when they were, they were strong. I guess I hope that our unity will bring us back the strength we lost.”
“We weren’t strong because we were one, we were strong because we had technology that’s gone now.”
He shrugged. “Maybe we can regain it together. It would be poetic if our drive to reunite gave of the mechanical means to do so.”
Aina shook her head. She knew why the symbols of meaningless unity bothered her. Declarations of solidarity were just that—declarations. People cut and run when the opportunity presented itself. People told her that she should seek reconciliation too. It was the word on everyone’s tongues these days. But they didn’t know what they were talking about. Isn’t it better to live with one leg than to have a second that might betray you?