Million Hearts in the Valley of Death

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The stack of red is rather high, but I toss mine in anyway. A few others slide down, like unstable tomatoes piled strategically at the grocery store. I arrived sooner than one would anticipate, but I’m far from alone. A steady line of men and women slowly walk up to the pile and toss, adding to the stack. Over time I can no longer see mine.

The wind hits the dust and we cover our eyes, getting only glimpses of the sand caressing over the red. Then the wind passes and it’s calm once again. Miles of small mounds covered in a dusting of sand remain like grave markers.

“Where do we go now?” I ask a man to my right, rethinking the question… “What do we do now?”

The man laughs. “We go home and start over again.”

A rusted silver bus pulls up and we meander near, robotically boarding one at a time. I take a seat next to the man with the greedy laugh minutes ago.

“I hope you aren’t already looking,” the man states.

My hand moves up to cover my lower neck. “Already? No, I mean why would you even assume that? All I did was sit down.”

“It starts that way, every time. I never should have even answered your question, yet it seems that is the flow of it all.”

“The flow of what exactly?” Looking around I noticed every set of seats has a woman and man in them.

“Love. It doesn’t matter what caused it; we always return, trying once again.”

“Oh, well I’m not looking for it anymore. I,” emphasizing with boldness, “don’t need it.”

“Of course you don’t, neither do I.” The man extends his hand towards me. I’m Randal.” He shakes my hand with great gentleness.

“Beth,” I say, shaking his hand in return.

Randal gives an auspicious smile, taking his time to let go of my hand.

end article

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Savannah Hendricks

About Savannah Hendricks

Savannah Hendricks is the co-author of Child Genius 101: The Ultimate Guide to Early Childhood Development (Vol 1, 2 & 3), with her first picture book, Nonnie and I releasing this fall.