Ame no Yume
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flash fiction genre, emphasizing objectivity and distinct characteristics of a scene existing in order to break away from audience subjectivity.
At that time there still roamed many travelers, though, few carried names. The mountains falling to hills, trees fading to pathways, water no longer sleeping in natural courses, people had a lessening use for the stories and observations the travelers brought into the cities, towns, and villages where traveling often retired and news of any outside world could not reach otherwise.
As the sky darkened, the sun retreating from the nights' purple playful storms, the people of the smallest village exercised familiar practices: windows shut and locked, animals in sheltered quarters, out door lighting extinguished, chairs placed on their sides. Once finished and they inside private dwellings, the village became lonely to look at and tears could not be held back - or so felt the only girl in the village without a family.
The villagers told her to hurry, to be ready like they; night had not much further to creep to cover them. She told them the night would not roar - the rain fanned their faces immediately - and that she would instead tonight wait for the morning and endure any callers. They argued briefly, reminding her she held no family and that because their village was smallest, not even a traveler would make it his destination. Her eyes steadfast on the path that entered the village, she silently refuted their request for her to take nightly refuge. They turned from her.
With memories of nights awake listening to the storms outside her empty house plodding through her mind, she thought of retreating from the cold, however, she lost the will to move at that moment as the blackened figure of a man beaten by the weather shuffled, slowly, towards her village. She had always known travelers wore the night while the village and its people offered no open arms. He trailed nearer, and she cried at sight of him against the village's night. When his steps subsided at her house, she fell, weeping, opening her door for him and he accepted.
Sitting at the fire inside and drying, the traveler could not see the girl outside her door as she continued to cry with the rain, but as the rain slowed, the fire enticed her and she drew to it, and to the traveler.
Her exposed, hazel eyes, short, well-kept soft brown hair, slender and malleable body, and fine-tuned skinned hands complemented the traveler - sullen and black eyes, loose, knotted, long grey hair, firm, bent body, and worked hands. There they sat, girl and traveler, and spoke of many things including the lands the traveler had seen and of the people of the girl's village, and though their languages and words differed, they found understanding in one another's voice. The sun rose.
The villagers looked for the girl with concern of her having stayed outdoors during the night. They found a fire breathing only red ash and two cups partially filled with tea. The girl's empty house was certainly now completely empty they said to themselves. The oldest man in the village admired the path that led from the village and noticed a rock glowing, reflecting the light of day. He removed a wooden piped instrument from his shirt and blew a deep melody - cracked lips, slow breath, glazed eyes, aged heart.
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