I came back from the sea when the moon was full. The houses were so close to the beach that the sand and broken shells were trampled into the narrow streets. Over the whole place hung the smell of home. The smell of cooking and spices drifted on the salt air, ruffling my hair and welcoming me home. In the other small, whitewashed houses family were sitting down to eat, pray, or read from the Bible. Mine, I knew, were still sitting by the window watching. Waiting for me to return to the place I had called home before the sea’s siren call had lured me away. Since then I have seen the world six times over.
My home still bore the scars of the fire that had swept through the town before the first time I’d left. On the windowsill stood one flickering candle. In the faint light I saw their ghost faces crowded by the window. Ghostly voices greeted me.
By morning there will again be only a cinder and they will be gone, but tonight, with the full moon, we would all be together like before, telling stories of our travels in this world and the next.
Echoes of Life
The ghostly images of tourists haunted the arena. They walked around, pointing, talking, laughing. Some fought mock fights while others looked on.
On the other side the gladiator stood among his fellow fighters. All had fought here, all had died here. The sounds of the fighting still reverberated through the arena at night and sometimes they themselves were startled by the intensity of the echoes of their deeds.
Another piece of the arena crumbled to dust. No more tourists came. Some archaeologists rummaged in the ground for clues to the past. Still the lives of the lost warriors echoed on.