This post is part of the June 2011 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month’s challenge is a simple descriptive setting.

It was raining in Heden. This was evident in the way its citizens scuttled to and fro in the few open spaces, avoiding the heavy droplets as best they could.

It always rained in Heden. There was a faint shimmer to the bright, bizarre fabrics worn by the people that indicated waterproofing, and each person shed a wake of droplets that collected near thousands of drainage grates.

It would always rain in Heden. There was no way to be sure of this, but the water-worn and rusted surfaces of the Towers suggested it. Looming up into the ever-dark sky, they seemed resigned to an eternal pelting from the neverending storm.

The original design of Heden had called for six of the great Towers, forming the simple hexagon shape found on many of the great neon billboards and television screens that dotted each Tower much as lichens dotted the occasional real rock. The Towers had grown together, fused into one great shapeless mass by centuries of construction, destruction, rust, and rainwater. The simple glass walkways that had connected them had been long shorn of their panes, and hundreds of homegrown, rickety, winding paths of iron and steel had appeared to supplant them.

A monitor was suspended above one such improvised walkway, placed to ambush passersby with its message. Its bright, flashing image wasn’t an ad. Ad Boards were hard to afford, anymore; people who wanted to advertise just added more crumpled paper or laminate fliers to the mass that coated every surface reachable by human hands. This screen was an Info Board.

Info Boards were there to ‘illuminate possible interpretations of information for the purpose of educating the people’ according to the Boards themselves. This particular Board was playing the ‘History of Heden’, and everyone passing beneath had seen it before.

Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:
dolores haze
Ralph Pines
Lyra Jean


The silence begun after that argument lasted far longer than either could have predicted–over thirty years passed before the sisters spoke again. If this seems an excessive amount of time, remember that both felt themselves deeply and unfairly wronged and that both maintained that a full and complete apology was necessary. As both were proud women, neither offered one; as both were nervous women, neither suggested one.

It took a chance encounter to bring the full weight of those lost years to bear on the sisters, a chance encounter with undertones both grim and laden with kismet. Under their maiden names, since both had been divorced–their personalities causing as much friction with spouses as with sisters–found themselves in the same hospital room due to simple alphabetics, both with the same complaints.

Though there was an initial shock, the wall that had build up over the years soon came tumbling down. The real hurdle, therefore, was not in resuming communication but in relating to one another to contents of those lost decades and the loves and sorrows held within each.