Cold, wet stone was once warm, new stone. But as her feet hit the ground bare, the beauty is lost. Her hair no longer shown in the wind, instead it hung wet to her shoulders. The air was thick, the smoke filling the air with the smell of destiny. Screams filled the girl’s mind, and she held herself as she ran. The images flashed through her mind. The piles of newspaper. The woman. The eyes. The girl slipped then, and her hands slapped the ground. Small cuts could no longer be felt. Her once nimble fingers swollen and clumsy. Quickly and gracefully standing, she listened for the sound of the water. The calming laps filled her ears. Running, the girl gasped and fled through the woods. Kara. No, the girl blocked her thoughts and focused on the path in front of her. As she rounded the corner, she collapsed onto the shore. The lake glared back at her, and the girl was silent.
Silence was familiar to these parts. The girl’s hands slid into the sand. Small rocks fell into her soft palms. Stone that was once so warm. The girl stood. Her ripped, white gown billowed in the wind. She spread her arms and took a step into the water. The clock stopped. The birds stopped. And the girl was silent. This time, she would forever be so. Yet she knew that time would pass. She could already hear the rumors. But the lake would do its job. It was called Silent Creek for a reason. As the girl's face disappeared under the water, she opened her eyes. Just before they closed for the final time she looked at the stones.
Ash stood in Silent Creek. He was aware, yet he was not awake. His smooth hands caressed the spear as he swished it around in the water. He was silent and he feared it. So, Ash cleared his throat. The sound was shelter. Ash noticed a black tendril floating among the water. He sucked in his breath as he slipped the spear into the water and swished it around again. It hit solid. Ash looked around, feeling alone. He reached in and felt cold skin. Braving himself to breathe, he grasped it and began slowly pulling up. The girl was in his hands. Ash walked to the shore and handed her to the EMT standing by. He tried to stand tall; a first year should not do these jobs. Silent rain began to fall, and Ash heard the silence running through his head. He turned and raced through the trees; the stone under his boots feeling dead. He shook his head and sprinted through the woods. The silence was no longer present as the town chatter filled his ears while he walked in to the square. Strangely enough, he hadn’t known the victim of the day. Emma came running up and embraced him. As he fell into the arms of his sixteen year old twin sister, her arm slung around his shoulder and she helped him to the tent. He collapsed into the dying chair, soaked. Emma’s torn, yellow gown was dry, and she undressed and dried him with it. Ash wiped his eyes. She began to chatter about the news, but Ash just stared out the door. The only thought he could think was the silence. Emma shook his shoulders and Ash looked at her. The town felt the silence now. As his mind began to carry him away, Ash heard the silence; saw the stones. He snapped aware. He thought of Silent Creek. He could hear voices in the silence. They screamed for the body-boy.
Cloth was rough to Emma's hands. She struggled to sew the shirt; she had never made clothes before. She placed the cloths on the dirt ground and stepped out of the tent. Ash was running through the square, wet once again. Her soft, needle-pricked hands shook. Emma wiped them on her yellow gown and raced to meet him. He fell against her, shaking, crying. She brought him back to the tent. She stripped down and covered herself with an old shirt she had found on the ground outside the abandoned, burned factories. Hunger burned her stomach. But, instead of complaining, she gave her dress to Ash to dry off. The dead ground underneath her bare feet did not feel comforting. She began to recount the day, hoping to lift Ash's spirits. He stared out the tent, so she shook him, and they looked at each other. The only sound was silence. It was too common around Silent Creek. But, if she listened carefully, she could hear the screams of the girls and boys brought from it. She didn’t want to hear those noises.
Emma watched the EMT walk through the square holding the latest. Emma gasped and fell to the ground. Her soft hands covered her eyes. She knew that girl. Emma pushed her brother’s hand away and raced out of the tent. She turned the corner and stumbled, falling softly into the nearest tent. The woman inside quickly helped her up as Emma wildly looked around the tent. Kara wasn't here.The woman, worn and a too weak to do anything about it, pointed to the creek. Kara. Emma ran hard around the bends; she was the fastest here. She made her way around the last corner and slipped. The rag she was holding fell, but she didn't have time to pick it up. She burst in the water and jumped around Kara, pulling her out. But she was silent.