GLOOM

Diminutive creatures were munching on a dearth of day-old crumbs on dirt, and taking some into the tunnel. It would be wet season soon. While they marched to and fro the mound, a grim cloud loomed over from afar. The teasing wind blew even harder, relocating a black floating balloon to deflate where the crawling crowd was.

Now drop it!” the wind demanded. “This isn’t the place. I’ll drop it where it’s needed,” said the cloud. “I’m not taking you anywhere until they’re all out?!” bellowed the gust as it started to move away, flying elsewhere. “Oh, you’re cruel!” shouting back as the wind whooshed away.

Ants saw how quickly the skies turned gloomy at the time of day when the sun should have shone brightest. Rushing footsteps shook the ground, waking up lazy grass strips from siesta.

Don’t you have respect to those who are resting, Red Crawlers?” came the sleepy tone of a grass leaf. “You’ve been resting since last night, and besides—” the ant faced the blade, “—don’t you ever get tired sleeping? Get up, or you’ll get wet!” Then it rushed off. “Are you crazy? That’s my food you’re talking! I’ve been waiting for it,” mockingly said the grass before it went back off to slumber.

Everyone else was in a hurry of getting even half of the job done. If wet season was going to hit the land sooner than expected, then they would have to work harder to get more food into the storage. Otherwise, they’d be dead before it was over. With the rain’s threat to fall down, a few brave red soldiers were up for a battle. Female ants were sent back home along with their antlings.

It looks like we’ll get a heavy downpour today. Make sure the water won’t leak through when they come knocking. Tuck the little ones to bed!” the leader announced.

No one was left immobile. Each went around helping. Crumbs were securely put into the safe-keeping. Some warriors continued to get all the littlest pieces while the others dared to look for a few more to take home. Every tick the clock made, the skies appeared darker that it scared the sun away. The dark cloud saw it all— fear, uneasiness, worries, anger— but the wind wouldn’t get its satisfaction. Just when it began mewling beyond control, streaks of light pierced through it so suddenly, absorbing such a heavy load, and then the brightest face slowly appeared behind it, extending rays until they could get to where they were needed most. The warmth it shed was a sheer comfort that lightened up a day’s mood.

My time isn’t up yet. Nightfall will come later. And you, my friend,” the sun turned to the cloud and continued “have other important business to attend to, I suppose,” Smiling, the cloud cheerfully answered, “Of course, I do! Now that I feel lighter, I don’t need the services of some wicked wind to take me to my destination. I can fairly manage well. Thanks, my friend!” the cloud then crawled away. “Come back when it’s time,” said the smiling sun as some more warm rays sloping down, rewarding a hard work.

© Gheeneil

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