Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Snippet: Cold Alarm
Singing Agathe
The Big Ones had an alarm for every possible disruption. There was a siren for floods and tornadoes, animal stampedes and lost children, smog and plague and riots. We had become very attuned to each, able to recognize a train crash from an approaching swarm of locust based on the composition, cadence and tone of each klaxon. It was an ingrained way of life for many of us, starting in infancy and carrying through to our final days; not because learning the signs was in any way critical to us staying alive, but because at least three different alarms were sounded each day. Visitors were often perplexed, until they were driven off by the seemingly endless cacophony.

But one winter morning, we heard a siren unfamiliar. I remember my little sister frantically shaking me out of bed, terrified because she couldn't decypher what the alarm was trying to tell her. When she saw my own puzzled face, she went shrieking for our parents, who were already up and huddled together in their own bed. The alarm was low, and constant, with just a hush of breath every five seconds.

"The Cold is coming," my mother said with panic in her eyes. It did nothing to calm my sister or myself, as we didn't know what that meant. A snowstorm? Harsh winds with sharp ice? Raiding northn barbarians? But these were all alarms that we would have known.

The siren did not let up until the Cold fell, and we knew what it meant.