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"Warning" (2020)



"๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฌ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต, ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ'๐˜ด ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต. ๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฌ๐˜บ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ'๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ."โฃโฃ


An old farm tale, a saying passed down through generations, Jakub had heard that sing-song sentence many times over his formative years. Now, running the family farm himself, he couldn't help but smile when a ruby rose morning broke over the fields left to him by his late father. Memories aside, a red morning usually meant little more than windy weather and a smattering of rain. Nothing too taxing for brave Jakub.โฃโฃ


Wellington boots up to his knees, the farmhand paced towards the sheep pen. Walking brisk steps beneath the scarlet sky, still, mild air belied the lore's warning, and it was only upon his approach, that Jakub inhaled the putrid scent of ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ.โฃโฃ


Stretching out across the pen, all fourty-five sheep lay dead. A hand covering his gasping mouth in utter surprise, Jakub dared a closer look at one of the felled livestock -- they hadn't been slain by a beast, an optimistic fox or hungry wildcat, no, instead, each sheep's body ๐ž๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ž๐ in a chasm of jutting ribs and exposed guts. Hot, rotting insides spilled out onto the grass, as if each animal had been decaying under the sun for ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด. But just last night, Jakub had counted every woolly mammal, fed them, led them safely to bed. There was no way they could have festered so violently in those few short hours.โฃโฃ


The chicken coop fared the same. Feathers and innards, each fresh egg spoiled. Pails of fresh milk sat curdled in the cow shed, alongside burst bovine bellies. Every animal on the farm succumbed to a spontaneous, savage slaughter.โฃโฃ


Eyes darting frantically, searching for the culprit, Jakub turned his desperate gaze skywards. The red sky, the cursed omen passed down through fathers and sons, burned a fierce, cloudless scarlet. No rain, no wind, no sound, the air entirely motionless, Jakub's heavenbound gaze began to rake the eerily glowing sky. It was gone. ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ฃ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™œ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š.โฃ


Originally written and shared as part of Verbuary 2020:ย 

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