Caravans no longer come through the valley

The invisible ghouls have scaled the only weak point in our system—our fragile human body—and altered our planet so nothing remains the same. A newly widened street across from our home, that we were so proud of, appears a desert stretch. The work of erecting sturdier roofs at the school where my children go and the technology we’d been creating at our workspaces has come to a halt. We’re now at their mercy, as we watch, helpless and disempowered, a march across swathes of land mocking our carefully crafted and strongly guarded territorial borders. We scramble to fathom the collapse of our defenses, in healthcare and management, as multiple shields continue to give way exposing our bodies, the most vulnerable, to attack. My kids and I hear the deathly silence permeate our parks, schools and offices and embark on a timelessness never experienced before, as dates and weekends do not matter. Our world as we know it is changing forever and we can only wait.

Mandira Pattnaik writes stories documenting the people and atmosphere from her country of origin India. Her work has been accepted at The Times of India, Commuterlit, Cabinet of Heed, Spelk, and Fiction Berlin, among others.

See more of Mandira's work in 8.2