they had never seen before; with its center blacked out,
the brothers finally saw their world in the light of day.
To the far west, over the sea, the sky morphed red in
a single heartbeat, alight from horizon to horizon.
The brothers turned from the coast and began
marching to the mountains, each on his own side of the
river. It began to rain. They quickened their step. In the
mountains there were good places to hide. The rain did
not bother them, nor the livid sky, but if the black hole
left the sun, the brothers knew they could not be there to
bear witness and yet survive.
They waited in dark caves for over a year. When they
emerged the world was renewed, as if they had been
sleeping all along. They shuffled along the riverside to
the edge of the sea. Vast crimson dunes covered the
wasteland, just as they remembered. They sat in the
dark of night and waited.
When they were hungry they caught fish.
When a ship passed along they demanded a hefty toll
and hid the gold below the dunes, amassing new hoards
of treasure to replace what had been lost.
When the sun rose they burrowed into the sand and
waited for dusk to fall again.
They waited by the sea night after night, dreaming of
a trinket they had seen long ago which might one day
drift within reach again. They waited, and a century
slipped by like a river in the dark.