Firmly wearing the ring, kissing passionately,
putting on the gas mask like an expert, she closed her eyes,
in a calm voice, “Just let my blood dye this white dress!”
Wheezing out of breath. The boots stamping on stairs echoed in the dark empty house.
The street map hanging on the wall of the dim room in which people circled. The noise rushing close gradually drowned their lower talking voices.
“Guys, emergency!” eyes swept toward the door, “they demanded… tomorrow morning… before 6… end the occupation… the army’s departed… live bullets…”
“In the west or the north?” While he was taking breath, Ethan asked quickly.
“West, point 12 saw… the army’s stationed by the bridge.”
Marking on the map, he muttered, “repressing by force… for real…”
“Is everyone informed?” Dora stepped forward.
“Yes, we all got it.”
“Remind them to keep calm and follow the plan. No panic. Most importantly, NO weapons, NO violence. Don’t let them justify firing.”
“Yes, I’ll emphasize it. Informing them right away.”
“Thank you. Take a rest earlier.”
Dora stood alone by the window, her face in the shades, only the eyes glowing. “We’ve got so far.” She said.
“Do you think people will retreat?” Ethan came and held her waist.
“Ancestors have taught us with their blood. People got purged even when they’d surrendered. The party never give any chance.”
“Meanwhile, they are also out of their means.”
“Are you ready?”
“We’ve got to take the first step, then people follow, just like the first day.”
“Sure. And we know we won’t survive once they fire.”
“Yes, are you ready?”
She closed her eyes.
On the rooftop, silky mist flooded when the dawn broke. Down the streets, roadblocks seemed scattered but still quite firm. Streaks of sunshine penetrated the milky air. The slender shadows of buildings paralleled tidily, pointing to the armed vehicles coming one by one. Soldiers in dark uniforms were crawling in every crack like ants. As the monstrous diesel cylinders beating, the deep booms of war drums arrived.
While the breeze brought a song from the corner, petals took this chance to dance in the air. People surrounded a crude wooden platform. Blessing spread from their smiles.
“… For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…”
Though it wasn’t a luxurious venue, Dora’s white dress seemed even glorious.
Poof! Gushed out the dense white smoke, and started biting as the wind blew. One after another, coughing couldn’t be hold within the crowd.
“… Until death do us apart.” Tears brimmed in her eyes, washing off some pain of burning, but couldn’t wash any complicated emotions.
Moved, excited, or sorrowful?
A tense atmosphere approached, with the tremors of air, dispersing the peaceful ambience.
Firmly wearing the ring, kissing passionately, putting on the gas mask like an expert, she closed her eyes, in a calm voice, “Just let my blood dye this white dress!”
In the halo of the sun appeared two figures, stepping out of the corner holding hands, walking to the middle of the street. People emerged, filling the empty street, hand in hand, side by side, walking, rustling on the gravel. There was no shiver of unease, only steps of determination.
Dark, cold, soulless muzzles stared like the eyes of monsters. The extraordinary silence was incongruous with the extreme tension. As people moving forward, the faces of both sides became distinct.
She looked at that eyes under the helmet. Aren’t they innocent? 18? Maybe 19 years old? Where’s that classmate joined the army? In the cold uniform, how warm is your blood?
Leaving the gunsight, the soldiers couldn’t help looking at each other through the lens of masks, bobbing the throat. Two beads dropped from his forehead.
Hearing the steps, the flaps of clothes, the breath, the flowing of sweat, they were so close that the beats of hearts from opposite were like drumming.
But inside the tiny holes of the radios, there was still nothing coming out. Soldiers peeked at their commander, doubting if he was still breathing with that statue face. He didn’t separated his lips. The expected order was still hung in the air, gradually expiring, spoiling, waiting to be blew away by the wind with singing.
That moment, the newlyweds’ fiery faces brushed the icy weapons, bringing the warmth of the sun. The frozen atmosphere melted. The tense shoulders collapsed. Even the rifles drooped like willow.
The soldiers accepted the flowers from the people. They seemed to lose their directions, wandering in the crowds.
The fists dropped. The tears slid. The petals drifted down. Only the songs of people ascended, up to the clouds.