The clouds sat aloof in the midday sky, unwilling, unable to let the shining light of day through. Dead leaves rustled in the dry wind that passed through the empty streets below, some falling to lie upon the bleached, cracking concrete, as if given life by a restless phantom. Then the wind was gone, fled from that empty place, from the grave stillness it had disturbed; in its wake the permeating silence settled once more.

The trees planted at regular intervals on the sidewalks were withered, drooping sickly over the streets; their roots pushed up through the metal grates that had once surrounded their trunks, slithering across the sidewalk in a desperate search for water in the cracks at the base of the brick walls. Above, ivy spread like a disease over the crumbling facades. The windows of shops and apartments were boarded, damning the rooms inside to eternal gloom, given no relieve by what little light worked its way past the ivy and through the rare cracks. Inside, the air lay stagnant, rotting.

Those who once had lived there had passed away, and as the years drew on, and on, even their spirits had forsaken the place they once held dear, the place they once called home. And as still more years past, even their memories faded, and died.

It was time that wore away that place, time that brought to it the hopeless air of emptiness. It was time that slowly devoured those walls engulfed by weeds, time that spread fissures through the street like a spiders’ web. So it was at last time that turned the town to dust, and it was time that blew that dust away. Only the dreary clouds remained; eternal, weeping.

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