In such a strange land, they found themselves surrounded by nothing familiar. There was the sun, but it was wrong, and the mountains, those were wrong also.
Here, they could not hear The Song, and so they could not sing. Muhlirim knew they would die.
“But all must die, Muhlirim.”
“Yes, yes,” agreed the others, nodding in unison, with their bodies slumped on an unfamiliar hill under the wrong sun.
Muhlirim thought, bending his ear to one side, still half-listening for the song of familiar stars, though he knew he would not hear it. Not here, not so far away from home.
“All must die,” Muhlirim said, “But until we do, we must try to live. Do any of you want to die?”
“No, no,” again, in unison, the lost people spoke, their voices tired and empty and without a hint of music. Monotone.
“Muhlirim, how can we sing?” One of them asked, and nobody answered.
A wind howled over the unfamiliar hill, and they all shivered and their teeth chattered. Some animal that they could not see loosed a desperate cry, once, twice, and then no more.
A girl began to cry, and her father tried to comfort her, but her father, too, was overcome with grief, and he cried with her. One by one, Muhlirim’s people were overcome with grief, until the whole hill was filled with the discord of voices, mourning themselves.
“How can we sing, how can we sing,” Muhlirim asked himself, over and over, while his people withered under the wrong sun. He mumbled and muttered until all of his words became one, but not a true word, only a vibration.
A moan, in which he put all of his aching and yearning and determination, until it became something else. Until it became more than a cry. Until it was louder than the voices of all his people.
Until they all sang with him.
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