The City of Shadows by Anushree Nande

She seems trapped in that state of perpetual youth reserved for mannequins.
Her voice so fragile that I fear the words would break if I interrupted them.
Russian dolls
With innumerable diminishing replicas of themselves inside.
Like entry into a gallery of mirrors, fragmented
Into endless reflections.
What does she hear when she truly listens?
The world loses its memory, day by day, unknowingly,
Feeling all the wiser the more it forgets
But then a purple blade of light cuts through the clouds and generously sprays its hue over all and everything in its path
The spirit of the city seems to stroll most proudly through the streets.
The magic in all the wood, the freshly-ground coffee, the lightly spiced tea and the incredibly comforting hot chocolate.
She smiles at me from the past, unable to see the flames that close in on her.
Days of ashes.
To truly hate is an art one learns with time.

Source text: Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind

Anushree Nande is a Mumbai-based writer, editor and proofreader with MA & BA Creative Writing degrees from Edge Hill University. She has short stories, essays and poems published on platforms like CommuterLit, When Women Waken, and Flash Fiction Online, among others. Anushree also writes about football, books, movies, TV for websites, blogs and literary magazines. Her micro-fiction collection, 55 Words, is now available on Amazon as a part of Underground Voices’ E-Series. See: tinyurl.com/z6jxfy2