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At the stroke of midnight, the skies parted and golden rays shone upon the arid land lighting it up like day, instantly transforming the barrenness into a verdant paradise.

The grass beneath their feet felt like velvet, not that they, children of the barren lands, knew what velvet was. Their feet had only walked the gritty sands and the occasional thorns that littered their path.

Now, feeling the soft, moist grass with the burning soles of their feet, they marvelled at its lushness. The canopy of green leaves above their heads was a cooling sight to their sore eyes. They could hear the gentle flutter of wings and the sweet cries of birds hidden from view in the thick foliage. The murmur of flowing water drew their eyes to the beautiful sight of a crystal clear stream gushing forth through shrubbery and finding its way through boulders strewn around. The air was moist. It soothed their parched skin, moisturising it as it blew. They gulped it greedily, savouring the cool feeling. The fragrance of flowers it carried filled them with hope for tomorrow.

Then, just as suddenly, the skies closed, locking the golden rays away.

Day had turned back to night. In the sudden darkness, their eyes hungrily searched for the trees of their longing, the stream of their dreams. But the harsh sand beneath their blistered feet told them the true story. It had all been just an illusion. They were still children of the barren lands, with nowhere to go. Hope for them was the certainty of the sound of beating wings of circling vultures the imminent dawn would bring. In silence they waited for their deliverance….

Prompt: Your post this week should start with, ‘At the stroke of midnight…’

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda