The village lay nestled in the bosom of the mountains, forgotten by time. Where once laughter rang out in the plaza and children played in the courtyards, now only silence remained. Weeds threaded through the stone steps leading up to homes abandoned long ago, their hearths cold and filled with dust.
Through a cobwebbed window, the remains of a life peered out at what once was. A room waiting for its occupant to return, aching to feel the brush of a hand or to hear the melody of a voice. But the occupant would not come back, like so many others who had vanished from this place.
The village dreamed of the clouds, wistful and white, that once drifted above it. Of the mountain winds that danced through the streets with a gentle hand. Of the moon casting its silver glow over all it surveyed. Of the sound of the creek as it babbled over smooth stones. All this was gone, fading into memory.
And yet, the village hoped. It imagined the clouds returning to kiss the tops of the mountains, as white and pure as they ever were. It conjured the creek awakening once more, water trickling an ageless song.
The village knew it could not reclaim all that it had lost. The people, the voices, the lives lived within its walls were beyond its reach. But it could welcome back the clouds, the winds, the light of the moon. It could imagine them gracing it once more, bathing it in their gentle comfort.
This was enough. To dream of the clouds, the creeks, the winds. To know that even as time moves on, some things remain eternal. The mountains would stand. The creeks would sing. And this village, this sleeping village wrapped in solitude, would go on dreaming. Of clouds, of light, of all that once was and could be again. If only in dreams.