The Tired Old Bell and the Ringer

 There is an old tired bell that sits in the middle of an arch atop a well. It was rung once, long ago. For the world had collapsed within itself into crumbling chaos, and it was a time of desperation and darkness and despair. 

    The ringer felt all those things, additions to the soul that seemed a permanent part, so entrenched, so much a permanent fixture, that it was as though they had always been there.

    But they hadn't.

    Once the ringer's soul was pure, and filled with longing wonder.

    It was these things that were permanently written on the ringer's soul.

    It was these things that gave the courage to walk, and then to crawl, and then to paw a hand at the bell rope, a last act before what appeared an inevitable bitter end.

    The bell rang out.

    Crystal clear and cutting.

    The sound that rang was hope.

    And it was all that was needed to build the world anew.

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