Castella and Nimb were twins born on a cloud. I know what you’re thinking, “That’s impossible!” but neither one of them was exactly human. They looked human, and appeared identical, but looks can be deceiving. Castella was as sweet and hardworking as she was beautiful, and she was very beautiful. She dressed all in white, and her hair was like cotton. Nimb could be described the same way up until their thirteenth birthday when he dyed his hair and clothes gray, and became moody and withdrawn.
By the time they reached their eighteenth birthday, Castella and Nimb were more than ready to live apart. So, they left their parents’ cloud in search of new homes. Both found nice white clouds of equal puffiness, but their different lifestyles quickly made an impact.
Castella took great pride in her cloud. Everyday, she would mold it into some new shape or object. Sometimes her creations would be something specific, like a dog, or an octopus, or even a hot fudge sundae with a cherry on top. Other times the shape might be unclear, leading to intelligent guessing games from the men and women living on the ground.
Castella’s artistic expression, while fun, was also a necessity. Some water vapor would be discarded with every new shape she made, and the water would fall to the earth in rainbowed sun showers. Nimb, meanwhile, lacked his sister’s talent and willingness to clean up anything. His cloud grew bigger and bigger, which at the time he thought was a good thing.
“Look at my cloud,” he bragged to his sister, “It’s much bigger than yours, and I don’t have to do anything.” Castella laughed the comments off. She knew what Nimb didn’t. His cloud grew bigger and darker until one day it burst. Nimb was only just able to escape plummeting to the ground with a monsoons-worth of droplets. The people on the ground were not so fortunate. The lucky ones lost their crops and homes; the unlucky ones got washed out to sea, and were never heard from again.
Nimb was too busy looking for a new home to consider all the suffering he caused. If anything, he became more selfish, and his habits grew worse. It took Nimb losing seventeen more homes before he began to understand an important fact…ignoring a problem only makes it worse.
Story by Alex Schattner
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