The Falls

A short story


She was angry at God. She was angry at the cruel world that took away her mom, her best friend

Walking through the wilderness of Washington, Arabella gleefully skipped through the brush of the wildlife, following her older sister, Amara. Amara took the lead through the trail in the woods that led to the Palouse Falls, harshly swatting away any vines that stood in her way with the back of her hand.

Filling the spaciousness of the woods, the tiny echoes of wildlife sang with vigor and encompassed the empty tree canopy. Arabella looked up through the trees.

Splattered with baby blue patches, the sky resembled a Van Gogh painting.

Clouds covered the brightness of the sun that was trying to peek through the transparency of the fluffy white cotton balls. While staring up, Arabella tripped over a root that connected to a tall tree and bumped into Amara. Amara spinned around with a smug frown and stared at her clumsy sister. Amara internally questioned how Amara’s brains could not match her beauty.

Their mom had always said that Arabella was as beautiful as a rose. Her long dark hair fell onto her pale complexion. She had freckles scattered all across her nose and cheeks, bringing out the big emerald eyes that sat in the crevice of her face. She had pearly white teeth that brightened every time her full, pink lips opened to create a smile.

Jealous, Amara stared at her sister. Amara hadn’t always gotten the compliments Arabella had always received. Amara had short strawberry blonde hair that curls into waves sat on top of her shoulder blades. She had prominent brown freckles that scattered across her pale white face. Her murky blue almond shaped eyes traced the outline of her sockets.

She had thin lips that pursed every time she got frustrated, which is frequently. She wore a bulky Washington State sweatshirt, repping the school she attended, and gray sweatpants followed by worn out boots. Arabella had on a white crop top underneath a plaid green cardigan and jeans the color of the ocean.

Now that she noticed Arabella was wearing her mom’s old cardigan, Amara blushed with anger. That was her favorite outfit her mother would wear. Amara had always wanted to keep the cardigan for herself when she got older but seeing Arabella wear it, she

looked her sister down with a glaring stare. The deafening look from Amara created a rosy red hue that flushed Arabella’s cheeks. Embarrassed, Arabella quickly apologized for her mishap and shut her mouth. The two walked silently the rest of the way to their destination.

The loud silence was then interrupted by the rush of the water falling down a black sediment cliff. The glistening sparkle of the particles of water that rebounded off of the cliff shimmered like diamonds. The sun pierced the drops of water and reflected its light onto the girls’ faces. Arabella gasped with delight, witnessing the beauty of the nature that stood before her. Amara flinched with disgust as a bug flew across her face.

“It’s disgusting out here,” Amara spoke while shaking the mud off of her black, withered boots.

“How can you say that when the waterfall is so pretty?” Arabella cried as she stared at the beauty of the water. Amara pursed her lips and shrugged off Arabella’s question with an eye roll.

“Let’s just get this over with.” Amara turned her bag from her back around to the front of her and took out an urn.

The urn was gold with a silver line crisscrossing through the design of the entity.

Amara walked up to the little lake that stood at the end of the waterfall and kneeled down to feel the rush of the water. The cold surge of the current sent shivers down her spine as her pale fingers were colored with an even paler white. She poured the ashes that sat in the urn into the water. Staring at the flow of the ashes dissolving, Amara couldn’t help but feel anger.

She was angry at God. She was angry at the cruel world that took away her mom, her best friend. As Amara clenched her fists, Arabella came over and placed her hand on her shoulder. Surprised by this embrace, Amara slapped her hand off of her and walked toward the other end of the lake. Arabella frowned at Amara. She didn’t know how to comfort her grieving sister.

“Do you remember when mom took us out to this place for the first time?”

Arabella asked. Amara stayed silent and looked in the opposite direction. Arabella continued. “She was so happy to see us at her favorite spot in Washington. Her smile lit up the whole place. Even dad was happy.” Arabella smiled at the recurring memory. Her smile was then replaced with a frowning grin.

“She was so pretty. I miss her.” She looked up towards Amara, expecting a response, but Amara stayed silent. Arabella’s tears welled up in her eyes then fell down her cheeks, replicating the falling of the waterfall in front of them.

“Why do you hate me?” Arabella asked with a sob. Amara turned around and looked at her crying sister.


“Why do you hate me? It’s like every time I try to talk to you, you push me away. You never hang out with me ever since mom died and you just won’t talk to me.” Arabella pulled up her sleeve and wiped her wet cheeks, creating a damp spot on her plaid cardigan cuff. There was a moment of silence between the sisters.

Amara was dumbfounded by Arabella’s remark. Arabella was right about how Amara would shut her out and keep her distance from her. Ever since their mother died, Amara’s light, bubbly personality dulled into a gray cloud. She didn’t want anything to do with anyone, especially her own sister. Nervous with no response, Amara turned away. She stared ahead, analyzing the ripples in the water, moving back and forth.

Still staring ahead of her, Amara spoke, “I don’t hate you. You’re my sister, I could never hate you.” She sighed. “I just need space. You know it hasn’t been easy for me to completely move on.”

“How much space could you possibly need though? How could you not tell that it hasn’t been easy for me either? You’re too busy with pushing people away to realize that I’m struggling too. I needed you and you weren’t there.”

Arabella’s tone darkened. She no longer felt the need to hide her emotions through a smile. Her pearly white teeth were hidden by a piercing frown that framed her face. She turned red as her upper lip quivered. Her trembling hands tried wiping her running mascara as an abrupt sob caused her to collapse to the moss covered dirt ground. Arabella crouched into a fetal position and covered her eyes, heaving and sobbing into the comfort of her own touch.

“I miss her,” she whispered.

Amara, taken aback by the sudden breakdown of her happy loving sister, walked slowly toward Arabella. Crouching down next to her, Amara hugged the puddle of tears that was her sister. She put her face into Arabella’s rosy scented slick hair and started to cry.

“I miss her too.” Amara broke down as the two sisters hugged each other,

crying as they looked toward the waterfall. The waterfall flowed the same way, there was no change made to the rhythm of the flow of water. It kept falling down with no end to its process, flowing forevermore off of the same cliff. This observation put the sisters to peace and smiled at the beauty the falls had to offer.

There was no sound that echoed through the forest except for the rushing of the water and the soft whisper Amara spoke to Arabella, “I’m sorry.”