“Red Summer” by Chariklia Martalas

It was the days where the night would not come, for the sun 

held the sky hostage just by a look. It was the tyrannical glare 

of a red summer that had burned the skin off the trees and 

scorched the ground black. A summer where we had run from 

our graves as our parents placed their parents inside the stony 

soil to remain. They chose not to weep for the heat evaporated 

their piousness. God doesn’t exist in the passion of the sun they

said and we agreed with them. But yet we still wondered- can 

we make Eden out of heat? Can we make our own blistering holy?

So we took out the drums but made the beats slow. And sang 

songs that seemed like they belonged to spring. We let the red 

sun reflect the sweat on our faces so we all shone. We stamped 

our feet on the cracking soil and clapped our hands. We cried for 

the nights that would not come and our parent’s parents inside the 

stony soil. And we sang songs that seemed like they belonged to the 

past. God doesn’t exist in the passion of the sun but who were we? 

It was the tyrannical glare of a red summer. But we lived and made

the heat our own.


Chariklia Martalas is a Philosophy, Politics, English and History graduate from the University of the Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is currently pursuing a post-graduate degree in philosophy. Her work has been featured in Rigwelter Press, The Raw Art Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Dear Damsels, Bewildering Stories and the undergraduate literary journal The Foundationalist, among others.

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