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It started with the happy moments. A brush of our hands, a sharing of smiles, a touch of our lips that slowly escalated into something more. It was love, or at least it felt like it. We were talking one day, as we lay sprawled out on the lush green grass, the trees forming a roof over us, a promise of protection. You said to me ‘One day, Rhi, my love, we are going to turn this world into nothing but ashes, and from them a new empire shall rise. Our empire.’

I didn’t know, at the time what you really meant. That at the core of your heart you were a machine ready to wreak havoc, that your ruinous hands only intention was to destroy. Never creation, never rebirth. All I did then, was laugh, and I intertwined our fingers, and said ‘One day, Adrian.’ We kissed under the setting sun, surrounded by blossoming black roses, an omen of the horrors to come.

2 years later, we walk along the path beside the roses, and a sharp shock zaps through my fingers. You pull your hand out of mine, and stare at me, and there is agony on your face, but also something vaguely resembling...pride?

‘Finally,’ you say, ‘Took you long enough.’ I stare at you in astonishment, and you look right back, laughter sparkling in your crystal blue eyes as you explain. The injection, the turn, the murder, all of it. ‘And it seems, your shadows have resurfaced as flames, getting stronger and more powerful by the minute.’

It’s strange, thinking about Caedis, because even though I am her, there is detachment. I feel nothing when I think of her, I remember nothing I did or said as her, and as for the millions I killed? I search and search, but there is no remorse. You watch as I process all this, and gasp and cry and scream and go through hundreds of emotions again and again and again. I am underwater and trying to scream for help, but no one is coming. I am on fire, but no one notices. The world is spinning, but they pretend it’s okay. There is something wrong, everything is so, so dark...

I wake up in a bed of roses, the thorns have left pricks all over my skin, and I am covered in trickles of blood. I don’t know what to make of all this, but you certainly seem to. You kneel next to me, not noticing the pain, and hand me a single black rose. ‘A promise,’ you say ‘Of the world we’re going to build, together.’ And even though we’re still lying in a rose bed, you press your lips to mine. And the flowers ignite.

Higher and higher, all around the flames spread, scorching everything in sight. You and I stand in the middle of it all, protected by an invisible shield I seem to be holding in place. But everything is gone, there is only me and the fire, the flames, the storm, the inferno, there is no control.

You warned me,

The world would end.

But I still gave you my heart,

Put it in your ruinous hands.

You said ours would be the greatest story ever told,

And in my heart, we both grow old.

This wasn’t how it was organised,

But it is what it is, I won’t apologise.

You place between my fingers,

A single black rose,

And we stand there as the flames grow,

Higher and higher, spreading all around.

You stole the world,

You took the Earth,

Did all of it for us, our love.

You promised me a brand new start,

I wanted that, together, not apart.

The fire spreads, it is all in flames

And you say that you are not to blame

You sit there, watch the world end

a matchstick in your hand, a look of rage in your eyes,

And for the first time, I am terrified.

The storm goes on,

The sky is on fire.

It’s the start of a new age,

But I am so tired.

Dead leaves of red,

Drift to the ground.

The trees are barren,

Soft rains make no sound.

A bed of white,

Beautiful and pure.

Soon it shall melt,

It is not built to endure.

The blossoms bloom,

and the petals fall.

A scattering of death,

Who will weep for it all?

The sun is shining,

Golden rays on the grass.

The day stretches on long,

But forever? Nothing is made to last.

And the inferno goes on and on and on,

And the world burns and burns and burns,

How long does it take to destroy, you ask?

Days, months, years, centuries...

It has been an eternity,

Time no longer has meaning.

The blaze is all that exists,

I am quickly fading.

I am done, so done,

Everything is spinning.

Is it over, finally?

I want my new beginning.

Exhaustion overcomes me,

I seem to be blind.

Everything is silent,

No sign of humankind.

We are all that’s left,

The sprits of the lost, and I.

Your corpse lies limp the corner,

I don’t want to say goodbye.

What’s done is done,

There’s no going back.

Death has come,

I am all that is left.

This is the end.

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