Inferno

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Ashes on the Wind

A spark reached the wood, a burning sensation and pure agonising heat as the pungent smell of burning flesh and smoke threatens lives. Running is now impossible, the embers are burying into the soil, the trees, the bushes, a fiery red devil, ruthless in their destruction, ready to give birth to the ashes of the world.

The land used to be a utopia, a place where all dreams come true, a world of marvels, a city of rebirth. Now the gods are enraged, they have sent us fire, and with the fire goes all that was once so beautiful. The universe may mean it as a chance to start afresh, but we humans can only see it as punishment, as disappointment, as all those emotions we never wish to feel.

Humanity destroys their land, only to forge it into something new, a creation in the rubble of destruction. A necropolis, a city of bones, a world built on the blood of the fallen, an empire made on the ashes of the lost. A dream and a nightmare and all because of the power of a single flame, a miraculous, deadly, beauty.

Magnificent dancers swirl on stage, the earth cracking underneath their razor sharp shoes, pointed like the tip of a sword. Finely shaped nails polished with poison hang gracefully, ready to break skin at a moment notice. Parasols from a routine open, their edges lethal as they prick. Singers shatter glass with their ever-powerful voices, sirens lure in their victims with a savage song. The volume rises up, up, up, till the words break through to the core of the earth, fracturing its foundations. Venomous paints are launched at a canvas, ready to rage, to depict the emotion pouring out of the painter.

Never ending fields of paint-like green stretch on, yellow flowers are raised towards the sun, saying one last prayer. Cozy houses and barns, full of yellowing windows, well-worn clothes, but most importantly love and warmth, are dotted about. Animals graze contentedly in the warm winter sunlight, never imagining this would be their last day alive.

Items can be salvaged from fires, but never from eternal ones whipping through the world at the speed of light. Innocent lives lost, lush fields turned barren and black, suffocating in a deathly haze, all those things full of life, living no more. The flames were voraciously hungry, they demanded to be fed, and when at last they were full all that remained were skulls and bones, a reminder of the losses suffered. An intergalactic war fought between the fields and flame, each wanting desperately to claim their land.

Everything we people have ever done led to this moment, all those things we took for granted, all those blessings we forgot to count, vanishing in the blink of an eye. No survivors. Families now nothing but charred flesh and dust. Friendships destroyed. Lovers separated as one goes where the other cannot follow.

The concert hall sits silent, the instruments left untouched. The stage coated in layers of dust and the only sound a violin. A wondrous tune, Its magnitude going higher as time goes on. A simple sound, the only one left from the orchestra there once was. One last ringing tune, one final hypnotising ballad, one ultimate finish, and no one to hear what is left of what was once so great. The walls are bare of paintings, the earth wiped of everything that was so lovingly created.

The field spans hundreds of millions of acres, the flames go on as far as the eye can see, taking centuries of evolution and life with them. The sun no longer glows its radiant yellow, but is a burnt sienna red, hanging in the sky, clouded over by billows of smoke. Nothing and no one is spared, save for the single flower that survived. A single white flower hidden in the crooks of a corroded tree trunk, seeking refuge in its found sanctuary.

The wondrous land has given way to skulls and bones, bodies going up in flames, charred rocks scattered everywhere, the single dandelion the only sign that something once dreamlike ever existed. This place, once so beautiful, now ashes on the wind.

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