There I knelt in the ash of the people, the cries of children and their mothers ringing through my ears like a sad song no one would ever listen to. I felt the ember remains of my family fall on my shoulders, weighing more than the Earth itself.
The fire wrapped around my body and tears stung my scalding cheeks, whether they came from agony or pain, I couldn’t tell. As my skin grew charred from the growing heat, my heart grew colder. Who was I to blame?
The infamous, power-hungry Creator who allowed this to happen to so many of his supposed children? Or the Mother who used me as a tool of her destruction? The Unholy Matron who sought to hold the Earth in her palm? I clenched my fists and cursed them, the Mother and Father who would first curse me with this eternal damnation. They ever so graciously gave me two choices for my fee for depravity.
I could keep my eyes open, pained with burning tears on my cheek with my only view being my burning home.
Or could close my eyes and feel them cauterize shut, with the images of my brothers burned into my everlasting vision.
Instead, I chose my own.
I continued to let the fires embrace me in a grip I could only describe as a relief that my time on this Earth would be shortened. I closed my eyes, seeing my family smiling back at me in a moment when my tears no longer burned, but alleviated my pain.
I listened and heard the silent and eerie winds blowing in an attempt to extinguish this hellfire around me. I tasted my searing flesh and swallowed my shame and felt it loosen it’s grip on my spirit as it simultaneously left my body.
I grabbed a handful of ash and felt the memories of the faces of friends and enemies alike rush through me like a gust of cool air. There I knelt in the ash of my own body, the voices of my family and my friends echoing through my mind as every pleasant memory soothed me to sleep like a lullaby.
Only now in Death’s presence do I feel what I only pushed away my entire life. Love and Death are one in the same.
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