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Ashes

By Adam Scopp All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller

ASHES

No living man or woman has ever been able to fly. Not without the assistance of some sort of contraption. They are grounded, made to walk the Earth rather than watch it from the sky. But at this very moment in time, I am flying. Invisible fingers clutching at the tip of a never-ending gale of wind.

The rain was vicious, pelting against the pavement in an uneven rhythm. The smell of wet tarmac hung in the air as I ran down the road, my shirt and jeans soaked completely through, sticking to me like a second skin. The familiar bleak shadow that hung over London made it harder to see through the sheets of rain water. I dashed across the road blindly, my mind solidly set on getting to the warmth of my home.

I feel strange as the wind guides me through the tainted sky, passing through the distended clouds. I am scattered, not just here but everywhere. A ubiquitous conscience. I feel myself here, but I feel part of me being swallowed by ocean waves, and another part of me sitting on a shellac wooden shelf. I did not understand at first, but I do now. I remember.

The headlights were the last thing I saw before the blinding white light smothered my vision. Hot, rapid pain leaked from the cracks in my bones, flooding my veins like blood. I hadn’t made a sound when the lorry collided with me, the agony had drowned me too quickly. I was blinded, fear and torment battling over which was stronger as the Earth tipped around me. I tried to clutch at something, but my disorientation made my head hurt even further as unconsciousness threatened to take over.

I remember the scorching heat that singed my raw, sallow skin. I remember my shattered bones crumbling into space-grey ash. I remember being there, unseen to anyone, watching in nebulous silence as the body I had worn for twenty-seven years of my life was disintegrated in a gargantuan furnace. I hadn’t understood what was happening, how I could be seeing myself in this state, detached from my own being. I understand now.

I didn’t know how long I’d been there, but all I could recognise was the feeling of the saturated ground beneath me. I was broken, jagged bolts of pain washing through me every time I breathed. I couldn’t hear myself screaming, but I knew I was. My vision was dotted with specks of darkness, blocking out most of my view. However I knew, without doubt, that I laid with the sky staring back at me in humble silence.

I am not afraid. I was, in the beginning, but I am not anymore. I am free. Forever scattered, merging with the air you breathe and the waters you swim and the clouds that drop rain. I feel part of me being inhaled by you, invading your personal boundaries as I see splashes of moist reds and purples and whites. I can hear the blood gushing through your veins as it echoes inside you, because I am a part of you, and you a part of me. I cannot explain what it is like, to feel the particles that were once my body twirling majestically through the atmosphere. I just am. Not alive, not truly, but still there. Always there.

I felt myself choking on my own blood, the metallic taste swishing around my mouth. There was a hand on my neck, two fingers prodding the soft skin. I was still alive, my heart and pulse still pounding. But for how much longer?

There is a hazy vision of the incident that will forever remain with me. Everywhere I go, with every part of me, it will be there to remind me that I am not really there. I could brush your skin but you would never feel me. I could lay on your tongue but you would never taste me. I am always there, but am not really there at all.

Scarlet blood was coating the paving, diluting as the rain water made it more viscous. I could feel a force latching onto me, dragging me away from all the pain and the memories and the fear. My vision was dying, my hearing gone. My fingers, feeling the wintry chill of the tar only moments before, but now laying limply, feeling nothing. I didn’t know what was happening, but I didn’t care, because the pain was being left behind. Mercy had swooped down to take me in its arms, and I thanked every living thing ever created that it was gone. All of it was gone.

I wonder why I still exist. Why I can still think so clearly but not have an actual mind to do so. Maybe it is a punishment for all the wrong I did when I had a beating heart. For lying to my parents and taking their funds or for cheating on my girlfriend with the waitress at the café. For selling my Grandmother’s diamond brooch and pretending to have misplaced it. Maybe some shred of life still remain in the ashes I have become.

I died.

I am still flying. Looking down at the streets I once walked, at the shops I once used. It is calm up here. No sound can reach me. I will stay here, watching life unfold, and wait for a purpose to come.



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