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The world was empty before me. I was driving along on a slate gray road, accompanied only by never-ending walls of trees. The sun had set, and the moon forgot to rise.
I recall the words that had been exchanged between us. We've never been this far apart. I don't want it to improve, I don't want closure, I don't want consolation. I want nothing.
The pressure increases as I feel her grip still on my mind. Explosions of doubt and anger begin.
She found me with a brown bottle, guzzling the vile fluid inside. It hurt her every time. She could choose to get over it, but she refuses to see any good in me.
No matter how much I yelled, the point never sunk in. My words were caught in the turbulent air between us. The webs we spun to keep us apart have grown too thick to reach an understanding.
I've ruined everything. It's over. The buzzing fills my ears.
My blood begins to boil as I wish everything away.
Cold and alone, I accept my fate. A choir of the dead surrounds me, pulling at my ankles. They gnaw on my skin until it falls apart on their teeth. There is no escape. I am driving away from pain, yet it still finds me. It rips my soul from my body and tears it in two. Fire falls from the sky and everything is set ablaze. A wave of carnage sweeps the ground. Panic and fear overshadows the security all had. My anger is a serpent, sinking its fangs into all within its reach.
May its venom course through the veins of everything I see. I will not die alone. I will not be destroyed by my weaknesses. I will not rise above. I will become what I hate and learn to embrace it. Continuing to scream, my voice only fades beneath the sounds of pain. Welcome, destruction. My fire rages, swallowing all.
Destroyer of the world, am I.
My fire rages as I watch from a distance. Wicked to the core, my rage fuels the fire. I watch their kingdoms burn. I will be known.
The fire begins to die.
What have I done?
Do I hear cries of contentment or pain? Joy or despair?
Everything is ash. There is nothing solid left in sight. I walk the burial ground. All of their bodies are encased by the warmth of the smoldering earth. The wind sends rivulets of ash pirouetting through the air and settling on my lashes. Questions arise in my mind, but I shut them out. A tree stands before me, its gnarled appearance haunts my mind. It once brought life, but is now devoid of even its own.
A single voice cries out. I wade through blackened, sooty sky to find the source of the startling noise.
A young boy trembles before me. His pale skin is caked with ash, turning it a sickly gray. Feet away, the burned remains of a woman reach out for the boy. She opens her mouth, but nothing escapes but a cloud of dust.
The boy grabs my foot and looks up. His eyes are still radiant. His clothes are torn to shreds. My eyes overflow without me warranting them to do so, and my tears fall on his open palm, washing the dirt away.
I hear my name again. The source is a woman lying yards away. Kneeling, I hold the boy's hand as a gesture of comfort. His eyes burn into mine, tattooing my mind with guilt. I turn and leave him reluctantly without any words exchanged between us.
It is her. My mother. She has survived the destruction without a scar on her body. Fearful, I back away. But I am stopped by some invisible hand. I turn to see her smiling, with her arms wide open.
"Stop," she says. "Stop."
My darkened eyes cry again.
"I love you," she says.
Light detonates the air around us. The whole world is built up again. The sky is painted a thousand different colors. Everything is restored. The breath is returned to the lungs of the fallen and they rise from their graves. The boy and the woman stand on their feet once more and hold each other. Needles of light pierce through the darkness. I look up and am blinded by the glorious sun above. All other things die away. There is nothing to hate. There is nothing to fear. Something rises up in me, and I begin to cry out in joy. So much joy that it hurts.
"Thank You!" I scream at the sky. "Thank You!"
I am forgiven.
My anger falls away and my spirit lifts. Everything is returned to where it is meant to be. We are one again.
And we fade out into the setting sun.