Here’s one more for now. This one was inspired by a dream I had. Hmm, I’m starting to sense a trend. To my most favorite-est nonexistent readers, Enjoy!
The fire burned hot, the crackling of flames awakening the sleeper. She sat upright quickly, coughing from the smoke, for a second her brain was still trying to register what was going on.
Once it was clear that there was a fire spreading, she ran, over the hot floor, to her sister’s room, yelling a warning the whole time.
She shook her sister awake, sweating from the heat of the flames. In a mad scramble, their bare feet hitting the crumbling floor, to wake up others of the family. As her sister ran to wake their brothers and parents, she ran to the baby.
The fire burned hotter and closer, close enough to touch without stretching. The room was smoke filled when she reached it, and the baby was wailing, the noise mingling with the roar of the flames.
She scooped the child up, shielding her from the heat with her body, running through the flames that were reaching her now, to the safety of the window, for the old steps were almost gone, and too covered in flames to do anything with.
She held to the sill with one arm, for a second, until fire brushed her fingertips and she felt her hair burning. Letting go she fell, and looked confusedly at the child cradled in her arms, searching for the wound that had caused the blood across the old blanket.
It took her a second to realize what it was, and another for it to register, like when awaking from a dream where you take a second to figure out that it was simply imagination. The blood was from her, an artery probably, because there was a lot of it.
Shrapnel, was the thought that she held on to, like a candy you suck on for a while, until you forget it’s there. There must have been shrapnel.
The wound doesn’t stop, and it feels as if she is falling asleep again, in the snow, starkly colored, paint on a paper. A bed of paper, cold sheeted.
I flew down, silent as a breath of wind, and landed next to the still warm body, holding a squalling baby to her chest. A corpse, forever doing the action she died in.
I could hear voices, accented to my mind, but all voices were accented to my mind, for if you speak a language unknown, everyone talks funny.
A girl, red faced and coughing, ran to the side of what once was an elaborately designed cottage, gasped, as quiet as a butterfly.
She reacted quickly and picked up the baby, checked her sister to see if what appeared was true, then looked at me.
I wondered what she saw, what her mind tried to rationalize, was I an angle or a devil, probably a dragon, about the size of a great dog, perhaps a bit bigger, and as red as the flames that licked the pile of rubble next to me.
I spoke, perhaps if it can be called that, to her mind, in a voice that sometimes sounded like it was accented with bells, or the noise of the rim of a crystal glass, but silent, an empty orchestra.
She knew what I spoke as soon as I said it, at needed only a second to consider. She nodded, tears like diamonds frozen on her cheeks.
I walked forward, and she turned away.
I bent down to the body in a sea of red, and ate its heart. The crunch of bone ended, and the last of its blood seeped across my face.
I could feel my body shifting, stretching, changing. I stood, with my eyes closed in the night air, two people. Memories joined, I saw through the consideration of both the girl splayed in the snow, and myself. Or perhaps simply myself now, for that was what I was, I had memories of two lives, now joined, like the knitting of two different strands of yarn together, like hemp and silk, forming something new.
I stretched, moonlight glistening off the ruby speckled snow, where for a second I summoned my reflection, hair curly, clothed, clean of blood and grit, my hair was red now. It was both new, and as it had always been.
I looked up at the moon, the glow of two things, the sun’s light, but the moon’s body, combining to be something else.
With two worlds, like that almost, within my mind, I smiled, at my sisters, at my home, both the flames and the glow, at it all.