The flames called our names as they slunk closer, trying to tempt us away from our shattered lives. Ashlee countered my weight as I grabbed the stool by the desk and hurled it with what strength I had at the window. Glass shards showered like the rain outside, and we followed them, the massive Temple tree groaning the sound of smoky death as it fell away from us. The flames howled at our escape, left without their final prize. We fell.
The tree gave itself to the river, its life source and only companion in death. We fell as the smoke tried to claim us. We fell. I couldn’t breathe. Even the fresh air was naught more than poison. We fell as the air tried to wrap us in a cocoon of un-life, being the breath we had to have without giving us the ability to take it. We fell. I was drowning in smoky sleep, too exhausted to try to live. We fell. I heard voices calling. Hands were catching. Catching us.
The freezing, wet ground met my burning back. I gasped in pain and shock and then coughed and choked and gasped all over again uncontrollably. The hissing of a horrid, evil serpent filled my ears, then I felt it rumble through every fiber of my being as the tree collapsed into the river, spent of life save that of the fire viciously devouring it like a ravenous wild beast.
There was nothing but smoke. All was smoke. The ground. The sky. The people. All was smoke…all was smoke…allwassmokeallwassmoke.
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