Road Unending


1. How It All Ends, How It All Begins


They lay dead, and I lay amongst them.

The rain pours down onto me, and onto the bodies of the scorched men scattered around me, but it is too late now. They are dead. The fire ignited them, swallowed them whole like cut-out paper boys.

I did not burn.

I never did. I deserved to burn amongst them, I deserved this death – a cut-out paper girl melting in the cruel fire, only a handful of ash left as a reminder that she has ever existed. But I was left untouched, the fire only flickered against my skin leaving it unmarred.

I am wildfire. I never burned because I am a part of the flame, my very being woven into it. I close my eyes, letting the rain cool down my body. The rain drowns out everything, numbing me, washing away all my emotions until I am left empty. I lay motionless, drained, extinguished. In a way, I am already dead. I am already ash.

The rain is almost a mockery of my powers, of how completely uncontrollable they are, of how helpless I am. I feel so heavy, so burdened. I wish I could simply stop existing, I wish it could all just end.

It never does.

Slowly, I try to gather my strength to get up, to move forward, to continue. I take in a deep breath and push myself up. The rain is beginning to become less intense now, soon it will cease. I rise – my hands trembling, my hair and clothes muddied by the ashen earth. I wrap my arms around me, trying to provide some comfort, but I know that there will be none of it for me in this world.

Or the next.

I look around at the aftermath of my actions. Death. Death. Death. Dozens of charred bodies lay dead.

I did this.

I did this.

I will myself to go forward, stepping over the bodies of the dead. I try to not look at them as I leave, as the rain washes me away. I do not look back as I walk away, but their ghosts follow me anyways. They always do. Memories are my ghosts. I try to ignore them, tell myself it wasn't my fault. Lies. Lies. Lies. Every single man I killed came back to haunt me, came back to taunt me and what I am. There is still a long way to go, and so many ghosts already follow my steps.

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