Fire.

- - December 2016 - Story of the month- -Dancing. Flames are mystically dancing around me as they gradually begin to engulf my soul. How did I get here? How did my life fall to this? So much has led up to this moment of despair. Trapped beneath the rubble's hold, there is nothing that I can do to escape from the ever advancing flames. -- Cover by @Lady Panda --

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12. Ghost.

Age 20 – 2208

It is over; the war is over but in the way anyone had expected. As I sat in the town of ghosts I recalled how my life had fallen to this hell. When I first came to the village, they welcomed me as a traveller with open arms. They asked for nothing in return but gave me a home and the closest thing to a family I had had since my parents had been killed. Smiling sadly at the memory as I kindled the warm flames, I could still smell blood in the air, even after all these months. Bodies still remained but I chose to leave them in their final resting places instead of depriving them of that too. I taken their lives and their families; they deserved at least that.

Although one of the closest villages, the residents were not affected for weeks but when the virus hit, it hit hard. It was over within a week. Men, women and children were struck down where they stood for no reason other than not picking a side in the conflict. They were peaceful and happy until it came for them and robbed them of their lives. There were no survivors. Even I died a little inside each time I watched my friends fall down in pain, never to get up again. It was all because of me and my actions.

Blood. Fire. Their screams of agony still ring through their hollow homes as the ghost town remains all but empty. Waking up each morning in a dead woman’s bed makes the guilt and rage much closer to my heart. Looking in the mirror, I felt nothing but hate for myself and those who had forced and manipulated me to act beneath their will.

I was simply a ghost in a town of the dead.

Standing from my chair, I turned on the radio that I had managed to put together and listened to endless static of silence.

 

Tzzzz.

 

Tzzzz.

 

Nothing but repetition with no meaning fills the room. I had no trigger, I had no catalyst to propel me forwards with inspiration and so I remained, waiting for the sign. After two years of thought, I still had no plan to end the military’s scheme. Not all of them were guilty, I knew that, but the ones who were would pay for what they, what we had done.

Lost beneath blankets of bittersweet memories and sorrow, it took me a few moments to realise that the static had fade. Tearing through like a knife in water, a familiar voice broke through into what had become my home.   

“Brothers and sisters, I have the pleasure to announce our victory in this difficult war. Our valour and unity has formed bonds between us that will never be broken and because of that, we prevail victorious.”

A feeling of nausea filled my stomach as I thought about the days that those were the kind of the words I believed and fell for. The council’s leader was certainly well spoken but that didn’t stop the cold beneath his words seeping through and hurting me even from where I sat. I could still see his face, grinning and proud as he had unleashed slaughter over the nation. Prevailing victorious didn’t include the damages that had been inflicted on our homes and past lives. Victory was not what was achieved, mass destruction was.

“We have had to make great sacrifices but as we emerge back into the world, we will rebuild as one and together. All weapons will now be confiscated and will be locked up in warehouses to prevent another outburst of violence. The council thanks you for your service during these hard times. Over and out.”

 

Tzzzz.

 

As the message finished, it fell on deaf ears as my head began to spin. Even after everything they did and the death they had caused, they had won. Our twisted reality was broken and shattered because of them but yet they walked away as winners and without a single scratch. They pulled the strings but yet used others as a shield against the weapons and nightmares of war. They had sacrificed their humanity for victory in a worthless trade costing more than most were willing to pay.

After seeing the effects of my weapons, I knew that it had to end, looking back at the room for one last time, I packed my bag and grabbed a small gun from the mantle before closing the door behind me. This had gone on for long enough but now I knew where the weapons were going, where my weapons were going and with that knowledge and with them all collected in the one position, I could strike and destroy them all. Humanity could rebuild but without the council and their toys looming over them.

I could finally strike back. I may have only been one woman against an army but I swore to myself that I would find a way to keep my weapons out of the hands of my enemies.

I had no other options. I had to stop them before they crossed the line once more.

 Sneaking out beneath the cloak of hazy darkness, I made sure that there were no patrols in the area. As I made my way through the abandoned, derelict town, I could still see traces of the chaos which occurred all those months ago. The place where I once lived in peace and happiness was now empty; filled with regret and anguish as it remained cold and bare. It was a reminder and a promise. Never again would I sit idly by and allow this to happen.

Beginning my journey back to place where it all begun, I knew that they would keep the weapons there in order to protect them but not from themselves. Knowing the path by heart, it wasn’t difficult to travel in the darkness but yet was still beyond eerie. The souls of those who I had failed seemed to haunt me as their screams filled my mind but yet there was no-one there to tell me otherwise.

After hour walking, lost in hopeless thought I could see the vast facility looming over me like it had done all my life. Although it was dark, I knew the area so well I could almost see everything around me. The blanket of grass and the towering emerald trees. I stood in the centre of the crater where Evan and I had shared a precious moment all those years ago. Falling to my knees, I let natures grasp engulf me as a single tear trailed down my cheeks. I didn’t want this life, I didn’t want this pain but now it was my duty and my responsibility to act.

No more would I be the victim.

No more would I suffer.

 

As a ghost of the night, I hid beneath the trees and waited for dawn to rise.

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