There is no way to go back.

Believe me, I’ve tried.

But the beginning is lost.

Everything we’ve worked for, all of us, is gone. Nothing has been left standing. Except me. Everyone I know and everything I’ve owned has ignited burned away to ashes.

I sit in the ruin, warm coals searing through my clothes, burrowing into my skin, gnawing at my muscle.

It’s all over.

All I cherish are ashes, and I’m soon to become them, too.

I rake the grey dust and cinders into my palms, the burning jolting my dead heart. It’s sore as a black bruise as it pounds against my ribcage. Lost and barren for too long.

This open skyline can’t be an end anymore. If it is, everything I’ve done—we’ve done—was for nothing.

It’s a canvas. These ashes are my paint.

This is a new beginning.

My beginning.



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