by Alicia Lynch
A ray of light shined into the underground cavern of a safe house and onto a young girl. It had been hours upon hours since the mother had left the shelter to look for her husband. The sounds of screams and explosions had finally stopped and an icy silence had come over the village. The girl opened her eyes and lowered her hands from her ears. Maybe it was all over now.
Her hand reached towards the door of the cavern and grasped the handle without pushing just yet. She listened for a few moments to make sure there wasn’t any danger lurking outside. Pursing her lips she gave the door a slight shove. Peering through the opening, the smoke drifted in, stinging her eyes and making her cough. When she caught her breath, she gave the door another shove, harder this time, and with both hands. The door collapsed outward from the force and she went crashing down with it, cutting her arms and legs on the splintered wood. Blood splattered onto her stuffed rabbit. She picked it up off the ground and stood up to get a view of her surroundings.
A sea of red and black came into view. Pits of flames licked the air and embers spit out of the ground. Black gnarled forms covered the village floor for a mile all around. She couldn’t distinguish between what used to be huts and what was now charred human limbs. The wind blew through her pale hair as she looked upon what used to be her home. The blood from her wounds dripped down her arms and legs, covering her skin with red fingers.
A shadow began to creep over the land, swallowing the sunlight. When it fell over her, two tears of blood fell from her eyes as they rolled back into her head. Her body tipped backward and the hellish abyss of the landscape engulfed her. Ashes billowed up around her, and then settled back to the ground, sprinkling her body with grey flakes.