Our world is ablaze, and where flames reign nothing but ashes will remain.
Surprisingly, we are still alive — my brother and I. Protected by the sturdy confines of our house. And yet I know not what good it does. Because it will not be long until we become fodder for the greedy bonfire as well.
Screams join with the sparkling of wood, birthing a cacophony of suffering that breaks my heart. I know these voices, they are people I have known all my life, and yet their voices seem almost inhuman now.
Oh, how greedy are the flames… consuming all I have ever known. As I look back onto all that was, I see it through the eye of suffering. My memories deform with every cry, and the smiling faces of people in my past are blurred out, melting and calling for help, but nothing can save them.
Then again. I know that these flames are but a force of nature and thus cannot be blamed, but what then. Where do I direct these feelings inside?
I hold my little brother’s head close onto my breast as I do my best to keep sadness and agony from escaping into the outer world. I need to be strong for his sake.
The beasts of flame speak to us. Knocking on the door and proposing that we cut the suffering short.
My brother releases himself from my hold and walks toward the door.
And reaches for the door handle.
I gasp loudly and takes hold of his arm in a firm grip, but he just stares into my eyes, conveying his meaning without uttering a single word.
Tears run down my tired face as I, at last, let my arm fall down to the side. Not in resignation, but in recognition. Let us face death with our heads held high instead of cowering in a corner.
A sad smile gestates on his kind face. And he hugs me tight.
The door opens.
And my younger brother leads me on, confidence radiating from his very being. This is a time of despair, and yet he has never shone so bright.