A single red hot coal burns in the middle of an empty room. Its red light casting a faint, almost undetectable shadow on the objects surround it: a table, a chair - not much. It burns and burns though no one sees its color. It burns and burns though no one feels its warmth, but it's still alive.
This coal is alone in the dark, cold room, but it's getting bright; the shadows become more defined, the heat stronger. The coal bursts into a flame at first small and yellow, but it grows. The once-juvenile coal becomes an inferno, engulfing the chair, engulfing the table. It grabs the whole room in its large growing hand, then the house. The flame feeds a never-ending hunger. It eats and eats - the town, the fields, house after house, person after person. The flame, as if fighting off the dark, becomes brighter and brighter, reaching higher and higher; one town, two towns, a city and another, all burned to cinders. A trail of dark ashen death follows the sight of which even the devil himself shed a tear. The world swallowed up by the undying hunger of a single hot coal left alone to die, in a dark room, on a dark night, in a dark town, in such a dark, dark world. 1
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.