Where the Ashes Fall

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Her thin, bony hands played around the mirror’s edge until they reached the chipped dresser surface. The reflection of her white lacy gown was lightly imitated through the dusty crystal-like surface. She wondered who this pale, distant creature was. Perhaps she didn’t exist at all. Through the hollow room, her serene voice wisped out until she produced uneven words as her rapt hands stroked a firm porcelain cheek beside the dresser.
The torn evening dress she wore dragged across the beaten floor when she lifted her wispy body from the white dresser. The dim light from the window beside where she sat traced her innocuous face as she rested against the sill.
“It’s beautiful outside, isn’t it?” She turned her attention to the small immovable companion. He stared at her with his impassive glossy eyes.
She continued, “I always get goose bumps whenever it snows. It looks so pure.”
“Doesn’t it look pure?”
Her head spun around to see if he was paying attention. A brief pause spoke more than she could put together in words. With this, she felt helpless and her sanity cried out to the absent ears of the world. A cool, wet streak developed on her bare cheek until she raised her head to the voice she had been waiting for.
“Yes, it is beautiful. Perhaps you should go out there,” he suggested. Her smeared eyes directed their sight to look out the broken window.
On the street below, shredded gray ashes covered the thick atmosphere. Dark figures moved about at a fast pace in the smoky surrounding until they too were covered in gray and like ashes, soon to dissolve.
The woman spoke somberly, displaying a feign smile.
“Perhaps I should. The crowd outside seems to be enjoying it.”
“Look,” she pointed her pasty finger, “ they’re rolling around and dancing with one another. Some are even lying in the snow while the others jump around a fire.
An unexpected response from her companion shook the pace.
“It would be rather cold though. Snow is cold, is it not?”
Minor rage fueled a panic-stricken confusion in her head. It was pure white snow that she saw and nothing else, she repeatedly thought. Slowly, she seeped down without faith or sanity and took violent strides across the dark room in anticipation of reaching the dresser. With ferocity in her eyes, she grabbed the porcelain doll and squeezed it until it shattered in her cold hands. The warm salty blood caressed the broken doll’s face.
The room now echoed with quiet concentrated laughter. She held her stomach from the pain with her bloody hand.
Snow is cold, yes, she thought.
The last of her laughter was hushed when she realized she had ruined her only companion. Without a thought, she paced robustly towards the window to see the dead wasteland outside. Bodies laid silently on ashes and lights flashed to repeated shots. Hope, of all, was most dead in her eyes and in the eyes that had created this chaos. Her mind revolved in circles but could only come to one conclusion. She had destroyed the rosy-cheeked porcelain doll; she had destroyed what was left of her malnourished mind. Weak like a wounded animal, she closed her heavy eyes to the destruction that lived outside her window. The havoc that breathed every breath and was soaked in hate and violence won against every bone in her body. How this ever happened, she didn’t know.
She struggled to take one last breath from her starved body before she too would fall in place among the ashes.





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