“Come, follow me, my dear.”
Your brown curls danced in the firelight. They hid your face, but your hand tugged at mine, pulling me away from our bedroom, from our home, into the woods, into the night.
Burning timber snapped and popped, followed by the crack of plaster and debris coming down in a rush.
I wanted to turn around, but you drew me onward, dew-wet leaves and branches giving way as we wandered through the forest.
“Don’t, my dear. Follow me. I want to show you something.”
I followed your scent, your coconut shampoo pulling me along even without your hand in mine. We climbed a hill together where we could see above all the treetops.
This was serenity.
“Now, my dear. Look.”
The smell of smoke filled my nose and burned my lungs. Your charred face met my own and we turned together toward where our house had stood and saw not the devastation of a city burning, but the red-yellow rays of a golden sunrise.
Kai Delmas loves creating worlds and magic systems and is a slush reader for Apex Magazine. He is a winner of the monthly Apex Microfiction Contest and his fiction can be found in Martian, Etherea, Tree And Stone, Wyldblood, and several Shacklebound anthologies. Find him on Twitter @KaiDelmas.
photo by Thái Huỳnh and Rowan Freeman (via pexels and unsplash)