Phoenix

Submitted by Mariyam Ghafar to Contest #15 in response to: Write about a character’s secret area of expertise, something most of their acquaintances would be surprised to learn they know tons about.... view prompt

The greatest prison is the darkest and fireproof of all.

Cobwebs lowered as if it were to trap some unexpected person and feast delightfully on it. The spiders scuttled strangely as if they were being stalked in the midst of dark shadows covering the underground tench like a blanket of poison. Fresh air escaped this evil wrath whilst mysterious sounds of tapping hit violently against the sharp, uneven brick wall. Soon this unexpected rhythm turned into scrapings until it dropped silent; everything was dead.


The best thing about the dark was that you couldn’t see anything dropping out from the sky, like the one that flattened the Murphy’s house, right across the road. It was a house of peace and beautiful structure than the rest, but now it was a hill, a hill which children would clamber up and down on. The wood for chimney fires and warmth. The rocks and bricks for support in those things in our backyards. It was the end of the world, the galaxy was dropping a burning bird and our city was the target.


Everybody wouldn’t approach the bodies, just in case they were contained with black magic or bad luck. So they lay there, in shock, under the rubble and scraps. Their decaying bodies exposed and naked. Not naked in a showing sort of way, the nakedness of how they felt, how they reacted and it told us to be aware and never dismiss such a high issue. But for me, this was fascinating. This thing was a vulture or a really big bird that flew and sprayed its sparks on those that hunted it. Charlie’s eyes popped out as he pointed at the bird, Mr and Mrs Murphy were running out of the door, leaving Charlie to face the bird. This was the vulnerability of life as, as they tried to save their lives, they melted like cheese on a pizza. Or the Sun emitting its rays on the Earth, and everyone becoming blind with few eyes open.


Bitter gusts ripped at Sarah’s clothing as she cautiously scanned for the enchanting creature. There it stood, devouring the guts, and pieces of discarded, worthless meat, opposite of its beautiful, worthy-self. It’s tail was fierce like a whip lashing in the wind. It had teeth like tombstones and eyes like the moon with powerful wings that could blow away London. Mesmerised, it was so hard for her to breath; she wasn’t capable. The suffocating air was heavy and humid. It wore a fearless face well, it would kill at first glance. Sarah watched it swoop effortlessly for hours, between the tall trees, soaring high and low between the vulnerable vines and parched greenery.

This city was never discreet, there would always be parents that followed you like a hawk. Children that snitched. Wind that blew away the covers that had one job, one job only; to hide the truth.

But nobody knew about Sarah seeing the sighting. The poor creature would have been captured and killed. Everyone would have been amazed but they didn’t know so Sarah wouldn’t know. But what made this true was the reaction of the forest. It’s leaves shed with excitement and in hurry to blurt out the truth to the branches. The branches then shook violently to bless the bark with its news. Then the bark barked with excitement as the droplets of happy tears strolled down the bark as if it were a slide. The chainmail of news met the roots which shared its nutrient with the whole underground which was connected to the WHOLE WORLD!


That was bound to get the thing in trouble. And Sarah would get a good beating and lecture for skiving school for the 4th time in a row. So technically this chain linked the thing with Sarah. The thing wasn’t a good enough name. Maybe Sarah because they were linked... no that would be too confusing. Fire, fire, red, orange, yellow and... a Phoenix.

Sarah had learnt that the Phoenix represents transformation, death, and rebirth in its fire. It is the ultimate symbol of strength and renewal. Symbolic of the sun, which “dies” in setting each night only to be reborn in rising the next morning.

Yellow-rattle, Heal-all, Scrambling Meadow Vetchling. These were wild blooming flowers that rattled to heal all people from the Phoenix. Therefore the meadow scrambles uptown to survive. They expand from their roots in search of help, or to whisper a few mumbled notes. Finally, they reach. Suddenly their fingers get hurled off, legs munched at, head bitten at, and from their brains, the vital information is grasped out. Along with their memory. The small seed is left to replant and grow into a fully fledged adult, understanding everything, and repeats the process.

Phoenix was not a wild animal, wasn’t a threat or a danger! So the next day, she took her friends to meet Phoenix. They all loved her. Phoenix was relaxed and so was everyone. There may Bill, Maurice “the new boy”, Simon, Peter, Lucy, Martha, and Gabe. They first played hide and seek and then chased Mr Mc. Gregors chicken; Phoenix was hungry as well. They ate their jam sandwiches and dribbled out a few seeds. Maurice left early because he had a sore stomach after all the jumping but the rest stayed until dawn.

Sarah always thought Maurice was a weird egg. He would be discreet and rarely laugh or even smile! That was a criminal offence. He was only one or two years older than her at most. His dark hair curled down the name of his neck while his fringe covered the right side of face, going a little past his jaw-line. His eyes were bold, black like that of a child. And yet they carried this stubborn hatred of the whole world.

It had left the next morning, it’s head hung on a stick, dripping with ashes that pierced through your skin. It scolded Sarah for blurting out the truth. Ones useless knowledge, others vital gain.


We only ever see blue while the sun shines; so while it's there, the blue, take heart, for in these moments you are far closer to being healed than those who take comfort in the coldness of a void.




You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

9 likes 0 comments