“By the time I stepped outside, the leaves were on fire,” a broken voice had whispered, “We did not stand a chance.” A man had uttered those words when he had stumbled into their village, hardly able to stand. His body had been battered and torn. Ugly burns had littered his skin and the air around him was filled with the stench of burnt flesh. Storm had been a young boy at the time. He had not understood what was going on, but the image of the man was forever burnt into his mind. Just like the symbol that was burnt into the man’s flesh. A symbol that had rested above his heart. A symbol that he should have paid attention to. A symbol that would mark the man forever. Despite the man's injuries he had lived but he only ever whispered strange words. Phrases that made no sense to a young boy. The people of the village told him that the man was broken. He was a broken man and he should pay no attention to him. However as Storm grew he began to understand that something had broken the man. The man had whispered of fiery men and white pain; He had whispered of death. His words held a sense of foreboding and had made many uncomfortable. They had made him uncomfortable. The words scared Storm to the bone. So Storm had learned to just ignore the man and his words.  

However no matter how much Storm tried to block out the man's words he could not. Those words stayed a part of his memories and clung to him. They were words that brought him fear. Words that caused panic. Words that now echoed in his mind as he sprinted through the forest.  Words that fueled his legs and gave him strength. Words that weakened his heart and curled around his mind. His mind that was now wild with panic and fear; fear that clouded his mind. No longer would he be able to live a peaceful life in the town he was born in.

Nothing the man had said would have prepared Storm for the destruction that would come to his village. He had woken up that morning to grey skies and a heavy stench of smoke. Storm had shrugged it off as nothing to worry about. The glow that had appeared on the horizon had caused slight unease and the sky had darkened as smoke blocked out the view of the sky. It was not until the smell of burning flesh that Storm felt real fear enter his heart. He had stood and stumbled out of the door to see that the leaves were on fire. With words ringing in his ear Storm had turned and fled. Figures with fiery swords leapt from tree to tree. Everything they touched would burst into flames and their swords would cut down anyone in their path. Screams of fear and pain filled the air and the cackling of the fire filled the silence. The roar of the fire deafened his ears. Storm could feel everything and nothing. His heart pounded against his chest racing with his legs. He felt the heat that emanated from the flames and his feet stung with the white hot pain of burns. His mind was filled with nothing but panic and he was unable to think. Unable to comprehend what was happening. His eyes saw nothing but the path in front of him and his ears heard nothing but his own breaths.  

As his feet pounded against the ground a figure jumped from the trees and into his path. Storm’s blood turned cold as he came to a halt. He felt himself take several steps back. His lungs were desperate for air and sides cramping in pain. He no longer felt the burning fire of the forest around him. Only the cold feeling of fear. No longer was he in his own body. Instead he was watching himself from above. The figure took a step closer to Storm and he felt panic well up in him. However the figure made no move against him and just reached up to remove its hood. Disbelief froze Storm to the spot. His mind was unable to process what he was seeing.  His mind was a mess and all he could grasp was the fire around him and the face in front of him. A face that he recognized. A face that he knew.  

The person in front of him opened their mouth and words of comfort entered his mind. Suddenly he was no longer watching himself stand there. Instead of watching he could feel the soft ground beneath him and his own body. His breathing slowed and his vision began to focus. The figure in front of him stretched their hand out towards Storm. Their hand was reaching for him in an invitation. An invitation to take him somewhere. As Storm hesitated the figure's comforting face remained calm and patient. Making up his mind, Storm felt himself reach his hand out and place it into the hand in front of him. As the figure's hand wrapped around his, the panic that had consumed him began to leave. He felt a rush of peace and love engulf him. The figure pulled him forward into their strong arms. As the figure embraced him the fire around Storm disappeared and he closed his eyes to rest in the peaceful darkness of sleep.


Zayden slowly blinked his eyes open to be met with the peaceful view of his ceiling. As his eyes took in his room and he slowly slipped out of his bed. His head felt fuzzy and a dull pain curled between his eyes. Reaching a hand up to rub at his dry eyes he stumbled to his dresser and grabbed a sweater. Staggering from his room he walked into the hallway. His mind was pleasantly empty and calm.  No longer did the haze of smoke surround him and the flames of panic reach for him. Zayden hobbled into the kitchen. Walking to the sink he grabbed a cup and filled it with water. Taking a sip he turned to leave. He ambled into the living room and looked up to see his father sitting on the couch. Without a word his father stood and walked over to him. He engulfed Zayden into his arms. Slowly Zayden felt himself smile as he relaxed into his father’s arms. He was safe. Safe in the strong arms of his father. Arms that promised to keep him safe. His father reached a hand up to run it through his son’s hair. A hand that would always reach out to pull him from the fire.

October 14, 2020 17:43

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Radhika Diksha
04:37 Oct 22, 2020

You wrote the story well, loved the way you constructed the story. If you have free time please leave your feedback on my stories too.


21:19 Oct 22, 2020

Thank you so much for your comment! I love getting comments and I would be glad to read one of your stories. :) thank you so much!


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