Ash by Sofia A-A

In my dreams there is smoke. Smoke billows through my hair, while it makes them cough up blood. When there is smoke, there is fire, and destruction, and ashes, and heat warming freezing air. When there is smoke there are screams and ashes fall onto my face like snowflakes. The air smells fresh like roses. Some of the people cut themselves as they run, they fall, and their blood burns sweetly, sizzles, sweetly. Around me wood crumbles. Red wood crumbles, it falls on my hair and I sigh. It’s so easy. And when it’s over, the smoke carries me away with it, and it’s easy, all done, and we all forget it ever happened, like it never happened.

Later, soldiers march through the main road of the town. At the back of the procession, a man with hard eyes bends down. He pulls a cloth doll from the dirt. The doll has been smashed by many feet, but her button eyes, one black and one blue, are still intact. The man opens his pocket to take the doll with him when he notices the bloody handprint of an infant on the doll’s backside. He drops the doll on the ground. His comrade kicks him in the leg. Keep going. The man spits on the ground and walks on.

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