The fire’s out now and you stand alone in the wasteland of your life. All around you see the remnants of your past and your future. Helpless, lost, numb, you’re barely conscious of crimson icicles wrapping themselves around you, stifling the screams in your throat. A bitter-sharp blast of wind whips your face and tears rush, unbidden, to your eyes. Torn fragments of lost dreams circle and disappear with the gust, which whispers a melancholic dirge as it passes. “It’s finished, it’s finished.”
No. You’d shout if you cared. You rake half-heartedly through the ruins, searching for ... what? For something that will persuade you that this isn’t the end. For something that will make you believe in the impossible.
You’re bleeding now. Needle-sharp shards have pierced your heart, life is slipping away.
The light in your eyes grows weak. Your body is wracked by stabbing pain.
Then - something. At first you refuse to acknowledge the warmth but it’s there, just. You look but can’t see the source. It must be there. Now, suddenly alert, you grab wildly about you, scattering rubbish, shifting debris, cutting your hands as you dive into the wreckage. Just as you’re ready to give up, too weak to go on, you find it, camouflaged amongst the rubble. The wind that took your dreams blows softly on it and the darkness itself is lit by the glowing ember, the fire that can’t be extinguished, that’s always there, the hope that makes the difference between living and dying.