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Out of smoke and fire they came.
At first just as strange and unthreatening as seeing a face in the clouds, the creatures born of smoke and fire came.
Friendly at first, their faces smiling, their words sweet, the terrible creatures of smoke and fire came.
One or two, here and there, at campfires or in crematoriums or at bonfires on the beach, the creatures of smoke and fire came.
But then, so much more. Fires spontaneously lit themselves in city streets, in the lush cornfields of the country towns, in the playgrounds of schools.
And as more came, and more were born of the wicked flame, their expressions were not so sweet, their words not so kind. The creatures started to show, with the strength of numbers, their true faces.
And then we knew, the Emergence had begun.
The ephemeral can kill. It can torture in slow, bittersweet ways. It can drive you mad.
It is not constrained by the normal rules of physics. It can seep and creep and crawl and travel vast distances in the blink of an eye.
And its eye is terrible. But more terrible still is its mouth. Their mouths. Their hungry mouths.
All we could do was run, all we could do was hide. One by one we fell, consumed, one by one into bitter death.
I’m hiding still, in the alleyways and byways of the grittier side of city life. Hoping they won’t come. Hoping they won’t find me. Fearful, ever alert, for the slightest flicker of flame, the smallest whiff of smoke.
I know it’s only a matter of time. The world is theirs now, and we are but the fuel for their flame.
But still, I hide.
(c ) Helen M Valentina 2019