roots to ashes — phoenix sayer. Aug 20, 2019 3:06:04 GMT -5
Post by ɢʀɪғғɪɴ on Aug 20, 2019 3:06:04 GMT -5
He believed in omens because he believed in tragedies, and because he believed these omens were simply masqueraded truths, in dire need of decipherment.
Sometimes, the warning signs were no less shinier than a silver can, and no less brighter than a dying kerosene lamp in the dark. They did not appear as jarring neon signboards — but as a glittery pool of broken glass from a cracked mirror, or as faint constellations that could only be seen in the blackest of nights. They weren’t obvious or salient in the way most assumed them to be, but coy and hidden, like wishes coddled by budding flower-heads. He used their discreet nature as an excuse for him not seeing Diana as a breathing omen.
He remembered her alive and radiant, with eyes as brown as tree bark that had enough depth to house the entirety of this fractured world.
The moment her casket returned, smelling of pristine wood and other fragrances they used to mask the stench of preservatives, he refused to glimpse at her carcass. He wanted to remember Diana as the bright river of light she was, not as a dead girl brought back home from an immortal war. He wanted to remember her for who she was, not what she had become: a withered husk to mourn and then bury or burn, whichever her family chose. Corpses of dead tributes all ended up as two things: mere wicks to ignite or hollow bones to feed on.
And, her death was haunting to say the least, due to the many parallels it shared with Raven, down to the last name and the foe they fought. Seven and Twelve it had been in both scenarios, woodsmoke and hot coals, sawdust and ashes, the forest always uprooted by the fire in the end. It was as if the world had spun this cruel narrative just to punish Phoenix for his multitude of wrongdoings, as if it wanted him to see Diana be torn, piece by piece, in the same way Raven had been.
Scorched, was Phoenix’s heart, that never grew back from its sift of ashes. All that remained in his rib-cage, was soot and char, painting the walls black.
“The flowers have been sent to Diana’s house, Mr. Mayor,” the sound of his assistant shook him from his reveries, eyes blinking back to life. Kree’s face, crooked and hewn from stone, reminded him that he was still the mayor and there were duties left to be upheld, schedules to make, and a district to run.
“All bright red like I asked?”
“Roses, carnations, and petunias.”
“Tokens of internal blood,” he chuckled.
“Thank you, Kree,” he rose onto his feet, wobbled in the slightest ways, and held onto the edge of his table to steady himself as the other male drew closer, arms outstretched to catch him if he were to fall. “Sorry, I’m just feeling a little lightheaded today,” he said, waving a nonchalant hand at the other.
“Would you like some tea, sir?”
“No, just a regular black coffee.”
He shook his head.
Kree, after staring at him bizarrely for a few moments, trod out, leaving Phoenix back in the somber quietness of his room. Beyond the high-arched windows, stood the wispy rises of the district’s homes and the woodlands, both intertwined together poorly in a mottled way, a patchwork of light and shadow under dawn’s light. He could hear faint sounds as the workers stirred for the day ahead of them and the housekeepers cleaned the dishes from yesterday for today’s cold breakfast, the day unfurling itself open, a flower anew. He peered the sun as it rose from the battered skyline, inch by inch, like a pearl soaring out a milky conch.
Then, in between the fluttering of his eyelids, he saw all of it – from the cottages to the forests – burn in a dreadful, orange-streaked flurry. Amid the fires, was Diana and Raven, different yet burning the same, skin molten and throats singed. Phoenix broke into soft, strained gasps, chest heavy, before peeling his eyes away from the windows and averting them to the single sheet of paper on his desk, dark with words.
A rap sounded at this door and Kree entered once more, steaming coffee in hand, the scent of it immediately clearing the mist and the horrors in his head. “Here, Mr. Mayor,” he offered the cup to Phoenix and he took it with both hands, gracefully, but chugged the hot liquid down with utmost messiness.
He felt the heaviness in his chest deflate, and felt the clockwork processes beneath his skull commence smoothly once more, having fed their fuel.
“The podium’s set.”
“And, the people?”
“Around thirty, at the least.”
“Not too bad.”
He set the now-emptied mug on the tabletop and reached for the paper, folded it into a neat stack of origami squares, and buried it in his pocket. The words inked across it were already tattooed to his heart, and scored onto his throat. Phoenix ordered Kree to close the windows before it rained as he strode out of the room, towards the town square. The moment his carriage reached the somber clearing, the skies were already storm-ruffled and growling, a drizzle making the district greyer and colder than it already was.
He ruffled the raindrops out of his hair as he trod up the podium lightly, and faced the mourning crowd with not a smile, but an exasperated look.
“Citizens of district seven,” he greeted.
Then, he began, tone as rigid as the trees:
“District Twelve has desecrated our honor and stolen our glory not once, but twice—”
The hate crackled in his words, like hot coals.
table inspired by my grill fox.