NaNoWriMo Excerpt 11/20/18
The ash fell like light snow, the kind that only comes with the quiet in the dead of winter in the places where men don’t travel. The beauty of it was lost on me in the moment, but looking back I can’t deny it. The fire had left my life in tatters. Everything that mattered had been destroyed. Yet there I stood, being calmed by the falling ash.
I have vague memories of someone finding me, moving me to a different place, but other than that I only remember the ash.
I came out of my stupor days later, still covered in ash from the fire. I found myself sitting in a small bed in the orphanage on the far side of the city. I could still see the ash that had rubbed into my skin and smell the smoke that had soaked into my clothes.
“How are you doing today, Faleth?” A gentle voice called from around the corner, “Are you feeling better?”
A large woman wearing simple linen clothing rounded the corner and stopped when she saw me looking at her. Her eyes were both shocked and sad, but her smile was possibly one of the most gentle and genuine things I had ever seen in my life. It reminded me of my mother.
I assume it was the thought of my mother, combined with the cries I had heard the night of the fire that still echoed in my mind, but something broke in me and I cried. The woman rushed to my bedside, sitting next to me, and pulled me into her. I don’t know how long I cried for, it could have been a few minutes, or hours, but when I finished I felt empty. Every emotion in me seemed to have been washed away by the tears.
“Do you feel better now?” the woman said as I sat up and wiped the tears from my face. “I know a good cry when I see one, and that, young sir, was a good cry.”
I shrugged, not knowing what to say. I didn’t feel anything. Not bad, not good, just empty.
“My name is Marlene. This is my home, and as of a few days ago, it is your home as well.” She shifted in her seat to face me more directly. “Is there anything I can get you? Would you like something to eat? You haven’t really eaten much the last three days.”
My stomach growled loudly at the promise of food, and I nodded.
“I’ll be right back then, don’t move a muscle,” she said as she rose from the bed in a hurry.
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