His voice was weak, but strong enough for me to hear, enough to make me stop and listen. The stench of dragon flame still choked the air. Ash, as black as shadow, tarnished the morning, the meadows, the lungs of all who survived. Yet, the old man, bent over a cane as crooked as his own spine, stood amidst the black desolation and mumbled, encouraging himself, praying… ”
“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings. Wind will banish ash and the rose will bloom again.”
I stepped away, weary, worn, soiled by ash and fear, but I’d found hope. All would, someday, be well. Life gives way to death, but death must also succumb to life.