The people huddled in front of the only building left in the town, an old inn at the edge of the town. Some sobbed into the shoulders of the person next to them. Their fat tears were streaked with the soot that filled the usually clear night air. Others stood alone, clutching the last scrap of their life that they had left: the thin pajamas that they were wearing that fateful day. All stood and stared at the remains of their town, their life.
The charred, jagged pieces of their houses, the church, the town hall and museum were keeled over like dying soldiers in a fierce battle. Plumes of smoke rose up from the twisted masses of wood, brick, stone and metal, and curling tendrils of fire still licked at the remains. The people watched as the flames faded away little by little. There were thoughts of regret. If only they had a stronger fire department. There were bittersweet thoughts. Their town was gone but no one was hurt. Yet overall, one thought prevailed and suffocated the other thoughts. It was one of sadness mixed with despair.
Finally, one last flame remained. The people watched the last piece of their enemy dwindle. Then, they saw a figure rising from the flame. A collective gasp and a scattering of whispers rippled throughout the crowd of people. The people began to move forward, cautiously. As they approached the figure, they could make out that it was a girl. Her hair was brown and wavy and the moonlight shone on it, interspersing it with strands of silver. She held a violin and bow engulfed in flames. As the flames slowly disappeared, revealing shimmering, polished wood, she began to play.
The notes pierced the night air. They cascaded over the town, engulfing it in a warm melody. It was a sweet song of hope-one that let all of the townspeople know that eventually, everything would get better. Although the fire could destroy their physical belongings, it could never destroy their love for each other. It could never destroy their spirit. It could never destroy their hope. It could never destroy their determination to rebuild their town and their lives.
The music continued long into the night. As the sun rose into the sky, announcing morning, the notes faded and the girl and her violin slowly disappeared. The townspeople turned and headed back into the inn, ready to create a plan for rebuilding their town.
Go check out Athelas's blog and write your own response to the prompt. Also, do you have any suggestions for my response?