The searing heat and wildly dancing flames had consumed all they could, leaving behind red-hot embers that glowed and flickered with inner life. Smoke curled upwards from the wreckage, dark spirals working their way towards the heavens — but it was the ash on the wind that made it all real. The fragile grey fragments drifted lazily on the light breeze until they disintegrated into dust. 

Gone. It was impossible and yet here he stood, coated in the ash that gave testament to the cruel truth. The soft film covered the ground, his long leather jacket, and coated his eyelashes, making them heavy and thick. In the fading light, the world was grey, devoid of colour, casting the harsh glow emitting from the remnants of his life into sharp relief.

It was over, and somehow he must find a place in this new and empty world. But not tonight. He settled himself on the ground, close enough that he could feel the heat, and he waited — determined that someone would remain to witness the final moments.

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