Everything roared. The waves. The hooves of the horses. The wind. The sound of her breath. The panting of her comrade. The creak of leather. The flurry of sand. It all flew past and got pulled out to sea. But in as it swept by it shook in Esmila’s ears. Her head swam with the onslaught. Yet she couldn’t slow, couldn’t stop, couldn’t breathe to let it pass. Ahead lay her destination. And even at this distance she knew it was lost.
Flames crawled across the ruins of a castle so unnamed and forgotten to time. Their camp, their compatriots, her fellow refugees were naught. All that was had become fire and ash. Even the water had pulled back from the heat, revealing barnacles and other sea creatures writhing in the torment. Their usual salt-flavored scent overridden by the smoke and brimstone.
Cairnel fell from his horse. Chocking, sobbing, he collapsed in the sand before the camp. Esmila remained in the saddle, even as her horse tried to dance away as the heat spate and sputtered. Within the flames she could see forms, made of ash and frozen. Their faces gone, but the agony apparent in their poses.
Esmila knew there was nothing for her to do, but wait for the flames to perish. And so she waited atop her horse in silence.
Today’s art is courtesy of Santa Norvaisaite from Toronto, Canada.