Chapter 1:

Prologue: The Collapse

North Exile

[The sky burns as the black charcoal rises into the air. The smoke makes it hard to breathe as the city is engulfed by an ever-raging fire. The wind blows into my eyes which burns my pupils; I try to see through the smoke that rises from the scorched earth. I see buildings collapse, breaking of the rock between the folds of concrete and the cracking of glass under the weight of the crumbling structure. The world feels as though it's breaking apart.]

[I can't move, not even the minutes of a finger, trying my best to get my skin away from the hot pavement. Even with my vision blurred, I notice the familiar faces of some of the individuals in the street. The roads are littered with bodies of men, women, and children alike. My gut wrenches as I feel the urge to puke. My heart hurts as I gulp while I feel a lump in my throat.]


[A weak voice comes out of me as I'm internally screaming, gasping, trying to breathe in as much of the leftover oxygen as my lungs can hold. Every breath burns the back of my throat causing unbearable searing pain. I struggle to force my chest to rise and collapse again.]

[Shivers crawl down my spine as I break out into a cold sweat. Feeling the wells of my eyes break, water begins to stream down my face, wetness flowing at the side of my ears. I'm going to die, aren't I? Will I become just another corpse on the ground?]


[Fighting for the last draw of my life I call out.]


[Through the sound of falling glass and broken buildings, my ears pick up something wailing.]


[The wind around me distorts, making the sound grow louder and louder and louder. The amplified wailing began to rip my mind, causing a mild headache. Looking past the screen of chaos before me, I see lights flashing when I look above me, unable to make out what it was. I cannot move, unwilling to fight back against this sinking feeling of hopelessness.]


[I try to move and reach my hand out towards the light. I slowly fade back into the darkness. I didn't do it consciously while my body moves on its own. It was the best I could muster while everything goes away, sound, taste, awareness. I was being stripped of who I am one function at a time.]


[I cry out again, hoping someone can hear me as despair takes over me. I feel the darkness drag me under. My last thoughts as my consciousness fades was calling out to something I couldn't see.]

Ana Fowl

North Exile

Oz Weller
You can resume reading from this paragraph.