The Monster I've Become

Excellence Award in the 'Poetry & Short Story Writing Competition 2020' competition

I see nothing but the cowering children staring at me in terror, and the flames rising and rising as they attempt to reach the peak of height, cindering the crumbling school.
I hear nothing but the screams of the humans around me, and a ringing in my ears.
I feel nothing but the flames crackling against my body painlessly, and my heart beating against my chest like a drum.
The heat of the fire crawled up my back, though it was not painful. The flames engulfed me, but I did not get burnt. The fire shot from different spots on my body, and I had no control over what I had become. I tried calming everyone down, but they just looked at me and screamed in terror. Unconscious bodies littered the hallway. The building trembled as it fell apart.
Everyone cried in terror as the flames that were surrounding me roared and grew, scorching those nearest to me.
I walked down the hall, and into the body strewn courtyard. There were people out there, all looking terrified as I walked through the veil of flames at the door. As I walked, the flames trailed behind me, yet keeping up, like I was their mother and they didn’t want to be separated.
I suddenly felt angry. I had no idea were my rage was coming from, but I hated all the people gazing at me in terror. This was not my fault! I didn’t want to be a walking flame! I didn’t want to hurt people! But my rage took over, as well as the flames. The real me just stood, there, my soul trapped inside the body of flames, begging it to stop.
The rage of my inferno shook my body, and a wave of fire spread out across the courtyard, and all the remaining plant life that hadn’t been burnt was caught in the oncoming onslaught of flames. As well as the people. They screamed. They ran. They fell.
Some escaped the raging inferno.
Most did not.
And as the fire finally extinguished and the final ashes fell to the ground, I fell to my knees, and sadness filled my body, destroying the final traces of rage. The sky was a deep grey. The sky rained down, but instead of rain; it was ashes. The splintered, scorched trees were still red hot from the fire. Bodies scattered around the place, some breathing, others not. My body felt numb as I looked at the monster I’d become.

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