Our Ashes

This short piece is based on the image above for August 24th on Creative Writing Ink

“What is this black gunk, Ma?”

“No! Don’t touch it!”

“What is it?”

“It is a reminder. A horrible reminder of the darkness within all humans. And what that darkness can do,”

“What can darkness do?”

“It blinds. It deceives. But most of all, it destroys…With no mercy,”

She bends down and takes a handful from the black heap. It had rained, there was a damp feeling in the air. It had mixed with the aftermath, creating a sort of paste. A kind of thick, dry, sticky paste.

“This,” she says. “This is what anger looks like,”

 

Eventually, I learned the English word for these dust-like remains – ash. The powdery residue or the remains left after the burning of a substance. My mother was right to stop me from touching them. The ash wasn’t from the consequence of an enraged man who’d lost all inhibitions and burned his house down along with his marriage or…

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