A sickening scent of destruction reached for miles around and lingered upon the hot, dry wind, which had engulfed the desolating flames. Embers flew in the updraft, caught, never released, still burning. A once mighty cathedral had been turned to ash and rumble in the blink of an eye. The press of a red button. All that had once remained here was gone. Replacing it, a flattened pile of shattered lives and broken hopes of peace and love. The stars had disappeared into the darkness.
Four men stood, huddled tightly to what was once the corner of the cathedral, clumped as if fearful of further attack. The first stared up towards the sky in a deep black coat, his hat ensconced in his shaking pale hand as he attempted to comprehend what had happened. The second, gazed blankly into the abyss of the rubble that surrounded him, he too had removed his hat from his head in sorrow. The third faced the fourth as if for support and solace that the fourth could not provide at this time for he too was in shock. Neither he nor the third, second or first gentlemen could even begin to understand the destruction that surrounded them.
Piles of rubble stood around as disfigured, fallen corpses forgotten by time, though they had emerged only a short while ago. Burned pews, a shattered font, a battered bible, their service had been resigned to this. What God would allow this? The faithful had been punished. The sinners had escaped. An unbreakable silence held all around as a chill in the air. A curse. This place was cursed. Haunted by the souls that had met their firry end in the night that’d just passed.
A fifth man walked alone. His head hanging to the flattened floor around him. He did not so much as glance at the cluster in the corner. He wore his hat as he drowned in a pool of his own thoughts and fears and memories. His brown boots seemed to kick the rubble as if seeking revenge upon the weak bricks and mortar that had allowed the city to fall. He blinked oddly as he walked, perhaps attempting to hide a falling tear from view. Trying to keep up appearances. Finally, he stopped and stared at the scene before him, as if hoping to wake up from sick nightmare. He never would.
A towering structure stood, almost silhouetted against the horizon. A great crenelated wall reached, as if heralding the heavens, the rough stone eroded by time, for what had this place not seen? The plague, the great fire, a previous conflict, and yet, it’d come to rest at the hand of a Luftwaffe engine and a fire ball. One man had resulted in this, he’d pressed a button and realized the death and desolation down upon the city as the holy ghost. A bird in flight dropping its message down to the morals. Large holes had been carved within the rock where crystalline window panes had been not an hour ago.
Blasted away. Not a moment ago.
The sky glowed red. Sickening anger released down upon the innocents. Yellow ran like rivers through the anger as decay and despair following the attack. Nothing had been spared the fate. All beneath the skies had been marked for a slow and painful death. Not a moment ago, the blue sky had been blessed with the presents of Nazi fighter jets in their masses, which one had fired the deadly shot, which caught the wind and burned this place to the ground? To its end. Destruction had come and then vanished like a monster in the depths of night.
A gentle ray of light beamed in through a blasted hole in the stone, illuminating all in its path. Hope had arrived; dawn had come at last.