Riwenne has seen many cities falling by now and the destruction always looks the same. Ruined buildings, broken bodies, with smoke and dust clogging the air. But this time, she sees victims that she knows.
What Happens to My Enemies
Smoke filled my lungs and stung my eyes. I ducked my head below the dark, billowing cloud, trying to see what was going on. Once again, I didn’t recognize my surroundings. Large rocks were scattered across the ground. I stumbled forward, trying to cover my mouth with the edge of my shirt.
A sharp angle rose in front of me. I put my hand out and realized it was part of a building, broken off and tossed haphazardly. Squinting, I could make out more flat lines in the rocks around me. Then the scene clicked into place. I was in the ruins of a fallen city, although I couldn’t tell which one. The architecture wasn’t familiar to me.
When I crept around the corner, I saw the fire gleaming. Burning timbers stretched overhead. One fell in front of me, making me jump back to avoid the sparks flying off.
“This is what happens to my enemies,” a terrible voice echoed around me.
I looked around for the speaker. Nothing could have survived in this destruction.
She cackled, and my eyes jerked upward. Glowing even brighter than the burning buildings, she floated in the sky, ignoring the billowing clouds of smoke that wreathed her. Like before, she had a golden crown on her head and the robes of a high priestess. Her flowing orange hair looked like living fire, writhing around her sneering face.
Huamani flung out her hand, and I followed the gesture. The clouds of smoke parted and I saw clearly the scene that she’d set up.
Fairuza, Namburo, Ixi, and Mano were all tied to stakes in the middle of the square. They struggled against their bonds, but the heavy smoke was already giving them coughing fits. The fire was on all sides, creeping closer to consume them.
“I will punish anyone who stands against me,” Huamani said in her booming tone. “And I’m coming for you next!”
“No!” I screamed, leaping forward to try crossing the flames, but it was already too late.
Fire reached Fairuza’s feet and she screamed as her clothes caught fire. The rest of them were engulfed in flames within moments, igniting like candles. I watched helplessly as their flesh blackened and melted away, leaving only their bones hanging from the stakes.
Their glittering souls rose up from their bodies and Huamani opened her mouth to swallow them whole.
I reached my hand out, screaming wordlessly, but the smoke filled my lungs and I blacked out.