Kaleidoskopic

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a wind reveals

     The crooked room had a musty, mildew smell, nearly masking the smell of black powder. The floor had a layer of splintered wood, shattered glass, and unidentifiable chucks of rubble strewn about it. Nearly everything had a coat of dust and ash blown in from the night before, giving the room a dull grey hue.

     The wind whistled in the room through the cracks, tugging at long walnut coloured hair of the room’s only occupant, a woman dressed in dark coloured clothes mostly hidden by a black coat tied to fit her form.

     She cautiously walked around the large bits of wood and rubble, towards the centre of the room. She kicked bits around, scanning the room.

     A flash of light caught her eyes. She brushed the dirt away, hopeful, and revealed the barrel of a gun. Disappointed, she picked it up. It was hers, but it wasn’t what she was looking for. She slipped the weapon into its hoister sitting on her belt underneath her coat.

     She winded out towards the edges from the centre, carefully scanning every broken, scattered piece of the room.

     A man appeared in the doorway. He wore a coat similar to the one she wore, but it was a lighter shade of grey. He knocked upon the frame. She looked at him and shook her head. He nodded in response. She hung her head dejectedly and proceeded towards him.

     The wind blew harder through the cracks, taking some of the dust with it. Her long hair danced in front of her face; she pulled it back behind her ears.

     Standing next to the man sent to get her, she took a glance back at the destroyed room. Impatiently, the man placed his hand firmly on her shoulder to lead her away.

     She complied. Warm tears trickled down her wind chilled cheeks. A glint from the corner of her eye captured her attention.

     Breaking free from the man’s grip, she went to where she saw the slight reflection.

     Kneeling, she sifted through the junk The man grabbed her upper arm, much to his disliking. It was his job to have her return promptly, they had to go. He tugged her to her fee. Stretching out her free arm, She grabbed at the pile of ash and dust.

     She secured the dust in her hand and stopped resisting. He lead her out of the building, feeling much more comfortable having gotten her outside.

     As they walked to the vehicle, she opened her had. The wind picked up the dust and ash. She watched it trail off her hand, swirling away with the wind.

     She looked back down at her hand. In it remained a gold ring. On the inside, three letters were inscribed, a, c, e. She curled her fingers around it, smiling.

-Kat Ehren