auto-515749“At the crest of the ridge, Mía stopped, gasping at the scene below her. The skies were cloudy with smoke and an oddly bright white fog seemed to be moving through the town in clumps, forming almost as fast as the breeze thinned it. What the thinned-out fog revealed left her gaping.

Three separate conflagrations were roaring through houses and shops. Another fire was burning elm trees lining the town square, blazing like giant torches. One fire ripped through a block of bars, restaurants, and shops where she and Claudio had walked just last night. Homes on fire on the other side of the low-rise town sent black smoke billowing up, blending with haze from the other fires, rising toward one inky confluence.

Why couldn’t she hear any sirens? Why wasn’t anyone coming to put out the fires?

The answer lay at the foot of the hill. A small blaze engulfed a fire truck, split in two like a broken toy. The main cabin rested on its side fifty meters from the carriage, but there were no other vehicles on the street, no sign of what had caused the accident.

Oh laws, the parade! Today was Repartition Day. The townspeople would have gathered on Main Street. Could a bomb have gone off? But then there would be survivors, people helping the injured. There should be scores of police investigating, helping people, but she saw none. Where was everyone?

The tragedy, she realized, went far beyond her own horribly painful slice of it. It was as if someone had torn the cover off a book, revealing a different image and a tale much darker than the one that had been promised. No one was safe, she realized. After this day, how could anyone in SeCa feel safe again?”

Excerpt From: Cody Sisco. “Believe and Live – Prelude to Broken Mirror.”

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