After it happened, nothing was the same in our village. It was like a storm had blown in and out. It happened without warning and was over before we could fully respond.I can still see it so clearly: embers glowing among blackened mounds where homes had once been, where some people still were. I had never seen anything like it.
The next day, word spread as to who was missing, who had died. Word also spread as to who was responsible and how it would go for those who had escaped death. I was so stricken by it all. I left the village and went to one of my favorite spots, an old tree I had climbed many times. It looked like someone else had spent a lot of time up there. I liked to pretend that it was where my dad would go when he was a kid. The worst thing about that day is that when I was up there, after I was done crying, I actually smiled. I was thinking about how they were all gone and for a moment, just one moment, I was glad that at least she would never look at her sister like that again instead of me. I hated myself for that.
I cried again after that.
-The Whelp in his cups
“Pinnacle” is the working title for a Fantasy novel by Matthew Munoz. The speaker in this passage, “the Whelp” is one of the principal characters.