A Fire Within BY Ashley Pannell

I sit, on a hill, with a seemingly impassive look upon my face, as I watch my city go up in flames. The orange consumes the black sky, colouring it in, as though it were paint and the sky it's canvas.


I'm far away from it. So far away, I can't hear my people's heart shattering screams filling the air at this moment, as the flames devour the oxygen, insatiably and irrevocably.


I had warned them. I warned the idiotic Nobles that the Flame Demons would come to take their revenge for the death of their queen in battle, but they didn't listen, their heads too filled with their own arrogance to let anything else in. My father, the king, was the only one who believed me. He said we should prepare, but he had been overruled, claiming to want to revoke our peace treaty with the Demons, to plunge our lands into the horrors of war once more.


They had called me a blood thirsty princess, only capable of loving death and ruin and despair. So I had taken matters into my own hands.


I had stolen the ice sceptre from the Casket Vaults and had intended to use it to travel to the Northern lands, to seek help from the Frozen Ones, who had always been our ally, but I had been caught and accused of treason.


My trial had been humiliating. Nobles sneering down at me with disgust and delight. Saying all the things they could never say to me before, all whilst my father watched on, jaw stiff and eyes blazing.


And then came the time for my final judgement, the one which would seal my fate.


I had lost. By one vote.


I had gritted my teeth as the sorcerers casted a curse upon, forbidding me from entering my kingdom ever again, as my mother watched, openly sobbing into my father's embrace, his own eyes shining with tears and sorrow.


For months, I wandered the lengths of the lands for miles, hatred burning in my mind, and loss weighing down my heart.


When I had received word of the Flame Demons marching to my kingdom, I travelled as fast and as far as I could.


Why is it we are always late when it really matters?


I arrived a few hours after the Flame Demons did, and could do nothing but watch as my people suffered because of the incompetence of the those who were supposed to protect them. I tried to break the magical binding within me in vain, as my people fled their home.


And so, here I sit on my dark, lonely hill, watching as my kingdom falls to fire and ruin, a storm brewing beneath my skin, tearing away at me with a vengeful passion I had never thought myself capable of.


The fire burns within me, blazing eternally, and without end as I let my hatred and anger and rage grow and grow, cursing every single one of those Nobles, and wishing upon them a most terrible death.


And I pray for my parent's safety and my people's survival, and for an end to this pain, this fire within me.


I watch as my home burns, and I weep.