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hyperion_giants wrote in it_is_written
It was morning when I woke up to the sounds of screaming. My friends over the hill were the first to die. Apparently some human tossed a cigarette butt out the window of their car as they drove by last night. It's amazing how quickly the crest catches fire. Last year it had just barely reached the rim of the other side of the mountain when the firefighters stopped the flames.

All the creatures that live in my arms ran away while I slept.

Today I am alone with my neighbors all around me terrified of the wall of smoke that is looming right over the hill. The sounds of crackling death and the smell of burning wood are acrid and nauseating.

And the crackling sound is getting louder.

Soon the orange glow is rising out of the smoke. Then the cries of my friends at the top of the hill echo through the earth. The friends that I've had for almost a century, soon they will only be ash.

And the crackling sound is getting louder.

The flames are now over the treeline. They are leaping from branch to branch, dancing like the butterflies. The cinders of our fallen are slowly floating towards me like the fireflies of summer.

And the crackling sound is getting louder.

I can only watch. The anxiety of the heat is radiating through the trees. I feel it in my heart. I remember living in this forest for years. Being a home for birds and small creatures. Now I will only be a memory of a shadow. Soon I will be nothing but ash. I'm not scared, I'm only seeing how quickly the world is going to end for me.

And the crackling sound is getting louder.

I don't know what to think, the screams are deafening. I am silent. The heat is already making my skin dry. The heat is unbearable.

And the crackling all around me.

I felt it on my arms first... I feel myself dying. There is silence all around me, silence of death over the crackling. The sounds of the fire are like a symphony of death. The pain is blinding. I feel my arms fall off. I feel my skin turning to ash and breaking away. Everything feels like it's slowing down. Getting darker in the fire light.

And I am Crackling.

I feel myself laying down. The first time I have ever laid down.

I fall asleep.

A year later I wake up and I am just a sapling again. And all my friends are saplings too. I remember that I have done this before. I remember that every time the fire comes we all grow anew. I remember that this happens because the forest needs to change and grow. There are new saplings with us, and in the end after everything seems to fall apart and be terrible, there is always something new that grows out of it.