Pia was flying; or floating… She couldn’t tell, and this was unsettling. After all the excruciation she had gone through, she felt almost too comfortable. She was still paralysed, unable to so much as lift a single finger or open her eyes. The only things she could sense were smell, temperature, and sound. This did not make it any less unsettling, as she had zero inkling where she was, or even how she was.

Since before Pia could remember, she had always been hyper-aware of the beings around her. Whether they were human, or not, she knew each being had a supremely individual story and each being took a different path. She knew not to pass judgement merely by a passing look, or an overheard sound. She knew not to assume that one might be a certain way based on only a few actions seen from afar, or as told by a spectator.

 People are like sparklers in the dark; small pulses of light drifting through life until the flame eventually fades. Each person leaves a trail in their wake and, like the sparklers, the trail is only visible for a vastly short moment. Once the trail is out of sight, though, it is not out of mind. The trail has an impact on those who witness it, or those who feel the heat emanating from it. The impact may only last a matter of seconds, but it is there and it can create anything from a slight breeze to a rampaging storm.

Pia could not feel the familiar heat of any sparklers in this place.

The desolation was immense. 


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