The fire was unwavering as it ate up the camp, blood drowned screams bit the air like a vicious dog, and Eirian could not breathe. Her heart stuttered in her chest as she gripped Owen’s sweaty hand in fear of her life, stumbling through the brambles behind him. She saw the angry red flames climb the trees around them – the heat burning her skin. Owen was screaming her name, leading her away from the fire.
She tumbled behind as fast as she could manage, with her lungs dragging in more and more of the surrounding smoke. Ahead, she could make out a dark shadow in the midst the flames. Tears trickled down her cheeks as she blinked away the burning sensation, and the image of Shen’s face appeared before her.
The flames seemed to burn around where he stood, and as the pair reached him the flames evaded them also. Owen forced himself to a halt, and Eirian gripped the back of his torn tunic and began to cough uncontrollably. She shut her eyes tightly, burying her face into her friend’s back. Shen’s arms were around her in an instant, and the wave of relief that came was quickly swallowed by fear for Owen’s safety as well. She tried to call him, she tried to reach out in the smoke and grasp his hand – but there was only heat, a sickening heat that promised no life could be sustained.
She felt her body melt into the firm torso that was Shen, and her mind gave in to the threatening darkness.