A Whole Bucket of Stars I

The smell was overpowering, but God help her, she couldn’t stop smelling it. The scent was so full, so complex: it was like burning wood (incense?), but there were flavors present. Crushed oregano here, some roast beef there. Petunias. Chamomile tea. How were all these things rolled up into this one smell? But what a perfect scent, how fulfilling. You could smell it and want to sleep for hours afterwards. It was some combination of eating a tasty sandwich for lunch and strolling through a field next to a golden forest. Calming, delicious, warm. Beatrice wanted to find this smell and package it, so she could save it and smell it whenever she wanted to (which was every minute of every day for the rest of her life).

Her eyes fluttered open. She groaned. It felt like she had just run a marathon. Her body was screaming. Lifting her head up, she saw Tötges’ unmoving body. A couple small fires were burning tenaciously through the remnants of the kitchen and living room. Moving slowly and deliberately, Beatrice made her way to her father’s body. She shook him, but he didn’t move.

Wailing noises over head. Then explosions nearby. The ground shook, and Beatrice steadied herself. She had to get out of here, she realized sadly. She called out for the rest of the family but received no response. Brushing her hair behind her ears automatically, she made for the front door only to find it didn’t exist anymore. Unphased by this new development, she strode through the debris, away from the house.

After clearing the ruins, she turned around to see what she could of the house. An unmoving body was visible on the second floor. More wailing noises tore through the blue sky, accompanied by distant explosions, and ominous brown clouds of smoke.

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