The world did not end in a bang or a whisper, but rather one scream at a time.
The fire and ash rain down in torrents and smoke fills the air as the world crumbles around you. Red light from the sun pours through the heavy clouds, painting the sky like a murder scene.
All around you, the dying cry their final words, the life ripped from them in blazes of white-hot light. You know that you will be next.
Your hands are caked with dust. Your face is streaked with oil and ash. Your clothes are ripped and small cuts mar the surface of your skin, blossoming red on the grey fabric.
All of the world is sound, but you hear nothing but the dying.
The world is crumbling at the edges, great glass towers sinking into the sea, molten rivers crashing into the ground.
Shattered glass and bloodstained cloth is what the world has become, ravaged by a war of celestial and infernal. A war of heavenly fire and hellish ice.
A war the tore the world of man apart with a single breath, and ripped it to pieces with a gust of wind.
You think you see her now, a dark figure in the distance, emerging from the smoke and destruction like some kind of avenging angel. But Annabel is no angel.
Her smile cuts deeper than a thousand knives.
"Annabel..." Her name is torn from your mouth.
She is suddenly beside you, all dark glances and seductive whispers. "Shush. No worries. I'm here."
"You... you were dead..."
"But I'm not now." She smiles. "And isn't that all that matters?"
Her arms are around you and you slump into her, to weary to stand. She pats your back and croons, whispering promises of crowns and kings, of ravens and pens, of fame and forever.
"What have I done?" You whisper to yourself, but Annabel hears. Annabel always hears.
She pulls away, holding you at arm's length, looking you up and down as if you had suddenly become a stranger. "But this is what you wanted. This is what you've always wanted.
You and me, together... This is the way it should be."