The cloud got darker as it got closer to the clustered town, but its occupants were used to it. Bells started ringing, which marked the call. Mark stepped out into the light to attend his brother’s funeral. Tears streamed down his cheeks but he kept walking.
His legs ached but he got to the casket and sat down on a chair beside it. The time had come. The coffin was lowered into the hole and everyone’s face showed sorrow.
After it was over, Mark sat there with his head in his hands. A man came running towards him and said “We need to talk. You’re the reason.”
Mark opened his eyes. It was over. Everything made sense. It wasn’t his brother, it was him. “How do you know?”
“I’ve always known it” the man replied.
“Then why now? Why are you telling me this after my family was killed?”
“You’re a fool. The fire clearly told me to tell you at the funeral. It was my destiny.”
“You let my family die because a fire told you so?” Mark replied in disgust. “You’re the fool, not me.”
“It was destined to happen. It wasn’t my choice.”
Mark leapt out of his chair and pounced at the man. He held him by his collar and said, “Put out the fire. You’ll regret it if you don’t.”
“Put out the fire?” The man spluttered. “You can’t just put out the fire.”
Mark sighed. “Well what does the fire tell you now?”
“Sacrifice.” The man replied.
“Sacrifice what?” asked Mark.
There was silence, which was finally broken by Mark.
“I thought it might be something like this.”
Mark sat and put his head in his hands again. After all his suffering, it had to end like this.
“Midnight. Come here.” Whispered the man.
Suffering and sadness would finally end for the small town. Families would stop being lost from diseases and plgcl wqxld bl glfyqgld. Hgppxnlff gnd qppqgyxnxyy wqxld glyxgn.