Who: Everyone What: The Final, The Last, The End Where: Outside Bellum Letale When: The morning after the masquerade. Warnings: This is a party post. Notes: I will not cry I will not cry I will not cry.
The limos pull along the quiet avenue leading to Bellum Letale, and the coming dawn is entirely obscured by midnight's black still. The entourage strongly resembles a funeral, but despite how hard they may look, if the hearse is ahead, the twists and turns of the looming buildings obscure death's coach.
Suddenly, light: but it is not the dawn. It's orange and yellow, a flickering, dangerous light, a candle flame with aspirations to the heavens. It's Bellum Letale. The roof is already consumed, licking heat kindling in the windows of the highest floors and spitting hungry tongues of fire out of the lower exits. The vehicles bearing every resident continue without pause, drawing all nearer, an oil slick puddling at the base of the burning building. The area is still vacant, and a harsh reminder of how the building itself drives off those who take no part in life within its walls.
Before the limousines allow their passengers to alight, there is a massive crash, and the balconies crunch inward within the building's skeleton. More collapsing supports throughout, as levels and walls give way to the heat, and the building goes lame a floor at a time. The locks click, and the doors open, allowing all passengers the freedom of the heat-choked air. Minutes pass as the flames grow more wild and the smoke thickens, until the sound of cracking timber is interrupted by a roar that makes the surviving trees sway and jolts the sewer covers from their beds.
Something pushes through the third floor windows, a limb the size of a redwood that glints of skin or scales. It rakes out, reaching beyond the boundaries of the building into the air--and finding nothing, curls back inward, drawing with it red hot steel beams and raining molten glass and burning splinters down among onlookers. Another earth-shattering below as the creature claws at the night air from successive floors, taking the building down chunk by flaming chunk, until the ruin sinks down into the basement in clouds of debris and choking smoke.
As dawn breaks in spectacular pink and orange rays, the fire is subdued by late-arriving servicemen, and the smell of doused charcoal overtakes all. There is no sign of whatever was within the building as it collapsed, and no witnesses except for those men and women so unfortunate as to be able to hear its death throes--these now homeless residents of Bellum Letale.
The new day breaks, and the smoldering ruins are all that remains. Heaps of brick, fluttering shrouds of burnt material, crushed furniture--and the sturdy stone outline of a stone wishing well, still untouched, buried in the crater of the cataclysm.