FIREBIRD

By Bayveen O'Connell

Content Warnings: Visceral injuries.

On the horizon, a wicked, thickening mushroom cloud blooms. Propeller engines growl away into the distance.

On the ground, I look for my eyes, I feel for my skin. I cannot hear my ears melting nor smell the crackling of my flesh as it recedes. 

This vacuum of heat brings my thirst, summons un-forecast rain. I gape my loosened jaw and swallow, but the droplets swim a river of death through me, set me burning from within. Smoke spirals through every sinew. My hair comes away like loose feathers, and I do not rise from the flames inside me. I do not rise.

Bayveen O'Connell

Bayveen O'Connell is an Irish writer who has words in Reckon Review, Maryland Literary Review, Fractured Lit, Janus Literary, The Forge, Bending Genres and others. She came third in the Janus Literary Spring Story Prize 2021, and received a Best Microfiction nomination in 2019. Bayveen is inspired by travel, history, art and myth. 
@bayveenwriter on Twitter
http://www.bayveenoconnell.com/