Booming thunder, crackling from the heavens. Streaking the white-hot sky. Debris tumbling, as stones thrown by angry gods. Gods of Death. These newfound instruments of destruction. Dropped from above. Rolling out of their metal shells, hurtling towards the ground. Making coffins of street corners.
Broken rubble the innocent's grave.

First day home. After a long and painful labor, she waits in an empty house. It has been this way for months. Silence. Nothing but her and the clock. Six months gone. No more letters have come. Word of her husband and daughter
Come to a complete stand still.
Everyday a new worry. Everyday spent with stomach clenched in fear.

The village has been kind to her. They loved Ellone as much as she. It had been hard at first, being the only single mother in a small town. This new babe gives them even more reason to gather 'round her.
Life emanates from him. Confirmation of our blessed place in the universe.
That spark of star born brilliance. Set deep in storm cloud eyes.

She walks through this town. Showing the babe his home. Where his future most likely lays, in the tiny streets and fields. Reveling in the fresh air of a bright summers morn.
His rosy cheeks. His pale blue eyes gazing upward stoically.
He hasn't smiled yet and it worries the new mother.
You can't go through life never smiling.

We all wait here. In the in-between. Going about our uncertain lives. Unheeding. Unknowing. Walking through death's shadow without fear. Until he comes for us. Grasping and clawing.

In the aftermath, the babe cries plaintively. His mother's silent tears splashing against dry rock. She hadn't even named him yet, waiting for her family's return that would never come. A blood stained hand reaches out, tiredly caressing her son's cheek. Her touch quiets him, cooing softly in the hard and narrow dark.
Delicate newborn body, shielded by his mother's gentle embrace.
The weight above crushing her slowly, pushing the breath from her rib cage.
She endures this for long hours. Barely acknowledging the flittering peaks of light.

Rescue workers dig the pair from the rubble. Some without tools, they pull the debris from the scene by hand. Removing stone after stone to find this broken body and the child she protected. Muffled voices calling for a doctor. Her eyes flutter, and she pulls her necklace off with trembling hand. Clamping it into a startled worker's grasp.

How startlingly short our lives are. Even in old age the end always comes too soon. We walk this planet as strangers, long time visitors exploring virgin earth. Love blossoms only to die and be reborn into light in a never- ending cycle.
In deepening sorrow, she sleeps and closes her eyes on pale moonlight.
Thinking about her son's beautiful eyes. Blue and as clear as artic
ice.
Brewing gray, storm clouds stealing.

They remind her of a storm she once saw over the ocean in her youth. Her Squall. Her son. Her shining beacon. What future lay ahead of him, she does not know. Groggy mind wondering what fate's strings hold for him.
She only hopes he will know how much she loved him.
Even until death.