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The Story of the Sunburnt Phoenix

**Very quick entry. A thought i and last night and developed in the shower. Not really a story as such so much as a concept I’m hoping to use in another book. Read, enjoy and Share!**

 

 

 

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He had risen from his ashes a long time ago. A chick amongst the darkness, he had burned brightly as the dust was cast from his feathers.

 

His first call had been high pitched but strong. Audible but not over powering. It was the start of a journey that would never come to an end.

 

He knew from those first tentative flaps all that he was leaving behind, all he had ever really known. The ashes had been what was left of his old life. They had choked and suffocated him, tainted the red glow of his feathers and had even begun to settle on his fragile mind.

 

In his anger and desperation he had burst a flame and poked his head from the blanket he lay beneath, determined to escape it forever. It wasn’t a quick endeavour. The new air was clear and frightening. The chill it brought was biting. Even the gusts of wind he would one day sail upon wrought naught but terror to his mind.

 

Slowly, as the days turned to months and the melancholy continued to cover him for years more, the phoenix began his journey from the ashes.

 

Once he was free he felt invincible. He had prevailed over the horrors of his past life and the sun was shining down on the open air of his new one.

 

He soon found the sun did more than shine in its place in the sky. It also beat down rays of heat.

 

He flew close to the treetops for the first few years. Not daring to soar too high, nor embracing the true gift of his flight. He bound himself to the canopies because he never tried to stare at the clouds.

 

He flew so far that the trees turned to swamps, the swamps to fields, the fields to plains and the plains to deserts. Here, in the dusty outlands of a beautiful world he found himself once again in the thrall of that which blankets and settles on the mind. Sand or ashes; to the phoenix they were both one and the same.

 

So he lay down in the golden grains and stopped flapping his wings. He lay there and lay there believing the adventure over. The sun beat as it tended to do and the phoenix became raw and burnt. The sands around him began burning his feathers.

 

He had flared so brightly in those early days but had flown so close to the ground he may as well have walked all along. It wasn’t escaping the ashes that had held him back; it was believing he could soar in the sky.

 

Night fell and the moon shone now. The sand cooled and the air froze in the desert night. The phoenix, still lying on the Earth began to cry for all he had lost.

 

He wept for the misfortune of his egg hatching amongst ashes.

 

He wept for having no one to teach him to fly.

 

He wept harder still for the loneliness his wings had brought him and the despair that had trapped itself in his head.

 

The ashes had become his only comfort and he had cast them aside. They weren’t friends but the anguish that they had been was his only companionship.

 

He cried for so long and so hard that he almost missed the most beautiful butterfly flitter high above him, its shadow dancing on the phoenix’s face.

 

He watched the tiny butterfly go right past him, not even noticing there was anyone else around, so high he wondered why it was not scared of falling.

 

He realized then that it was he, not the butterfly, which was scared of falling. He was terrified that if he flew too high, he might one day find himself again amongst the ashes.

 

And how would I cope then? Knowing as much as I do about the world around me?

But look where I’ve ended up? Back amongst the ground, weeping for all I’ve survived!

 

He flapped his wings. And again, and again.

 

The sand that covered them shook free and he snapped his beak at the moon above him.

 

Flap after flap he found himself going higher than he had ever been before. Past the clouds and high into the stars. It exhilarated him beyond reason as he stretched himself like never before.

 

I can get stronger, he knew.

 

I can see the world, he hoped.

 

I can be happy, he prayed.

 

I can survive.

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