The fire changed everything. Nothing was right anymore. Nobody was right anymore. The fire came from the sky to take the lucky ones. It showed no mercy to the rest. It destroyed the land. It destroyed the water. It destroyed living and unliving. It spared nothing. Only those the fire frowned upon were passed over. Only the wretched were left behind.
The fire left them with nothing. The land once gave them life. It was green and wonderful. The water gave life to the land. Everything was good when the land was happy. But the fire took the land from the wretched. Green became black, brown, gray. There is no green anymore. Only heat, dust, nothing. The water takes the life it once gave. The wretched were left to die, stripped of all that was good. The land takes their life as retribution. They did not stop the fire. The wretched could not stop the fire.
All the wanderer sees is barren. There would have been life all around him before the fire. He did not witness the fire. He has never known the good, beautiful land. He never saw the water of life. All he knows is the fury of the land scarred by the fire.
He carries on. He walks the barren land alone. He dreams of a land untouched by the fire. A land of life. A land of good. He does not know if this land exists. The stories say the entire world fell victim to the fire. But those are stories of the wretched. The wanderer hopes. He hopes he is not like the wretched. He is told he is undeserving. The fire did not take him. The fire took the deserving. He is told he is wretched. But he hopes.
He goes because he knows he must. The promise of the unscarred land pushes him on. He does not know if there is an unscarred land. He does not know if the wretched are right. The mountains give him hope. The wretched have never passed them. They may hide the unscarred land. He must know. He can not stop until he knows. Until he knows, he can only hope.
The mountains are distant. The wanderer knows he may never reach them. The barren land is unforgiving. But he hopes. He dreams of the unscarred land, full of life and good. The unscarred land, the answer to his hope. The defiance in the face of the fire.
The wanderer believes. He believes because he must. The unscarred land, refusing to yield to the fire, is the power in him. It is the source of his hope. It is the answer. He refuses to yield. He must go on. He must hope.
The wretched say the fire took all that was good. But the wanderer knows. He is not counted among the wretched. He knows the fire can not take what is his.
The fire can not harm him. Not in the face of his hope.