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Building From Ashes

Building From Ashes

Description : Building From Ashes
Wicklow Mountains, Ireland

June 2010

He emerged from the earth, the acrid smell of smoke hitting his nose as he brushed the loose soil from his face. He could see the flames licking at the houses, and hear the shouts of the humans as they ran, some rushing to safety, others attempting to drown the fire that had already turned the main house to rubble.

His daughter sat at the edge of the garden, staring into the flames, leaning toward the heat as if drawn by some ineffable force.

Carwyn stalked toward her. “Deirdre.”

She looked up, her eyes feverish in the moonlight. “I kept everyone away. As soon as I realized… I kept them all away. No one’s been hurt.”

He pulled her up by the collar of her singed shirt. “What have you done?”

“As soon as I realized… She’s still alive. She must be, I think. The flames keeping, and I feel… I knew as soon as she woke—”

“What have you done?” he roared as the roof of the barn adjacent to the farmhouse started to burn. He glared at her, the blood tears staining her cheeks and her auburn hair wild around her face. His grip on her softened.

“I couldn’t…” Deirdre’s whisper could barely be heard. “I couldn’t lose her, too. Not her.” More shouts came from the houses, and somewhere near the dairy barn, a child began to cry.

Carwyn’s face fell, and his rage fled. “My daughter”—he groaned—“what have you done?” He let go of her collar, and Deirdre’s long legs seemed to crumple under her as she sank back into the cool soil of the summer garden.

He waded through the mass of people running away from the smoking farmhouse. The old building was in ruins, the top...