A Brilliant Little Fire
Part One: Joseph
Mayor Joseph Grey removed the last traces of office; the ceremonial hat and badge would be handed to his successor, and he would be free to pursue whatever new path he chose. Five years had gone by swiftly. The town which they had constructed was everything he had envisioned; neat, tidy homes, a clapboard school for the handful of children, even a universal church for those who felt the call of a Greater Power.
Yes, it had been a good run, but the time had come to put an end to it. At first, building the town had brought the Tragedy survivors together, giving them a sense of community and of purpose. Starting anew had allowed them to move beyond the horror of past lives, exorcise their own personal demons, and begin the process of forgetting. But lately, he'd seen the signs of rot setting in. People began to bicker over property lines and water rights. Those who were gifted with their hands dressed up their homes, inciting jealousy in their neighbors. Last week there had been a vulgar spat between two women over a pew in the church – when the sanctuary was half empty! He shook his head in disgust.
A dog-eared photograph hung on the wall by his front door; a woman, with the wide glowing smile of a child. He remembered the long nights in the old world as he waited for death or the dawn, whichever arrived first. The fevered sparkle in her eyes and the feel of her hand in his as she slipped away forever. Taking the photo down, he hesitated between the pile of items he'd chosen to keep and those consigned to destruction. I will remember you, but your things must go; if we cling too long, then the dead become more real than the living and Renaissance becomes a ghost town. He dropped it on the discard pile.
The notices would be nailed to each and every door at six o'clock the next morning; every resident would have one hour to collect whatever they could carry and move on, if they chose.
At seven o'clock, Mayor Joseph Grey would light the fire which would burn Renaissance to the ground.
Prompt: A sense of impending doom.
Word count without title: 366
Character # 1 - Mayor Joseph Grey
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