Written by Kruti Sri

There was a girl, who at the tender age of playing hide-and-seek in pursuit of friendship, dreamed of saving the townsfolk from the comprehensive ruin that they were hiding from. She lived in a town where thousands of dross formed a gruel, which no one bothered to skim due to the vile, unnamed angst of the streets. Spread all around lay the tranquil scent of dead stone, with nothing else left to parade.

Solitude was all she knew, but the girl refused to accept this as her new fate. She could hear the walls talking, telling her to refute the solitude she evermore dwelled in. The minute she stepped out, she could sense a magnetic pole of venture pulling her towards dissecting the townsfolk’s dread into its very fabric. Her quest proved not to be in vain as it led her to the ever higher ground, ever further than mankind’s convention when she found a flaming torch; a twisted tow dipped in wax that burned with an extraordinary rapidity and thoroughness and seemed as though its sole purpose was to enlighten her surreal odyssey.

She now possessed a faculty stronger than any material possession or money, a flaring power that could serve to guide the paths of thousands of souls toward the ultimate sense of liberty. So, she alleged to illuminate the lives of the townsfolk as they rummaged through the frigid, dark streets to find love, care, and other timeless forces that were long forgotten to sustain their existence despite all the volatile facades that clouded their compasses. In every bid she undertook to help the townsfolk, she empowered each one of them to uphold their actions and once they seemed as though they were on the brink, she shone the light down the slippery slide to their respective covets, nevertheless, she did not think her stint ended there. She was driven by the crux of their lives and the value of her spirit to venture so fearlessly down one after another cavernous crusade of every weakling, while voluntarily intercepting her own port of call.

Her odyssey had turned into an obsession so complete and solitary in itself that it shut out all other human experiences that contributed to her bliss. Soon it was hard to determine whether her kindness was a bliss or whether it has turned into an ineffable essence of blazing forth her newfound power. She became a paragon of altruism and diligence across the entire terrain, but there was only one thing the torch could not do. It could not turn her into a person who could love and be loved like everyone else. She had the competence to understand, and perhaps, even be deeply convicted to the profound emotions like love and care, but she had no soul of her own to identify with these emotions. It felt as though her familiar solitude had now transformed into an aching chasm that sat beside her. The torch was her only instrument to flee from this chaos. She felt the crimson flame climb up her blood and she yearned to believe all of this was an agonizing nightmare, except, there was nobody there to wake her up.

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