I: The Phoenix Rises

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Darkness.

Am I dead?

I can't be. I...feel? Pain, suffocation, terror...

Phoenix.

"...Daddy?"

Come on baby, get up. You're not a quitter, you never were.

"I'm so tired. I just want to see Mom."

Don't talk like that. Your mother wasn't a quitter. She fought until the day she died.

"Please daddy..."

Don't you dare quit on me! Rennys don't quit! Say it!

I gritted my teeth, my father's words adding fuel to my impeding inferno welling inside my gut.

"When we fall..."

That's it. Survive baby. Live...

I screamed; a war cry for survival, my family's motto escaping my throat with thunderous conviction.

"We rise!"

****

I can't tell you much more about that day.

It felt like I was being reborn, reborn into a foreign world.

A tornado of never-ending ash and dust swirled around me as I emerged from my tomb.

This began my new life.

My new world.

Ash and dust.

Only one thing mattered now.

Survival.

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