Every wish, each prayer, and all of the desperate screams faded with the remnants of fire as the sun disappeared from the sky. Moonlight bathed the war torn and agony laden land, but no salvation came; their eyes turned to the ashes, but nothing moved. The fragments of hope shattered when the promised reinforcements did not come. The loyal, or perhaps just the most desperate, held fast to their hope as the time of battle drew nearer. But even when the moon rose higher in the sky, no allies came pouring over the hills and the ashes still did not stir.
They all knew before the start of the war that hope was a fragile thing; it could so easily be burned into nothing. Hope and despair always danced hand in hand, divided only be the thinnest of threads. The forlorn agony of the innocents and the soldiers only sank farther away from those lost fragments of hope when the pounding steps of the enemy's reached their ears. Even the injured did their best to stand up straight to hold their heads up high, with their bloody swords ready. That was when the chant started to tear from their hoarse throats; the words "tonight we will rise against them" echoed all over the battlefield.
Almost as though awoken by the desperation and shadow of determination, the ashes finally started to stir; the change was slight enough to go unnoticed, unless someone was looking right at it. It was just a faint bit of movement, gentle and weak, but it was still happening. Only a moment later, small wings poked through the blanket of ashes, followed by a small head crying her enchanted tears. The phoenix had risen from her ashes, but the question still remained…was it too little too late?