The fascinating photo is for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt.
The conflagration grew in intensity as it swept across the planet, each exploded reactor, refinery, pipeline and chemical plant adding to the unquenchable fury of the flames. Shallow seas evaporated, tidal waves faltered and dispersed in monstrous clouds of boiling steam, and the oceans shrank, exposing fantastic rock formations that glowed red before crumbling to ash.
The wave of fire rolled over the earth in a final infernal embrace, reaching the cold waters of the north. In its wake, the forests of the great landmasses were reduced to glowing charcoal, their inhabitants to grey ash, but the great fire faltered over the black ocean. A tower of flame shot into the sky, sending its reflection miles out over the waves, to where a lone swan made a magic circle and said, Enough.
The fire roared but it advanced no further. The waves threw back the fiery reflection and the swan sailed in a widening circle, cold and black, drawing up the remnants of the first life until the darkness teemed with movement. The earth shivered and rolled, pushing up rocks from the ocean bed, and the swan left the water, settled in a comfortable hollow and waited for the grass to grow again, and for her mate to join her.