The deep rumbling sends pebbles skittering as the hard ground begins to shake and a small fissure opens in the rocky soil> It widens as the rumbling grows to a crescendo. The woman’s head and shoulders emerge from the newly formed crater, lush green against the grey stones and brown earth.
When she pulls her arms free, she tosses seeds into the air, and shoots of green begin to spring up through the earth. Saplings rise and turn to trees. She laughs and water begins to pour from a dried stone fountain.
“Live again,” she says. She runs her fingers through the water and lets it pour through her palm.
A single tear trickles down her face. It lands in the water with a tiny splash, and she watches the widening concentric circles with satisfaction.
A phoenix rises in a flash of light.
She nods. “Fly, my child. You are free. The age of man is over.”