ashes...ashes...we all fall down

Whisps of ashy gray smoke occasionally drift over the walls. Sometimes, when the wind blows just the right way, I can smell the charred, silent world outside of my fortress. Perhaps my nerves are charred like those trees, because sometimes I  can swear I hear the heavy breath and scuffling of beings without the wall. 
I meander to and fro, continuing my work more out of habit than interest. Every aspect of my body is trained on my work, but my ears have become rebellious to my efforts. I refuse to let my eyes wander to the wooden gate, I stop my legs when they seek to carry me to the ramparts, I tie my hands when they flip through the pages of histories of wars and fires long past, I set my heart on other goals than to escape the walls and wander free into the unknown abyss.
But my ears won't take the bait. I coax my ears to be unaware of the world outside the wall. All for nought. Those rebellious members will be the death of me. Even if I was to conquer my body, the small organs pollute every aspect of myself and impregrate my mind with the most dreadful ideas. 
Why would I leave these walls? They've held me steady since...since...well, before I can remember. That must count for something.  The shackles on my withering frame are meant to keep me here, to protect me. At night I hear the ghosts of the men talking of leaving the gates. What sickness lies upon them? Risk death for the notion of freedom? I think not. 
Alas, none would listen, all left for a dark unsure future. But I stayed, I survived. My fate is secure. I live in a white and black world; ashen, obsolite, pure. I heard them yell as the fires consumed the world outside, but they made their choice, so I barricaded the gate. 
The world became silent, perhaps my ears long for sound once more. But now, I will keep sweeping, keep dusting the ash off my fortress. Let the white blanket envelop me, perhaps, it will take me as it's own one day soon. 
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