This is a piece I originally wrote for my now defunct Patreon. It was based off a prompt that a very good friend offered me and I loved creating this for her.
The fires started a few days ago, springing up around you like weeds breaking through earth. They erupt and engulf the world around you in flames, and you have no idea why.
People don’t notice how it only seems to happen when you’re around. They think it’s something to do with the weather, with global warming, with anything that makes more sense than you having the innate ability to coax flames to rise up from beneath the ground.
But it’s you. You know it’s you; you can see it in the dirt, the way it heats up under your bare feet. Something wants out, something craves freedom, and whether it’s coming for you or just coming, it will be here soon. You consider running, consider trying to hit the pavement and just keep going, but you know it won’t do you any good. All that will happen is that the fire will spread, the cracks in the earth growing more and more until whatever is waiting explodes outward in a shower of fire and ash.
So, instead of running, you take a different approach.
You’d never made a bonfire before and you had to look up how to do it, but it didn’t really matter in the end. You’d barely gotten started before the flames were leaping up from the ground, casting everything in a warm, familiar glow.
A part of you wonders if you should say hello, be polite and maybe see if it would respond to questions. You don’t, though; you just watch the flames lick the ground around you, marveling at how it never quite reaches your toes.
It strikes you as odd that this thing, whatever it may be, has no interest in seeing you burn. It wants out, but you think it wants you with it, rather than engulfed by it. The idea is almost sweet, in an odd, unsettling way.
But the flames move closer and you wonder if you made an error in judgement, if you assumed wrong and now you’re going to pay for it. When the fire reaches you, though, when it wraps around your legs like a snake, crackling and hissing, you realize there’s no burn. It coils itself around your body, keeping you alight and warm, and you never feel the pain that you thought would come with this..
You don’t know what it means; if this is a gift, a kindness extended by whatever lives below, or if you’ve just totally lost your mind. Either way, you smile, open your mouth, and let the flames slither down your throat.
If you enjoy what I create and are inclined, throw me a bone over on Ko-Fi.