The Fire Within

I have been cursed with the Fire. It's only a matter of time...

I have been cursed by The Fire. It burns bright and hot inside of me. Most days it begs to be released upon those merchants and traders that scorn me, it takes all of my strength to soothe it and promise it revenge another time. But at times, the raging flames claw their way to the top and escape in a scorching inferno; the helpless victim is then scarred for the rest of their life. As for me, I’m forced to travel on to another town, another fight to survive. My hours are spent scrounging whatever I can find that’s edible. My parents? Well, who knows. For all I care, they’re both dead. No other relatives wish to acknowledge my presence. I am alone with this wretched scourge.

I know it’s killing me. It sits at the bottom of my gut and burns me away from the inside. For days after an outburst, my skin becomes a furnace. All objects that touch me either melt or run away blistered. It also gives me shivering nightmares. Too many nights I wake up with a turbulent fever and images of human ashes lingering on the fringes of my mind. Its ringing cackle will haunt me forever. I wish it would hurry and finish its fiendish plan so I no longer have to bear this tribulation. The only hope of my survival depends on the words of an aged traveler I met once.

He claimed the title “Wizard”, and he saw right into the core of my soul. “In order for you to bridle the Fire within, balance must be achieved.” Unfortunately, it seemed as if my miserable existence would end before I achieved that balance.

Then, on the brink of destruction a year later, the outburst I knew would be my last was quenched abruptly at a brief brush of glacial skin.  My eyes flung themselves upon my savior, turning away from the spitting vendor advancing with a club. Spying a feather grey cloak disappearing quickly, I abandoned my cause racing into the busy streets. Seeing it fleeing into a deserted alley, I chased it with renewed vigor.

To my surprise, the hidden figure seemed to be waiting for me. It spoke “You were the boy by the butcher’s.” It took off its hood, releasing a cascade of platinum locks. Periwinkle stars blinked gratefully at me as she continued “You saved me from a painful and arduous death.”

My mouth wouldn’t fashion a reply.

“Allow me to elaborate. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had The Ice. I can’t explain it, but somehow I knew it was slowly freezing me to death. That is, until I grazed past you. You thawed the ice crawling over my heart, and I am eternally in your debt.” She smiled at me gently.

Carefully forming my words, I managed to speak “I am no different than you. I have The Fire.” In response to its name, the devilish elemental rekindled and swiftly pulled me to my knees in heated agony. None of the pain I had felt before compared to this escalating torture. With a cry of anguish, I fell on the ground to welcome my last breath.

Suddenly, the demon's attack dulled to an aching throb as the beautiful angel clasped my boiling hands in her frozen fingers. Lifting me back up, we faced each other, finding solace in our newfound balance. Walking away with tear stained faces, I finally understood what the old man meant.

Today, I found out that I’ve been blessed with The Fire. And I’ll always have The Ice by my side.

The End

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