The Flame Weaver

Fire exploded out of Kai's hands, scattering everyone watching the lesson. Master Tharyn side stepped just far enough that the flames shot past him but left his cloak smoking from the heat.

"Very good, Kai, but I am positive I asked you to light the candle, not dissolve it. You power is quite impressive; however, power without control is power better left unused."

Kai hung his head in shame at failing his testing for the third  time. He could call more fire than any other kid his age and even some of the elders but his need to burn overtook his desire for control.

Master Tharyn put his heavily muscled arm around Kai's shoulders, "Child, you have but one test left to show your mastery over the flame or your powers will be stripped from you. It would be a huge loss for all of us if one as gifted as you were to be dowsed, never to know the call of the flame again. You will have your next testing in two weeks on the day of your thirteenth year."

"I am sorry I have failed you again," spoke Kai softly. "Even if I ask for the smallest of sparks, I get a torrent of fire that I cannot contain. Maybe it would be better for everyone if I could not call to the flame."

Tharyn turned to face the powerful child, bending down to put his face just inches from his student's. "It would be the saddest moment in our peoples storied history if you were to be dowsed. There has never been a more powerful flame caller in this world than you. Which is why you would have to be dowsed, power like your left unchecked would be disastrous."

Kai looked up at his master with both pride and fear. He must find a way to temper his inner fires, living without being able to know the warmth of the flame was not living at all.

For two weeks Kai, had all of the village flame weavers helping him. Even the Fire-swords, who could call barely more than the spark needed to set their special swords alight were working with the child prodigy. Candles were lit and melted and in one case totally obliterated. Kai danced with the flames at times seemed to have the touch of a master many times his age. The morning of his testing was a day of great tension for the entire village. As Kai left his hut the he saw the entire village surrounding the testing grounds, the crowd parted wide to allow the child through. The area was set up as Kai had never seen it before. The normal five candles where replaced by two dozen set in a large ring in the center of the area and behind each stood a flame weaver. The pile of five to ten logs to be set alight was now a pyre taller than Master Tharyn  and every other task had been made exponentially more difficult for this final test. Kai's hopes plummeted further and further the longer he looked at what lay before him, certain that this would be the last day he knew the touch of flame.

Master Tharyn entered the area and walked up to Kai and gave him a huge hug. "I have faith in you," he said, a smile of pride spreading across his face. "We have all seen what you can do with the flame, over the past two weeks you have improved faster than any weaver I have ever seen. Believe in yourself, the village has not come here to see you fail but  to see the most gifted among us pass the most difficult test ever created with ease. We all believe you can."

"Now let us start with something easy shall we, how about you set that tiny pile of wood on fire," Tharyn said with a smirk, pointing at the wood piled taller than his own head. Kai could not stop himself  from laughing and loving master Tharyn for it.

The young apprentice looked at the cluster of logs for a moment then sent a thick jet of fire that quickly encompassed the lumber and within moments all that was left was ash and smoke. The crowed erupted in applause a sense of relief washing over them.

Task after task Kai completed as though he himself were a master. All except for one, the ring of candles. The confidence that had built up in him through the testing was beginning to fade as he took his position in the center of the ring. Tharyn left his post behind one of the candles, walked up to Kai without saying a word grasped his shoulders and returned behind his candle.

Kai looked at his Master's candle and called for just a touch of flame...

The End

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