Pain. Pain circulated through Blaze’s body, starting in his lower stomach and screaming through his whole body. Blaze slowly opened his eyes. He was covered in blood. What happened? Why was he covered in blood? His blood? Why was he in the woods? Blaze closed his eyes again and tried to remember. Ash and Will had escaped, and there had been a guard…the guard that dragged him out in the woods to find Ash. Blaze remembered telling Ash to stay where she was, not to come out, and then the guard shot him. Why wasn’t he dead? With his body screaming in pain, Blaze forced himself to sit up and look at his stomach. There was a small hole, where the bullet had entered. Blaze knew without looking that it had passed through. Or so he thought.
“A shot like that should’ve killed me,” he said to himself.
Blaze winced as a fresh wave of pain washed over him. Two questions looped through his mind; why was he still alive and did Ash make it to safety? Slowly and painfully, Blaze looked around. The ground all around him was coated in a thick, white ash. Something started grinding in Blaze's stomach. He cried out and put a hand over his bullet wound. The pain passed after a minute, and something hot and round fell into Blaze's bloody fingers. He slowly brought his hand up to his face.
Blaze stared incredulously at the bullet cupped in his hands. "What the…"
He looked down, and to his further amazement, the bullet hole was healing from the inside out. Blood and silvery-black traces of lead were trickling out as the wound closed back up. Another minute passed and the wound was gone, with only a small circular mark to suggest anything had ever been there. Blaze slowly stretched, testing the newly healed muscle. There was only a slight pinch against his skin to remind him of his incredible luck. Using the tree behind him as support, Blaze slowly stood. Once he got to his feet, he surveyed the land around him. Through hazy vision, Blaze could see places in the ash where someone or something had recently walked through. He let go of the tree and took only a few steps before he fell to his knees. Weak from blood loss, Blaze's vision slowly faded to black. White ash lazily drifted down from the burnt trees, coating Blaze's unconscious form.