~ The Curse ~

Flames danced before his eyes, and yet they seemed so far away. The movement was strange, subdued… melancholy. Fingers of bright orange and red lapped over one another in a steady agitated motion that paused intermittently only to pick up right where it left off. Like pacing or wringing one’s hands. 

Voices he could not understand droned on in the background but Civyl ignored them. The fire was upset about something. The way it swayed was not jubilant or inviting… No. It was worried. He wanted to ask it what was wrong. Maybe he could help, but his throat was closed tight with dryness and his jaw felt too heavy to move. He wanted to reach out a comforting hand to soothe the flames and reassure them, but like his jaw, his arms felt heavy; leadened and useless at his sides. 

Civyl felt a surge of anger at his immobility and the flame surged in kind. The voices stilled only to be replaced by a symphony of sounds from the fire. It grew in brightness and size and heat as it came towards him. It was intense but not unbearable. When it reached him, it caressed his skin in a possessive tenderness that was both confident and unsure at the same time. Civyl, Civyl… Civyl. It called his name as it had before but did not invite him to dance. Heat brushed his lips at the hiss of the next word. 

Vessssssssaaaaal… 

His lips parted with an intake of breath and his muddled thoughts fell away for clarity. He would be one with the fire. The air crackled with desire both to posses and to be possessed, but the fire did not enter him, only hovered above his prone body. 

A low, unwelcome rumble sounded in his ear. “The fire is wise to use caution.” 

The flames retreated quickly to the lantern that hung above his head. The dark and cold that rushed in left Civyl aching with a need he could not explain. 

“Such a joining could easily prove fatal, considering,” the voice continued though it did not clarify. 

Civyl started to become aware of the throbbing pain in his left hand and earlier memories came flooding back. He had tried to dance with the fire …and it had tried to consume him. He winced anew at the memory of his flesh melting in searing pain. All to prove to a prideful man that he spoke the truth.  

The End

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