Friday, January 4, 2013
Flash Fiction Friday: The Weeping Fire
Once upon a time, there was a fire sprite who fell in love with a human. She came to life in the sparks of a fire he'd built, nurtured, and breathed to life with his own breath. Everything about him was wonderful to her, the way he moved, the things he did in her light. She stayed for him, hidden in the ashes when he ran out of wood, keeping him warm until he could find more things to feed her and she leapt to life once more to dance and amuse him in the darkness.
Then, one day, something had angered her human and stood before her fire, pacing and muttering to himself and she grew angry for him and burned hotter than she'd ever burned. The man sat in front of her glow and meditated on his hurts and water fell from his face until she could no longer stand it. She glowed so hot, she made the water evaporate as soon as it sprang forth from his eyes and she could see that he was comforted.
Soon, he decided to go out and he took her with him in a glass case to keep her from being put out by the wind. He stopped and stood in front of a house and they stood there for a very long time until he decided to let her out. He opened the case next to the roof of the house and urged her to go and catch the wood there on fire. The roof was wet and not easily burned but she tried her hardest and soon the whole house was on fire.
She looked for him, to see on his face that she'd done a good job but he had left her on the rooftop and run away. Something swelled inside her and the anger and betrayal she felt was seen in the way her fire leapt and roared over the roof of the house. When people ran screaming into the street, she laughed and decided to try to get to the next house. If she was to be abandoned, she would take the world with her.
The people below began to pour water on her but she was too quick and too strong for them to catch and she burned everything she could touch. Eventually, they were forced to destroy their own homes to keep her from reaching them and she laughed at the destruction. She stopped laughing when she started running out of things to burn. She raced to the bottom of the home and leapt onto everything she could reach but it wasn't enough. The weight of the damage she had wrought was slowly smothering her until she was huddle beneath the ash, against the earth and she shivered, waiting to go out.
The earth below the home spoke to her as she shivered; it told her of the humans, of the good they'd done and the bad, and how what her human had done was going to hurt many of the people who had tried to put her out. It wasn't her they objected to, it was the damage she wrought at the behest of a man who had abandoned her.
Her heart broke and she asked the earth to swallow her up so that she might never have to see the humans again. The earth did swallow her up and it took her down, down into the hot depths that swirl below it's depths where she could be with her own kind. Every now and then, she would burst forth from the earth and be overcome with grief at her lost love and she would run down the earth, covering it and laying it waste but also leaving the possibility of life behind her.