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The Blaze

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The inferno.

 

It was an idle day for Flamberge, but all of that was soon going to change.

 

She never knew why, but she always seemed to be fascinated by fire. Everyone she knew told her to stay away from it, to not mess with it. You shouldn’t be playing with fire , they told her, it’s too dangerous. You could get burnt, you could even DIE . Flamberge never wanted to listen. If I go out, it might as well be with a bang.

 

But she would soon learn that playing with fire was never a wise choice.

 

She had managed to sneak out of the village she called home, carrying a small pile of sticks and two rocks. One was flint, and the other contained iron, and Flamberge found that when she struck them against each other, they created sparks. Sparks, the beginnings of a flame.

 

She was sneaking away from all she had known, all to make fire.

 

Once Flamberge found a suitable patch in the woods for her to be hidden from the view of outsiders, she set the little pile of kindling on top of a tree stump. With the flint in one hand and the iron-rich rock in the other, she struck the two rocks together and watched the shower of sparks fly. None of them created a flame on her kindling, so she tried again, letting more sparks leap from the stones. And with those sparks, some of her kindling began to give off a soft red glow.

 

They were going to catch fire! Flamberge thought excitedly, as she created more sparks from the stones. After two more spark showers, the little pile of sticks and bark and leaves finally showed little flames, flickering orange and bright amidst the greens and browns of the forest.

 

Flamberge had rarely seen colors like red or orange before. Most of what she knew - her village, and the flora and fauna that lived alongside it - was shades of brown, blue, and green, with the occasional dot of yellow or purple. A color like the flames she was watching was entirely new to her, and she fell in love with it immediately.

 

She was too mesmerized by such a color to notice the flames spreading.

 

Flamberge picked up one of the small sticks that was still burning, with a little scarlet flame still at its tip. She watched as the fire trailed its way down the twig, as it consumed the stick, letting black ashes fall once it fully burned an area. She waved the stick around and watched the flame go out, tendrils of smoke curling up from where the flame once was. She smelled the smoke, the ashes rising in the air.

 

It smelled… much stronger than it should have.

 

Flamberge quickly tossed the stick aside and noticed that her fire had spread - the blaze was now raging around her, setting fire to grass, branches, and even entire trees. She felt the heat rolling off of the embers surrounding her, could see the furious orange fire in every direction. She tried to run away from the fire she had started, only for a flaming tree to crash down and block her path. Everywhere she looked, there was nothing but fire, blazing, scorching fire…

 

All the warnings came back to her. You shouldn’t play with fire.

 

Why, oh why did she have to be so curious?!

 

The relentless inferno surrounding her refused to leave, it only encroached further on Flamberge, nearly suffocating her with its heat and smoke. And in that moment, she only knew one thing to do.

 

She tilted her head up to the sky. The bright blue sky, growing grayer by the second.

 

And she screamed.

 

She screamed as if thousands of rats were clawing at her flesh. She screamed as if blood was raining from the sky.

 

She screamed as if the world was crumbling around her.

 

As if she were being burned alive .

 

She felt the flames licking at her flesh, the heat becoming unbearable. The air around her was choked with smoke, and she could barely breathe. Her lungs seemed to be filled with the fire surrounding her. She couldn’t even get enough air to continue screaming for help, to continue her desperate plea to be saved from her own demonic curiosity. The smoke-clouded air filled her system, and she could barely remain conscious. Flamberge felt her hold on her consciousness - no, her life - growing weaker, slipping away, and her vision went black, and…

 

Something wouldn’t seem to let her die.

 

A little flame that seemed to burn inside her, brighter and brighter. But this one didn’t hurt. Instead, it seemed to heal her, make her stronger.

 

She opened her eyes, looking up at an off traveler of some sort. They were dressed entirely in long white robes, with a white hood covering their face. Flamberge couldn’t find the energy to speak yet, so she remained silent.

 

The figure began talking to her in an odd voice. “Who I am is not important. What is important is that you have discovered your magic within, the fire burning inside of you. It appears, however, that what was once your home is now ashes, and you need somewhere new to go. Thus, I ask you: would you like to come with me so you can train your abilities in magic further?”

 

Flamberge’s throat felt like it had crumbled to ashes, so she just nodded. The traveler picked up Flamberge and led her to her new fate - one filled with magic and unknown powers.

 

Thus, Flamberge was born.