She, Fire, the Majestic
Of "The Chronicles of the Elements"
An ACoM Original Short, by Samuel D. Forogar
"Her life begins as a series of movements, gestures which would announce the onset of existence. Focused, intent these motions are, for the creation of fire is intended.
"A man stands alone, on hands and knees, in the wilderness dead to noise and life. It is but a charred remnant, a fired forest, and protrudent twigs of a once-Majesty show us her true power. Yet, this daring man still challenges her, still dares to beg control, giving her life by way of frictious repetition. He does not learn, does not know that her wrath has been visited upon this land, and so does not wisely come to understand that his last delving into this Magic had been cataclysmic.
"Yet, despite all odds, his reward is gained. Placed upon a burnt twig are some dried grasses, and it is among these grasses that the first inkling of fire's birth is to be noted. A slight smoke trail leads skyward, a stream of gray in this world of charred blackness, lit with a moon of silver. Deep blue skies a-twinkle with starlight do not whisper or comment upon his success, but this man himself manages a small smile.
"He believes, in this frail moment, that he has conquered fire. Yet, to truly possess the flame, one must be willing to take, and never to give. He is stupid.
"Feeding it more grasses torn from his pockets, he allows this fire to breathe, to stretch, to survive. He dumps all of this material into it, producing alongside a series of small akin twigs. He places these in helter-skelter about the growing flame, muttering soothing words to her as she eats. He blows gently, fanning her into her new feast, and true to her nature she consumes onward.
"He then grabs for a half-burnt log, at a time when she is self-sustaining, and gently tops the pile with its corpse. She, however, cares not if her victims are dead or alive, and chomps on the newest of her prey. He smiles, tepeeing the entirety with more twigs before coming to his fullest arrogance.
"Generating, from a second pouch slung over his back, a fleshy parcel, he places this upon a specially-crafted sharpened stick, laying it over the flames to cook it tenderly. He turns this kill every now and again, preferring luxury over sense. After all, he's created a monster, and fed it, and dared to take back from it. Monsters . . . they do not accept symbiotic appreciation well.
"And so he finishes, and he eats the beast and still lets the fire work for him. He is fed, but now he is cold, and so for an hour and more he feeds it to force it to work for him. He has enslaved the flame, but he believes that the flame has accepted its place. He is a fool.
"He, no longer cold and no longer hungry, then endeavors to slumber. He believes, initially, that he has no use as for now for the flame; yet, upon hearing a snapping twig in the distance, he grows worried. Now, he is attentive, and wary, and he stands and uses the flame again as a light. He takes advantage of its natural advantages, all of them, and the crackling of burning burnt detritus he dismisses.
"He, however, does not discover a threat. Still uncertain, however, and now fearful of the unknown, he aims to use the flame again. This final time, its emissions of gentle noise and protective light he expects to shield him against the coming doom, act as a safeguard.
"He burns that night. Whilst he slumbers, a loose fitting of cloth catches on the rogue flame which claws at its newest prey, it indiscriminate of its targets. He catches, and by the time he understands just what kind of arrogant error he's made, she has killed him. He rolls, and he screams, and his sounds carry through the night, but he is alone at her mercy. Eventually, he simply must succumb, and so she fizzles out in contentment. The Monster, she has been sated, and the world's events have come full-circle.
"She is fire, majestic and proud, and not one to be subjugated by mortal men. Fire, she is anarchic, and riotous, and vengeful and beautiful, all terrific aspects to behold and yet not to be taken lightly. Her serenade, the rhythmic and fluid wavering of her alluring body and her pleasant but crisp sense all lead men astray, lead them to believe that she is here for their pleasure. Well, my friends, I can assure you that she is not. She merely entertains us, until such a time as we bore her or incur her wrath.
"I can assure you that she is not our slave. She is our master, the master of our fate. It is through her power that we can live or die, and it is to her grace that we offer our blessings. Learn from the arrogance of this man, and know that he is not one to follow. He has died, alone and without mercy granted him, by the flames of she, fire, the Majestic. Let us pray, and let us ask of fire rather than presume our command of her.
"She is, after all, the giver and the taker of all life. She is both the Angel of Life and the Reaper of Death."