Born of Fire

Table Of Contents

Chapter I

Fire… everywhere I looked, nothing but fire, nothing but 10-meters-tall tongues of fire; it was hard to even breathe, to choke back the tears caused by the thick black smoke, to stop coughing. I was running to save my life, to get out of that inferno of flames, I didn’t even know where I was going… dammit, I didn’t even have any clue where I was, or how I got there. I was running and running, not even knowing how long I’d been doing it, time and space are fading like a flower. Then suddenly, I saw a fireball, probably some kind of a wood or steel beam that had burst into flames, falling from the side of the streets towards me; I barely had the time to note it, let alone avoid it. But then, as I’m thinking that I’m just too young to die and that I have to take care of my half-brother (I know I know, you’re probably thinking: how did I even have time to think all that -- and if you’re not well, you should’ve you dummy-- and well, I don’t really know what happened or how, but as I said, time was just weird, non-linear). So, back to us; as I’m thinking all about my premature death, something inexplicable happened: without me even commanding it, my body just moved, at a speed and with an athleticism that had nothing to do with human capabilities; in a blink of an eye, I’m looking behind me at that burning bomb crashing in the spot I was standing just milliseconds before. But there’s no time to be amazed, or scared, or surprised; again, without me even realizing it, my body starts moving, again running. After a little, I spotted something within the flames. It’s probably some kind of an animal, running through the heat like it was nothing. As it gets closer, I can take a better look. It kinda looks like a fox.. no it definitely Bis a fox, but a rather peculiar one. I’ve been hunting in the wilderness for years but never had I seen something even close to that fox. It was way bigger than a normal fox, probably the size of a big wolf, and it was red, but not the common rusty-reddish color of a fox. Its fur was a vivid ruby red and appeared one with the fire. Now, that wouldn’t so weird, would it? After all, it had been sprinting through the fire, so it might have simply caught fire… Not at all!! The fox wasn’t suffering at all, the fire didn’t bother her, and her fur wasn’t burning, it just moved, weirdly like a scorching flame. I looked at her in awe. I have always had a love-hate relationship with fire; on the one hand, fascinated by it, by its sinuous movement, by its power. However, I’m not a pyromaniac, not even close… I have a terror of fire when it gets out of control, probably because, as a kid, I had some kind of bad experience with fire. I don’t remember anything, but my body does: to this day, I have numerous scars remembering that. My connection with fire doesn’t cease here: my name, Kenneth, means “born of fire”, and on my scapula, there’s a flame-shaped birthmark, so evident that people think it is a tattoo. Given this, I couldn’t help staring at the magnificent creature I had before me. It was mighty and strong, but also agile, quick, smart and… familiar. Yes, there was definitely something familiar about her. As she headed towards me, getting closer and closer, with her fire coat moving sinuously, we locked eyes, and I realized what was so familiar. She had the same eyes as I did. Those ruby eyes, those one-of-a-kind eyes, almost inhuman, the eyes that kids in school made fun of, the eyes that I since began loving and appreciating for their uniqueness. I lost myself in those eyes, forgetting where I was, feeling a weird sense of warmth and safety. Until, as that firefox got closer and closer, it became apparent she was coming for me, and those sharp teeth scared the hell out of me. She jumped, mouth open, ready to attack me “man,” I thought “I really have to die today, don’t I?” hoping that my unconscious body would save me once again, but it didn’t. Like in slow motion, the fox headed towards me, landed on my chest, and got ready to finish me off; I could see her uvula, her razor-sharp teeth closing in towards my face when...all went back for a second... and I woke up, or better jumped right out of my bed, drenched in sweat, breathing heavily. It was just a dream. It was so vivid though, it felt so real, I had felt the sensation on my skin. Little did I realize, at that time, how this was way more than a dream, and even less what would happen from there on in. This, my friend, was how it all started.