Ignis

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter one in my new piece. FEEDBACK PLEASE!?

Ignis - Latin for Fire

I live in a place where the old meets the new, think of your history smashed with your present, with technology and power but accustomed to a different way of life. I've lived on the streets for as long as I can remember, living off pick pocketing and odd jobs I can manage. But weird things happen to me, I have a knack for getting into all sorts of trouble and sometimes I wake up not knowing what's happened the night before, I get hurt, cause damage, problems, I don't know what it is and neither do my three comrades Atlas, Eleni and Odysseus.. That night was no different, I got into trouble, I was running from it, from myself, and he was there, Cleon, then something weird happened.. Maybe he can help me?

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Ignis

Submitted: April 19, 2014

Reads: 235

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Submitted: April 19, 2014

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~~Thunder echoed in the distance as I tore around the corner into an alleyway, my boots barely gripping the pavement as I skidded around the bricks, my hand searching along them for a place to disappear into. My hand slipped into empty space, a doorway, I turned suddenly finding myself face to face with a metal door, barely visible in the low light. Frantically, I rattled the handle, I knew this part of town well enough to get a fairly good lead on my pursuers, but I didn’t know how long it would be before they caught up. It was cold, the mid-winter frost seeping through my clothes. Tonight was not my lucky night, the door was locked fast in front of me and no amount of shaking was going to jerk it free. Suddenly, the lock clicked under my hand and I froze, skittering away from it, far enough for whoever was behind it to not notice me but close enough for me to see them... A weak beam of light broke across the ground, causing the puddles to glimmer under it as the rain started to fall, so lightly it was barely noticeable. My heart rose to my throat as I hear voices coming closer, from inside the building, “Filthy street rat! Don’t you dare come back boy, if I see your face here again I’ll skin you alive!” they yelled, shoving a battered body out of the door and into the puddle before him, and then the door slammed shut.  I swallowed and started off away from him, feeling guilty but more concerned for my own safety, sizing up the fence as I walked towards it. “Little help please?” He croaked behind me, my eyes widened and I pivoted slowly, turning to face where he was keeled over on the pavement, “if you don’t mind miss, I could really use a hand.” I raised my hand up to my chest in a questioning gesture as if to ask me? I could just make out his eyes rolling, “No, the other girl in the alleyway, who else genius?” I frowned, listening out for my pursuers as I wandered cautiously toward him. I reached out my hand, bending my knees to assist him when he rose suddenly, grabbing me and forcing me back into the door way I had previously used a refuge, and the same one he’d been thrown out of moments earlier. His hand was placed firmly over my mouth as he held me against the metal door, using the majority of his body weight to keep me there. Standing against him I could see he towered me by at least a foot, looking back behind him with a sombre expression. I could make out bits and pieces of him from the muted street lamp behind him, his hair was dark and shaggy, sticking to blood and sweat on his forehead, his eyes deep set and hidden by shadow. He had an oozing split in his bottom lip, grazes across his cheekbones and another split just above his left eyebrow. The white shirt he wore was undone to about three buttons from the top one, the edges and collar covered in flecks of dirt and the bruises on his chest visible in the ‘V’ shape the shirt had created. His sleeves were rolled up and crinkled, not folded neatly, and an embroidered waist coat hung off his shoulders, also unbuttoned, the silk tie he was possibly wearing earlier stuffed into the right pocket, its edges tickling a delicate, copper coloured button. To my surprise, his shirt was tucked into his tailored, black pants, a belt holding it up low on his hips and the hems damp and brushing over scuffed, leather shoes.  I knew he’d covered my mouth to stop me screaming out but if he was smart he’d have known screaming would have drawn attention and I was not dumb enough to do that, I bit down on his hand as hard as I could, causing him to flinch away, glaring at me. “Ouch,” he hissed, “what was that for?”
“You know exactly what,” I shot back, staring up at him
“I’ll have you know, I’m saving your life miss, the hoodlums you’ve somehow gotten yourself involved with are just up the road and quickly approaching here, not too quietly might I add, so I suggest you disappear into the shadow behind me and try not to breathe,” his expression turned hard, his eyebrow raised in question. I somehow managed to fold my arms across my chest, despite the lack of space between us, putting on a show of resentment and distaste, “fine,” I spat, leaning back against the door, this time at my own will, watching him turn around in front of me. He leant his arm against the wall and tilted over, creating a shadow for me to sink into. I found a vantage point behind him, able to see under his arm if I crouched a little bit. I heard them before I saw them, he was right; they weren’t very quiet, wandering along the sidewalk, arguing loudly about my whereabouts. “Get down there,” a gruff voice ordered and soon the alleyway was dimly lit by weak lantern light, barely breaking the fog I hadn’t even noticed until now. I also hadn’t noticed that my barrier was holding a cigar against his lips, the end glowing red as he inhaled, breathing puffs of smoke out his nose. “Evening fellas,” He said aloud, I rose behind him, digging my fingers into his back in protest of his actions. The scrawny one with a wiry goatee, greasy top hat and a bronze cog monocle turned to face him, “’Ello, ‘ello, what are ya doin ‘ere in the cold this time o’ night?” he asked, wandering closer, I shrunk back even further
“Just enjoying a cigar and the cool air my friend, not often this mysterious fog rolls in, I like it, its foreboding,” he answered, I could feel the menacing grin on his face
“Alright, foreboding ya say,” the spindly man took a step back, “we were just wondrin’ if ya happen’d ter see a girl come round these parts, pretty little thing, most probably in quite a rush I would say?”
“No one comes round here as it is, fog makes it less inviting, sorry to disappoint, this areas been empty most of the night,” another puff on the cigar, this time rings of smoke were blown into the gangman’s face.
“She ain’t ‘ere boys, clear out, snitch got the slip on us again,” he called, waving his hand out to his companions, “thankin’ ya kindly fer ya help young man, ya have a nice ev’nin’ will ya, g’night,” he tipped his hat and left back where he had come, the rest of the shadows and their lanterns following him. The boy in front of me nodded recognition at them, and then waited before turning slowly to face me. I opened my mouth to speak but he shook his head, gesturing quiet with a finger pressed to his lips. Wait, he mouthed, looking back at where they had disappeared.
Eventually, when he felt it was safe enough, he moved back from me, letting cold air fill the new space that had formed between us. I stood there, feeling sorry for myself that the cold was getting to me again, watching him drop the cigar on the floor and stamp it out with his foot. I stared in shock, those were expensive and hard to get hold of in the first place and he was grinding it into the ground, the little strip of gold leaf from the outside dissipating into the wet ground. “Are you insane?” I asked him, shocked
“Well, I had to talk to him otherwise he would have found me suspicious,” he looked ‘up’ at me
I rolled my eyes, the idiot thought I was talking about that, I’d already left little crescent moon shaped grooves in his back for that display, “No, I meant the cigar, do you know how much money those are worth, the gold in the paper by itself is worth at least-,”
“I don’t like cigars,” he cut me off
“So you destroy them, what exactly was the point of that?”
“Fun?” He shrugged, I glared at him, “look I may look derelict but I have a secret, this is my facade, it keeps the attention away from me,”
“Mmhm,” I replied, doubting the legitimacy of what he’d just said to me as I tried to get past him. He moved in front of me, blocking my escape.
“Name’s Cleon, by the way,” he said, tilting his head to the side, “and I believe a thank you is in order miss,”
“I didn’t ask for your help,” I muttered
“Thank you Cleon, I am so grateful for your assistance, you’re so brave and such a hero, I am in debt to you,”
I looked at him with confusion, “Now you’re pushing it,”
He laughed softly, “was a joke sugar, lighten up,”
“Sugar?”
“Until I get a name from you sugar it is,”
“My name is for me to know and you to preferably never find out,” I retorted
“Preferably never?”
“Yes,” I answered indignantly
“Unfortunately for you, sugar, I seem to have an uncanny fondness for you, looks like you’re stuck with me,” he winked
“Good luck with that,” I answered, managing to squirm past him and make my way towards the alleyways opening, but not before I was grabbed by the shoulders, lifted off my feet with little effort and replaced to my previous position, with Cleon in the way. He grinned at me, “I told you, name first, then we can leave,”
I bit the inside of my cheek in annoyance, he wasn’t giving in and I wasn’t keen on getting on the bad side of a guy twice my size as well as a greasy gang that I’d already angered. I decided the best way out of this was to just tell him my name and maybe he had a bad enough concussion to forget about me by tomorrow, “Kalyca,” I blurted, “most people call me Kal.” His face lit up as he moved, letting me past him before he followed behind me, guiding me along the street to where the gang had come from and up a side street. “Suits you,” he called after me, I heard him jogging to catch up, using his frame to guide me in the direction he wanted me to go. I looked at him out of the corner of my eye, refusing to turn my head, the street lamps illuminating the fog swirling around his shoulders. “What are you doing?” I asked him finally, stopping and glaring at him, my arms folded over, mostly because I was cold but he didn’t need to know that. He frowned, “Nothing?” he suggested, his eyes darting around in confusion
“You don’t have to stay with me, make sure I get home safe or whatever it is you’re doing, I’m more than capable of looking after myself,” I answered, using my fingers to create quotation marks in the air
He laughed softly, “I’m not a knight in shining armour Kal,”
“YOU can call me Kalyca,” I answered sharply
He laughed again, “Whoa princess, calm down,” he smiled
“Why are you being so nice to me?” I asked, an unintentional irritated tone coming through
“Well, you seemed like an interesting person to start with, funny, I’m usually a good judge of character,” he tilted his head to the side, his eyelids dropped low to match the ‘barely-there’ smile I was having trouble getting used to.
“I guess you were wrong this time,” I said indignantly, lifting my chin up and stepping back subtly from him
“Care to prove me wrong?” He asked, his grin widening
“You know what, as inviting as that sounds I’m going to pass, I have some more trouble to get into,” I flashed him an obviously insincere smile and started away from him, but as I had expected he came after me, stopping in my path, “what now?”
“I’d like that back before you go,” he smirked
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,”
“Talented pick pocket, I didn’t even notice until I went to check the time,” he laughed to himself
I laughed, “You’re a lunatic, I haven’t touched your pockets,”
“Mmhm,” he said sceptically. I shrugged and wandered past him, his arm catching around my waist and his fingers looping into the gold chain in my pocket, pulling the pocket watch out of it as I moved. Damn, I dropped my head, smiling to myself; he’s smarter than I thought. “You owe me now miss,” he laughed
“Do I?” I raised an eyebrow and smiled, masking my nervousness about where exactly this was going, but suddenly his face lit up like a little kids and he started hurriedly past me, taking my wrist and pulling me along with him, “where are we going?”
“Just bear with me a second Kal,” he paused, “-yca,” he finished. I snickered behind him, having to jog to keep up with his strides before we arrived by a scrubby looking building. Cleon let go of me and pulled open the creaky, old doors in front of him, shedding dim street light on a shiny, gold motorbike, with gears and gadgets all over it.
“Uh uh, no way I am not getting on that, no,” I started, backing away
“C’mon, it’ll be fun?” Cleon smiled
“It looks like a death machine,”
He laughed, “it’s a motorbike,”
“I know what it is,”
“Here, you can have this, you owe me, remember?” he smirked, holding his helmet out to me
“How about something less dangerous, anything else?” I suggested, trying to get out of riding that, “yeah sounds good doesn’t it, cool, I’ll catch you around then Cleon, later,” I turned to walk off, hearing him start the bike behind me. The purr of its engine got closer while I secretly hoped he would drive straight past me, but like I assumed, he didn’t, instead he took hold of me as he drove past and  hauled me onto the bike in front of him. I realised instantly, I was facing the wrong direction, neither of us were wearing helmets and Cleon was looking at me instead of the road, with a victors grin spread across his face. “Eyes on the road!” I said, feeling the panicked tone in my voice. It felt worse not knowing if he had heard me or not but he turned to the road, which made me feel a little less uneasy. I shuffled around, not wanting to move too much but still attempting to change my awkward position in front of him. I was almost sitting on his lap, my legs hanging either side of his hips and my back laying flat across the seat, nowhere to put my hands. I pulled my legs up, hooking them around him when I noticed how fast the ground was coming past us, the friction likely to melt my boots. The hum of the bike underneath me was strangely relaxing and I felt myself melting into the gentle rhythm of the engines vibrations, laying my arms across my stomach while I watched the fog covered fields skim past us, most barely visible through the dense, curling, white blanket. Much to my distaste, I was starting to gradually enjoy it, being careful not to let it show, especially not after my protests earlier, but as I became engrossed in the surroundings and the smoothness of the wheels over the road I nearly missed the instinctual tingle on the back of my neck that I got before something went horribly wrong, but before I had become completely aware of it I felt the bike slip beneath me and lift off the road. Somehow, it’d hit something that allowed it to become airborne and as it arched I looked up at Cleon, his face plastered with horror. The bike, being heavier than both of us, began its descent first, my stomach sinking with dread as the reassuring leather left my back, the feeling replaced with cold air that rushed past me as time sped up. Above me, Cleon reached out his hand, he spoke but the wind snatched the words from him before I could hear them. I reached back up to him, my hand catching hold of his wrist and when it did he pulled up hard, spinning us both around before we slammed into the dry grass and dirt, the bike spun over the top of us, landing a few feet away where the rolling and churning had taken its toll, the vehicle bursting into a slick ball of violet flames, debris flying in all directions. Beside me I heard a low moan, and turned to see Cleon rising up onto one arm his face twisted in pain. “Kalyca,” he croaked, squinting towards me, “move,”
“Pardon?” I started towards him but he was quicker and managed to get to the other side of me just as the bike exploded. The ground rumbled underneath me and my ears rang with aftershock as I turned to look at the now inferno, burning bright despite the moisture in the air and coating the ground. The grass was charred in sections where blazing wreckage had fallen and smoke billowed up around the main pile of parts, the flames of which I found myself becoming gripped by as I stared at them, turning properly to move away from Cleon. “Where are you going?” He asked quietly, attempting to get up.
“Nowhere,” I answered quietly, my tone distant as I wandered towards the conflagration, wondering how the delicate purple wisps would feel on my skin
“Kal..?” I heard Cleon behind me but his voice was distant. The edges of my vision were clouded, the violet heat before me was the only thing in focus, becoming more prominent and beautiful as I got closer, reaching out to feel the heat consume my fingertips. It hurt, but it was a good pain, different, the fire was so hot it almost felt cold. I watched the black on the edges of my fingers flake off into the glow, the flame beginning to go white as my vision darkened, I felt a weight forcing down on my chest making it hard to breathe as sweat poured off my face and my knees grew weak, eventually buckling beneath me.~~Thunder echoed in the distance as I tore around the corner into an alleyway, my boots barely gripping the pavement as I skidded around the bricks, my hand searching along them for a place to disappear into. My hand slipped into empty space, a doorway, I turned suddenly finding myself face to face with a metal door, barely visible in the low light. Frantically, I rattled the handle, I knew this part of town well enough to get a fairly good lead on my pursuers, but I didn’t know how long it would be before they caught up. It was cold, the mid-winter frost seeping through my clothes. Tonight was not my lucky night, the door was locked fast in front of me and no amount of shaking was going to jerk it free. Suddenly, the lock clicked under my hand and I froze, skittering away from it, far enough for whoever was behind it to not notice me but close enough for me to see them... A weak beam of light broke across the ground, causing the puddles to glimmer under it as the rain started to fall, so lightly it was barely noticeable. My heart rose to my throat as I hear voices coming closer, from inside the building, “Filthy street rat! Don’t you dare come back boy, if I see your face here again I’ll skin you alive!” they yelled, shoving a battered body out of the door and into the puddle before him, and then the door slammed shut.  I swallowed and started off away from him, feeling guilty but more concerned for my own safety, sizing up the fence as I walked towards it. “Little help please?” He croaked behind me, my eyes widened and I pivoted slowly, turning to face where he was keeled over on the pavement, “if you don’t mind miss, I could really use a hand.” I raised my hand up to my chest in a questioning gesture as if to ask me? I could just make out his eyes rolling, “No, the other girl in the alleyway, who else genius?” I frowned, listening out for my pursuers as I wandered cautiously toward him. I reached out my hand, bending my knees to assist him when he rose suddenly, grabbing me and forcing me back into the door way I had previously used a refuge, and the same one he’d been thrown out of moments earlier. His hand was placed firmly over my mouth as he held me against the metal door, using the majority of his body weight to keep me there. Standing against him I could see he towered me by at least a foot, looking back behind him with a sombre expression. I could make out bits and pieces of him from the muted street lamp behind him, his hair was dark and shaggy, sticking to blood and sweat on his forehead, his eyes deep set and hidden by shadow. He had an oozing split in his bottom lip, grazes across his cheekbones and another split just above his left eyebrow. The white shirt he wore was undone to about three buttons from the top one, the edges and collar covered in flecks of dirt and the bruises on his chest visible in the ‘V’ shape the shirt had created. His sleeves were rolled up and crinkled, not folded neatly, and an embroidered waist coat hung off his shoulders, also unbuttoned, the silk tie he was possibly wearing earlier stuffed into the right pocket, its edges tickling a delicate, copper coloured button. To my surprise, his shirt was tucked into his tailored, black pants, a belt holding it up low on his hips and the hems damp and brushing over scuffed, leather shoes.  I knew he’d covered my mouth to stop me screaming out but if he was smart he’d have known screaming would have drawn attention and I was not dumb enough to do that, I bit down on his hand as hard as I could, causing him to flinch away, glaring at me. “Ouch,” he hissed, “what was that for?”
“You know exactly what,” I shot back, staring up at him
“I’ll have you know, I’m saving your life miss, the hoodlums you’ve somehow gotten yourself involved with are just up the road and quickly approaching here, not too quietly might I add, so I suggest you disappear into the shadow behind me and try not to breathe,” his expression turned hard, his eyebrow raised in question. I somehow managed to fold my arms across my chest, despite the lack of space between us, putting on a show of resentment and distaste, “fine,” I spat, leaning back against the door, this time at my own will, watching him turn around in front of me. He leant his arm against the wall and tilted over, creating a shadow for me to sink into. I found a vantage point behind him, able to see under his arm if I crouched a little bit. I heard them before I saw them, he was right; they weren’t very quiet, wandering along the sidewalk, arguing loudly about my whereabouts. “Get down there,” a gruff voice ordered and soon the alleyway was dimly lit by weak lantern light, barely breaking the fog I hadn’t even noticed until now. I also hadn’t noticed that my barrier was holding a cigar against his lips, the end glowing red as he inhaled, breathing puffs of smoke out his nose. “Evening fellas,” He said aloud, I rose behind him, digging my fingers into his back in protest of his actions. The scrawny one with a wiry goatee, greasy top hat and a bronze cog monocle turned to face him, “’Ello, ‘ello, what are ya doin ‘ere in the cold this time o’ night?” he asked, wandering closer, I shrunk back even further
“Just enjoying a cigar and the cool air my friend, not often this mysterious fog rolls in, I like it, its foreboding,” he answered, I could feel the menacing grin on his face
“Alright, foreboding ya say,” the spindly man took a step back, “we were just wondrin’ if ya happen’d ter see a girl come round these parts, pretty little thing, most probably in quite a rush I would say?”
“No one comes round here as it is, fog makes it less inviting, sorry to disappoint, this areas been empty most of the night,” another puff on the cigar, this time rings of smoke were blown into the gangman’s face.
“She ain’t ‘ere boys, clear out, snitch got the slip on us again,” he called, waving his hand out to his companions, “thankin’ ya kindly fer ya help young man, ya have a nice ev’nin’ will ya, g’night,” he tipped his hat and left back where he had come, the rest of the shadows and their lanterns following him. The boy in front of me nodded recognition at them, and then waited before turning slowly to face me. I opened my mouth to speak but he shook his head, gesturing quiet with a finger pressed to his lips. Wait, he mouthed, looking back at where they had disappeared.
Eventually, when he felt it was safe enough, he moved back from me, letting cold air fill the new space that had formed between us. I stood there, feeling sorry for myself that the cold was getting to me again, watching him drop the cigar on the floor and stamp it out with his foot. I stared in shock, those were expensive and hard to get hold of in the first place and he was grinding it into the ground, the little strip of gold leaf from the outside dissipating into the wet ground. “Are you insane?” I asked him, shocked
“Well, I had to talk to him otherwise he would have found me suspicious,” he looked ‘up’ at me
I rolled my eyes, the idiot thought I was talking about that, I’d already left little crescent moon shaped grooves in his back for that display, “No, I meant the cigar, do you know how much money those are worth, the gold in the paper by itself is worth at least-,”
“I don’t like cigars,” he cut me off
“So you destroy them, what exactly was the point of that?”
“Fun?” He shrugged, I glared at him, “look I may look derelict but I have a secret, this is my facade, it keeps the attention away from me,”
“Mmhm,” I replied, doubting the legitimacy of what he’d just said to me as I tried to get past him. He moved in front of me, blocking my escape.
“Name’s Cleon, by the way,” he said, tilting his head to the side, “and I believe a thank you is in order miss,”
“I didn’t ask for your help,” I muttered
“Thank you Cleon, I am so grateful for your assistance, you’re so brave and such a hero, I am in debt to you,”
I looked at him with confusion, “Now you’re pushing it,”
He laughed softly, “was a joke sugar, lighten up,”
“Sugar?”
“Until I get a name from you sugar it is,”
“My name is for me to know and you to preferably never find out,” I retorted
“Preferably never?”
“Yes,” I answered indignantly
“Unfortunately for you, sugar, I seem to have an uncanny fondness for you, looks like you’re stuck with me,” he winked
“Good luck with that,” I answered, managing to squirm past him and make my way towards the alleyways opening, but not before I was grabbed by the shoulders, lifted off my feet with little effort and replaced to my previous position, with Cleon in the way. He grinned at me, “I told you, name first, then we can leave,”
I bit the inside of my cheek in annoyance, he wasn’t giving in and I wasn’t keen on getting on the bad side of a guy twice my size as well as a greasy gang that I’d already angered. I decided the best way out of this was to just tell him my name and maybe he had a bad enough concussion to forget about me by tomorrow, “Kalyca,” I blurted, “most people call me Kal.” His face lit up as he moved, letting me past him before he followed behind me, guiding me along the street to where the gang had come from and up a side street. “Suits you,” he called after me, I heard him jogging to catch up, using his frame to guide me in the direction he wanted me to go. I looked at him out of the corner of my eye, refusing to turn my head, the street lamps illuminating the fog swirling around his shoulders. “What are you doing?” I asked him finally, stopping and glaring at him, my arms folded over, mostly because I was cold but he didn’t need to know that. He frowned, “Nothing?” he suggested, his eyes darting around in confusion
“You don’t have to stay with me, make sure I get home safe or whatever it is you’re doing, I’m more than capable of looking after myself,” I answered, using my fingers to create quotation marks in the air
He laughed softly, “I’m not a knight in shining armour Kal,”
“YOU can call me Kalyca,” I answered sharply
He laughed again, “Whoa princess, calm down,” he smiled
“Why are you being so nice to me?” I asked, an unintentional irritated tone coming through
“Well, you seemed like an interesting person to start with, funny, I’m usually a good judge of character,” he tilted his head to the side, his eyelids dropped low to match the ‘barely-there’ smile I was having trouble getting used to.
“I guess you were wrong this time,” I said indignantly, lifting my chin up and stepping back subtly from him
“Care to prove me wrong?” He asked, his grin widening
“You know what, as inviting as that sounds I’m going to pass, I have some more trouble to get into,” I flashed him an obviously insincere smile and started away from him, but as I had expected he came after me, stopping in my path, “what now?”
“I’d like that back before you go,” he smirked
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,”
“Talented pick pocket, I didn’t even notice until I went to check the time,” he laughed to himself
I laughed, “You’re a lunatic, I haven’t touched your pockets,”
“Mmhm,” he said sceptically. I shrugged and wandered past him, his arm catching around my waist and his fingers looping into the gold chain in my pocket, pulling the pocket watch out of it as I moved. Damn, I dropped my head, smiling to myself; he’s smarter than I thought. “You owe me now miss,” he laughed
“Do I?” I raised an eyebrow and smiled, masking my nervousness about where exactly this was going, but suddenly his face lit up like a little kids and he started hurriedly past me, taking my wrist and pulling me along with him, “where are we going?”
“Just bear with me a second Kal,” he paused, “-yca,” he finished. I snickered behind him, having to jog to keep up with his strides before we arrived by a scrubby looking building. Cleon let go of me and pulled open the creaky, old doors in front of him, shedding dim street light on a shiny, gold motorbike, with gears and gadgets all over it.
“Uh uh, no way I am not getting on that, no,” I started, backing away
“C’mon, it’ll be fun?” Cleon smiled
“It looks like a death machine,”
He laughed, “it’s a motorbike,”
“I know what it is,”
“Here, you can have this, you owe me, remember?” he smirked, holding his helmet out to me
“How about something less dangerous, anything else?” I suggested, trying to get out of riding that, “yeah sounds good doesn’t it, cool, I’ll catch you around then Cleon, later,” I turned to walk off, hearing him start the bike behind me. The purr of its engine got closer while I secretly hoped he would drive straight past me, but like I assumed, he didn’t, instead he took hold of me as he drove past and  hauled me onto the bike in front of him. I realised instantly, I was facing the wrong direction, neither of us were wearing helmets and Cleon was looking at me instead of the road, with a victors grin spread across his face. “Eyes on the road!” I said, feeling the panicked tone in my voice. It felt worse not knowing if he had heard me or not but he turned to the road, which made me feel a little less uneasy. I shuffled around, not wanting to move too much but still attempting to change my awkward position in front of him. I was almost sitting on his lap, my legs hanging either side of his hips and my back laying flat across the seat, nowhere to put my hands. I pulled my legs up, hooking them around him when I noticed how fast the ground was coming past us, the friction likely to melt my boots. The hum of the bike underneath me was strangely relaxing and I felt myself melting into the gentle rhythm of the engines vibrations, laying my arms across my stomach while I watched the fog covered fields skim past us, most barely visible through the dense, curling, white blanket. Much to my distaste, I was starting to gradually enjoy it, being careful not to let it show, especially not after my protests earlier, but as I became engrossed in the surroundings and the smoothness of the wheels over the road I nearly missed the instinctual tingle on the back of my neck that I got before something went horribly wrong, but before I had become completely aware of it I felt the bike slip beneath me and lift off the road. Somehow, it’d hit something that allowed it to become airborne and as it arched I looked up at Cleon, his face plastered with horror. The bike, being heavier than both of us, began its descent first, my stomach sinking with dread as the reassuring leather left my back, the feeling replaced with cold air that rushed past me as time sped up. Above me, Cleon reached out his hand, he spoke but the wind snatched the words from him before I could hear them. I reached back up to him, my hand catching hold of his wrist and when it did he pulled up hard, spinning us both around before we slammed into the dry grass and dirt, the bike spun over the top of us, landing a few feet away where the rolling and churning had taken its toll, the vehicle bursting into a slick ball of violet flames, debris flying in all directions. Beside me I heard a low moan, and turned to see Cleon rising up onto one arm his face twisted in pain. “Kalyca,” he croaked, squinting towards me, “move,”
“Pardon?” I started towards him but he was quicker and managed to get to the other side of me just as the bike exploded. The ground rumbled underneath me and my ears rang with aftershock as I turned to look at the now inferno, burning bright despite the moisture in the air and coating the ground. The grass was charred in sections where blazing wreckage had fallen and smoke billowed up around the main pile of parts, the flames of which I found myself becoming gripped by as I stared at them, turning properly to move away from Cleon. “Where are you going?” He asked quietly, attempting to get up.
“Nowhere,” I answered quietly, my tone distant as I wandered towards the conflagration, wondering how the delicate purple wisps would feel on my skin
“Kal..?” I heard Cleon behind me but his voice was distant. The edges of my vision were clouded, the violet heat before me was the only thing in focus, becoming more prominent and beautiful as I got closer, reaching out to feel the heat consume my fingertips. It hurt, but it was a good pain, different, the fire was so hot it almost felt cold. I watched the black on the edges of my fingers flake off into the glow, the flame beginning to go white as my vision darkened, I felt a weight forcing down on my chest making it hard to breathe as sweat poured off my face and my knees grew weak, eventually buckling beneath me.


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