• Helene Montalvo

My Dance With Fire


So...here's another project I've had on my computer for like...forever. What do you think?

Here’s the thing about fire.

It’s hypnotic.

The way it sways its hips, beckons you with its arms, moving its body to a tune only the flames can hear. Burning passion ignites and consumes as it dances before your eyes, growing as it builds from the insignificant flicker of a birthday candle’s flame to a bonfire devouring all in its wake. It captivates with its beautiful deception. And with all its seduction comes the threat – the knowledge that fire does not fall in love.

It kills.

It wraps its hands around your throat and squeezes until you can’t breathe. It’s a lovely, all-consuming trap.

I stared at the decrepit wood planks, their years of life worn into them like an old photograph with stories to tell but no one to listen. Bright yellow-orange flames danced along their splintered edges, squeezed in through the cracks and crevices between them. Red-hot demons pulled their way through each blemish, laughing at me as I watched. I couldn’t help it. I was mesmerized by the erotic dance between fire and smoke that twisted before me.

Danger called my name, but I was so absorbed in its beauty I could not hear it. I recognized the flames, knew their dance was only meant to lead me to my end, but my limbs refused to comply. The story was too good, the story of the fire and smoke fighting for its prey.

My face was pressed against the dirt floor. My body covered in filth for so long it was like a second skin. Sweat spilled from my pores as the heat intensified, and all I could do was marvel at the glorious beast that threatened to consume me. I was one with the floor. A mud sculpture awaiting my demise. An encased body lying in the remains of Pompeii.

To speed up the inevitable, I reached my hand toward the flames and welcomed death. Had been dreaming of it for so long it had become a fantasy. And though I stretched out to grasp its hand, it was out of my reach. Any amount of strength I’d possessed had been drained from me long ago. My outstretched hand surrendered and dropped to the floor, waking and angering the dirt that jumped up and clouded my vision for the slightest moment, laughing as it stole the show.

I was ready to die, ready to leave the horrors of my life behind.

Just as I moved my eyes to the flame inching its way closer to my fingers, fighting its way across the floor to bite my skin, something grabbed my shoulder and rolled me onto my back.

A masked face appeared before me.

“Miss?”

He seemed alien to me, or maybe it was the oxygen mask that muffled his words and suit that covered him from head to foot. Either way, I wished he was an alien. Wished he would take me to his planet and treat me with a kindness I’d never known.

He glanced over his shoulder. “There’s a girl in here!” he called out. Then he reached down and picked me up.

Every part of me ached, but I’d become numb to the pain. Though I could feel it, my mind and body seemed to separate, break away, and all I could do was choke on misery.

The man pressed me against him, and as my head lolled to the side, I saw the dark pool of crimson I’d been lying in. Just before I succumbed to darkness, let it whisk me away into a painless slumber, I thought that river of red beneath us must surely be more blood than my body could hold.

When I closed my eyes, the world tumbled away from me, and the stars fell out of my sky.

#fire #death #writing #reading #romance

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