In response to DeviantArt Flash Fiction Month July 22 prompt: Elemental
Jane’s always liked to play with fire. That’s what my parents said throughout the years. Both figuratively and literally.
When we went camping, she always built and started the fire. She would ensure it didn’t die too early. She could spend hours looking at the flames fascinated by their endless dance and by the embers, always burning never quite dying. And I could spend hours watching her. She longed to touch them but mom and dad never let her. It was dangerous of course.
Although not as crazy as climbing the 180m fall near our house. She got grounded for 2 weeks when Gwen found out. And me too for letting her do it. Like I could prevent her. Jane wanted to see the world from above. She loved camping in the Rockies or visiting skyscrapers. It seemed she felt at home in these crazy heights. She would climb everything and everywhere she could, getting in trouble more time than I cared to count over the years. These stupid things that you see on TV of kids jumping off a balcony into a swimming pool. She did that. She wasn’t proud of it but she’d say the rush of energy was just exhilarating. Meredith and I never quite understood why she was such a daredevil considering she lost all memory of her past in a nasty accident. Almost all her bones were broken and she was in a coma for a month. But she didn’t remember the accident nor anything that had happened before. She lived like every day was the last. I would always try to contain her and, to a point, I knew I was the only one who truly could. Mom said I was the water to her fire.
I tried to be throughout the years. I loved Jane – that’s not her true name – from the moment she came to our house as a foster kid. Our parents fostered kids since before I was born, never more than 2 at a time, and Jane’s the one who staid with us. She was 12 when she came to us. Too old to be adopted. I was glad. Like a moth to a flame, I was attracted to her. That she was younger than me but in college by the time I entered high school didn’t bother me. She came home to me every night and it was to me that she recounted her days. She may have been writing her Master’s when I got accepted at MIT but she was still mine. In fact, it was that summer she turned 18 that we became more than siblings. I hadn’t known until then that she felt the same way I did. She offered me the most beautiful gift a guy in love can expect. Still the fire burning in her in love was much the same as in everything else. As the years went by and our love grew, it became even more intense. Sometimes, in the throes of pleasure, her skin would be so hot to the touch I’d wonder what fire ran through her blood. And in this I knew I couldn’t be water. I loved her too much. I could get consumed by her fire. I was.
“Dean?” I look up. She’s beautiful, different, fire through and through. My love. My death.
“Yes love.” I whisper my voice catching. There’s not much time.
“Don’t be love. It was worth it.”
I can’t touch her, not anymore. I reach for her round belly, carrying our child. Another fire elemental. Will he or she have the same life as their mother? She didn’t know. She looks angry, scared, sad. Since that day, she got pregnant she’s changed. Every act of love turning her into what she always was. Last night when she came, she caught fire. I saw it happen. Her hair and the place where her heart lay. She burst into flames. Except that she was born of fire. I wasn’t. Her family have come to ease my passing and reclaim her, as is their tradition. Only in love can fire elementals be revealed to themselves.
Jane’s always loved to play with fire. So did I apparently. Only I didn’t know it. But I loved every moment spent with my fire: Jane. It was worth it.
“I love you.” She says as fire catches around me and I become part of it, part of her, forever.