Tuesday, August 5, 2008

How do you light a fire?

The frantic slapping of large moth wings gave Eso a start, waking her from a hazy dream of her old home. She looked around for the reason, and saw the light from a new fire lighting up her hut of broken crystal and metal like midday. Wiping the sleep from her eyes, she shooed the moths away, hugging a thin cover to her chest. No one around to blame the fire on, she lounged on her side, her body curled around the edge of the fire pit. She floated her left hand lazily in the heat above the flame, far enough away not to burn, but close enough to feel the flames as the crackled and popped under her palm.

She tilted her head back to look at the crystals that were still whole in the ceiling of her hut. The light from the flames danced crazily on the facets, reflecting back in blues and purples. Smiling, she wrapped her sheet snugly across her chest, tucking the end into the cleft between her breasts. Taking some sand from the urn near the pit, she spread it over the the flame. Slowly, almost regretfully, she extinguished the last of the flame, leaving just the embers. She brushed the sand from her hand and laid back down on her bead of silverleaf and young river rushes, sighing deeply as she drifted off to sleep. Murmuring in her sleep, her right hand gestured authoritatively toward the pit, and a cheery fire replaced the sullen embers.

The moths, drawn again to the light, settled over the crystals, blocking the light in.

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