Coal to the Lips
Pure fire is white, sometimes with gold adorning it, soft as a plume and just as prone to caressing, which I live and breathe in, and is my home. Those fires, though, come in weird shapes and colours. Some are of a crimson or red tone, cold, damp and generally not rich – yet somehow so common in human perspective -, others are of a radiant blue, contradictory in it’s hot temperature yet cold heart. Some are green, toxic and acidic, while others are of a dense violet hue, as passionate as they are distant, flickering royalty, yet a vibe eldritch even to me. I see these and many other lights, colours so alien to your eyes as red is to a dog, or the vivid enterlaced aitheres of the mantis shrimp are to your eyes.
I experience every fire, I submerge in them, but these flames remain distinct from myself, for they are not me, and it is my duty to clean them, to make them in the likeness of that gold and white fire. I can feel magnetic pulls, but as I am nous, at most I feel a detached sensation, like the symptoms of hurt whilst the mind is fully aware of how nonsensical the situation is, and cannot indulge in the self pity while the heart does.
One such event occured occured once, as I cleansed one flame. It was of a chartreuse tone, sickly yet vibrant, it’s plasma tongues licking at the Void. It seemed rather small, and cooling down; I do not see the Container, as always, though I could make out hints of broken stones. I descended upon the flame, to cleanse it one last time before ascension. It was vitric, touching in tones of bitterness and frustration. As I coiled around it, it began to shape in more pleasant flavours, even acquiring a rose light, though the hiccupy contractions were still there.
Then something punched, and the rose light was consumed. I almost got expelled myself, but I have learned many tricks to remain within the flame when external violence occurs. As if on cue, the Void sorrounded me and the flame, it’s coldness making the chartreuse edges into cold air. It whispered gibberish as always, incapable of being coherent for more than a few hints of a second, pressuring the space between me and the flame. The Container seemed cold, even the flesh-lava loosing warmth.
I tried a different strategy: I expanded the flames, feeding it with my own essence. It’s flames grew orange of a vivid tone, and that seemed enough to repel the Void, that which fled without fighting. The Conainer seemed repaired, and I felt no more punches. I considered leaving, but something kept me attached. Some sort of instinct preserved my stance, and I accepted it. I felt movements in the Container, muscle contractions that shook the flame in all directions, and made it more vivid, stronger. I saw the other flames beyond the Container, of crimson, purple, and even an eery silver, all dimming to nothingness. For once, I did not felt compelled to repair them.
I slid away from the flames, my wings extending away from the Container. The flame remained of an orange tone, perhaps one of the most vivid and satisfying colours I have ever seen. Momentarily I flickered in the air, leaving behind some wisps, which solidified into feathers. For a brief moment I saw the Container, who tumbled down in my brief appearence. I cannot remember the face, aside from the dim emerald of the eyes, an emerald that flared in my mind.
I removed myself. I ascended, not cleansing for a while, only seeing shades of green and orange. They burned me from the inside out, flaring viciously in myself. I screamed to the Void, cursing in tongues that spread through the Earth, flames erupting and consuming their Containers. I did not try to resist it, for I knew the futility of this. All the while, the Void kept whispering, cautiously aside but still close enough.
Eventually, it stopped, and I was renewed. I was still gold and white, strangely enough. I descended once again, and I was amazed to discover that indeed every flame was gold and white, some slightly more orange and others more yellow. Was my duty finished?
I climbed the Ladder to the Sickle Sphere, passing faster than the Hebdomad could see. It was empty, except for one box, made of lead and iron. In it a small tablet of tin said:
Thank you for everything. You are free to learn love.