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After a wimpy winter, it's been a scorcher of a summer.  This week's prompt is inspired by the recent wave of three digit temperature days.  Even when the power was on, we lost our A/C last week.  I've also just finished the Hunger Games trilogy which I can recommend highly to anyone who loves YA science fiction.

Every week you folks bring it so I'm looking for cool stories that set our imaginations on fire.  Let the games begin!

The Judge

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Two week's after her first win, Robin came back with a vengeance.  Last week's winner and this week's judge is Robin Abess.  You can follow her on Twitter @Angelique_Rider:

"Writer, nature lover, singer, GEEK, eccentric, NaNoWriMo Nut...you name it! I love being in a roomful of people who are singing along to 'Dr. Horrible'!"

The Prompt

You're on fire!

The Rules

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Robin Abess
7/8/2012 11:16:38 pm

Looking forward to judging everyone's entries today!

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7/9/2012 04:12:43 am



Birthday Party Gone Wrong
By Lisa McCourt Hollar

“You’re on fire,” Sheila shrieked, pointing at her sister. Margie also started screaming, or tried to, her mouth working but nothing coming out as their mother nearly slipped on the tile floor trying to reach Gina. She snatched a rag up on her way while everyone around stared in horror, the words, Happy Birthday to You, dying on their lips.

Gina looked around, confused. Why had everyone stopped singing? Out of the corner of her eye she saw something flicker and Sheila’s words registered…her hair was on fire! “Oh my God, oh my God!” Gina batted at her hair with her hands just as her mother reached her. Using the cloth to try and smother the flames, she joined her daughter in trying to swat out the blaze that had sparked in Gina’s long tresses when she bent to blow out her candles.

“Hold still,” Francine commanded.

“I got it,” Jenna, the youngest sister yelled, tossing a cup of water and dousing both Gina and their mother in water. The flames instantly died.

“Are you okay?” Francine looked her daughter over, pulling her into a bear hug when she was done. Her shoulders started shaking and at first everyone thought she was crying. Then a snicker broke through and Gina was horrified to realize her mother was laughing.
“It’s not funny,” Gina wailed.

“Yeah, it kinda is,” Sheila said, pulling up a chair and sitting down before she collapsed on the floor. She tried to force back the smirk playing at her mouth, but she couldn’t stop the loud guffaw that followed.

“I could have died!” Gina couldn’t believe that everyone in the room was joining in, laughing at her singed hair.

“How much hairspray did you use?” John asked, hugging his wife, even though he too was laughing.

“Not that much,” Gina said weakly, “just maybe….oh, half a can or so.”

“I know what I’m getting you for your birthday next year,” Jenna said, relieved to see her sister laughing with them.

“What’s that?”

“A fire extinguisher. A must have for all old geezer birthday parties.”

Word Count: 347
@jezri1

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7/9/2012 06:15:58 am

“You’re on fire!” she screamed, sitting up straight in the woven pool chair.

He glared at her with a chilling smile. “Oh course I am lovey.” His sarcasm grew. “You set me on fire with your kisses and affection.”

“No, really, your pants are on fire. Don’t you feel the heat?”

“Yes, I feel the heat of our libido,” he said dryly, looking at his pants. He reached down and swatted at the small flames. “How can I feel anything? You’ve killed every nerve in my body with your love.”

He stood over her, his fists clenching menacingly at his sides. He grew tired of her but he could not get rid of her; she just wouldn’t leave. Nothing would happen to her if he laid hands on her; he’d tried that several times. This was the worst kind of punishment that anyone could’ve come up with for him.

“You are quite entertaining today,” she laughed and slouched back into the chair. “Be a dear and get me some sunscreen. Unlike you, I will feel it if I catch on fire. “

Had he known what hell would be like for him, he would not have killed his lovely wife and himself accidently in the process, but stuck with the divorce. Now his punishment in the ever after is to be her servant. And the schtick, she doesn’t know that they are dead.

He returned a few minutes later with a hammer. She looked at him with a disapproving smile.

“I said sunscreen, you idiot…” the hammer interrupted her statement.

He knew that she would be back in a few minutes as though nothing happened; he just wanted some quiet. He pulled the sunscreen out of his pocket and dropped it next to the hammer on concrete. He walked around the pool to the garden whistling a happy tune.

@ChuckWesJ
309 words

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7/9/2012 08:25:15 am

“You’re on fire!” The volant words rummaged through my mind tingling my eardrums. The fragrance filled with my nose with high notes of a delicate 100 year old egg. Soon it would linger into the scent of heated leather after a long day of the hammer’s friction making it pliable for creation.
After all that was my intent.
To create.
The screams mellowed as the flames dried out the siren’s throat. The crowd gathered and stared. Most were still caught in the trance of a maiden in dance; frozen and unmoving. I couldn’t blame them for their delayed reactions, it was beautiful.
Her ending notes now excreted from her seared flesh intoxicating all who smelled the flowers of Anthemusa. I smiled as the humans continued to stare. Sirens are my favorite pets. They do absolutely nothing and it entrances everyone around them to do the same.
Sloth is deliciously dangerous game.
151 words
@theglitterlady

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7/10/2012 12:54:47 am

slightly revised version. took out the extra "with" and added the missing "a". Thank you - Stevie

“You’re on fire!” The volant words rummaged through my mind tingling my eardrums. The fragrance filled my nose with high notes of a delicate 100 year old egg. Soon it would linger into the scent of heated leather after a long day of the hammer’s friction making it pliable for creation.
After all that was my intent.
To create.
The screams mellowed as the flames dried out the siren’s throat. The crowd gathered and stared. Most were still caught in the trance of a maiden in dance; frozen and unmoving. I couldn’t blame them for their delayed reactions, it was beautiful.
Her ending notes now excreted from her seared flesh intoxicating all who smelled the flowers of Anthemusa. I smiled as the humans continued to stare. Sirens are my favorite pets. They do absolutely nothing and it entrances everyone around them to do the same.
Sloth is a deliciously dangerous game.
151 words
@theglitterlady

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7/9/2012 08:44:32 am

“You’re on fire!” the princess cried, attention wholly on her hero.

With a wink and a grin he acknowledged the gorgeous blonde. Not even bothering to look, he caught the hellish cleaver rushing toward his skull on his own blade. Following through with a foot sweep and a punch-out before his foe even hit the ground, the hero was back in the heat of battle once more. Fifty enemies vanquished and perhaps ten times that number left to go, the young champion was just hitting his rhythm.

“Come on, you fiends!” He laughed, “Hit me with everything you’ve got!”

Blades, muscles, sweat and blood transformed the once tranquil courtyard. Strategy wouldn’t win the day here. The enemy had that, summoning an army of demons after sneaking into the castle cellars on the day of the eclipse. A good strategy; but one that didn’t account for the fact that the hero also used the eclipse to sneak in for some alone time with her highness.

“The fountain! Head for the fountain!” his princess urged him.

Shaking his head he did as he was told—the press of enemies from all directions felt like market day with swords, so the advantage of taking this or that crowd out first was lost on him. Numbers wouldn’t win the day either. The enemy had those as well, while the dauntless young champion stood alone. The surviving knights had all fallen back into the inner castle behind the princess’s shimmering ruby barrier.

Seizing a demon by the gorget, he slammed it back repeatedly into its fellows, “Haha! That’s right, that’s your buddy’s helmet in your face!”

Dropping to the ground he watched an arc of lightning cut horizontally through the enemy ranks, the burnt smell even ranker than the omnipresent demon sweat. Magic wouldn’t win the day. It was taking all of the princess’s power just to protect the inner castle, and the enemy mages couldn’t touch someone of her hero’s caliber with theirs. Picking up a pair of massive chipped demonic cleavers the reckless brawler decided to step things up to the next level.

“Jump in the fountain!” The princess stamped her foot, “You’re on fire!”

Stopping to hold off three enemies at once, the immolating warrior examined himself. She was right, he was literally on fire! His attention turned to the cluster of mages who summoned the demons in the first place. With a war whoop and a robe-soiling grin the hero charged them.

Sheer awesomeness would win this day.


417 words
@DavidALudwig

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Rebekah Postupak
7/10/2012 01:40:51 am

Sheer BRILLIANT last line. What a great story.

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7/9/2012 10:09:11 am

“You’re on fire!” She pushed away from me, to the far side of the bed. I knew time was almost up. That she would be consumed by the heat and the fire that would soon arrive.

“Do you want me to leave?” I always asked that.

“No.” All those before her had said the same thing. She didn’t know know how old I really was. Didn’t know my real name. Called me John.

I got up. Pulled the curtain aside. Looked out the window. She watched. “The sun looks good on you.”

I took a long look at her. Memorizing every curve. Every line. The color of her hair. Her eyes. The curves of her neck, her shoulders. Her full lips. Her hands. Her fingers. So graceful. So delicate. Yet, so strong. The curves of her waist and hips. Her long, luscious legs.

I wanted to remember her. That I’d found enough love, enough memories, that I could live alone forever. But I’d forget. And another soul would be consumed. I’d lost count of how had burned. I wanted to cry tears. But the heat had grown to where no tears could form. I glanced out the window once more. “Damn you, God! Haven’t I paid enough for my father’s sins, and my own failures?”

I looked at her. “Run! Grab the sheet! Run!” She sat there on the bed. Looking at me. Not understanding. “There’s no time to explain! Run!”

“John? What’s going on, John?” I wanted to hold her, kiss her, let my hands explore the texture of her skin, her hair, one last time. She stood up, and walked toward me, stopping several feet away. I could see the ripples of heat between the two of us. “My, God, John. You’re burning up.”

It was too late. That’s when I cried tears of liquid fire. She stood there, her eyes growing big with shock, then with terror.

The fire quickly consumed me. And I exploded. Can you imagine watching the woman you love, you want to spend you life with, you want to hold, to kiss, to touch, forever, spontaneously igniting? Flames encasing her in under a second? Watching, horrified, as she turns to ash before your eyes?

I knew what the headlines would read in the papers. What the story would be on the news. An explosion. Centered in one apartment. One that blew a hole in the side of the building. They would list the people missing. One would be her. No one would every find any remains of any of the victims. Nothing but ashes would remain.

I closed my eyes. So I didn’t have to watch. “Damn you, father! Damn you!” It was the curse of my heritage. I could never know love. Never be made whole. My soul would always burn in hell. The hell of loneliness. Isolation. Punishment. Because of him. My father.

You know him as Lucifer.

500 words.
@LurchMunster

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7/9/2012 11:33:37 am

The Stuff Of Legends

Damocles Stark, Master of the Grand Order of Demon Hunters, was a living legend. At the moment, he was a legend in repose. He wore a wide-brimmed hat low over his face, a long duster coat and seemed to be asleep.

At length, two young mens’ valor trumped discretion and they walked over to the table. Before either of them could offer a word, Stark spoke.

“Yes, I really am him. Yes, most of the old stories are exaggerated but not all. Now, go away before I grow annoyed.”

The duo stood, mouths agape, before Chelek threw caution to the wind. “Umm, would you tell us one of the stories as it really happened?”

Stark sighed, “Story telling is thirsty work, lads. I’ll require a pint.” He pushed back his hat revealing a face that was more scar tissue than flesh “And if my ugly mug frightens you, you’ve no stomach for my story.”

Treng and Chelek conferred and returned with the required pint of ale. Stark took it in one scarred hand and drank, not stopping until the tankard was empty.

“Ahh. Well, you’ve heard I’m the only Hunter ever fought a Duke of Hell single-handed and lived to tell the tale. Well, let’s lay us some lies to rest. I run for years with a Grey Mountains dwarf partner, Breck were his name. He fought with me that day and, say what you will of dwarves, that little whoreson could swing an axe unlike anyone I ever knowed.”


“An unearthly creature had been eatin’ the locals and we tracked it to a remote mountain cave. It smelt like a trap, but we went in anyways. Well, trap it were indeed. There may well have been a Duke there, but I never saw such. What we did see, was an entire legion of demonic warriors. Back to back we fought and we cut their numbers down over and over again. There weren’t no room for thought, only slaughter. When they drops back to regroup Breck yells over to me, ‘Lad, you’re on fire!’ I laughed and shouted back, ‘And how, my friend! I never felt so alive.’ Well, the dwarf points one stubby finger back at me and says, ‘No, you hulking idiot! You…are…on…fire!’

“Sure enough, my coat was ablaze. Now, mind you lads, demon fire ain’t your normal flame. Naught but holy water will douse it proper but we had none of that. So, I’m swingin’ my sword all the while that hellfire is scourin’ the very flesh off me bones and screamin’ like one of them damned creatures meself.”

Of a sudden, Stark stopped and waved to the barkeep, motioning to his empty tankard. As one, the two entranced lads called out, “But…but…what happened then, Master Stark?”

Stark favored them with a wide grin that somehow softened his horrible visage, “Well, what do you think happened then, ya damned featherheads? I died!”

Stark’s booming laughter was a fitting counterpoint to the stunned expressions of his youthful listeners.

500 words @klingorengi

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7/9/2012 11:38:31 am

“You’re on fire! Hayes, get down!”

The shout didn’t register at first. My ears rang from the explosion. Pulverized concrete rained pale dust over everyone within a dozen feet of the former wall.

Protective rage rolled through me in waves, a burning, righteous fury. Von Brandt thought he could fuck with me and mine? Oh, hell no. The shock of power raced through me, heat building--

“Shit, shit, shit. Get down!”

I spun to see Gordon running flat out for me. I forgot all about Von Brandt at the sight of pure fear on Gordon’s face.

“Gordy, what—?”

“Christ Jesus, woman—Stop, drop, and roll!”

Two hundred twenty pounds of panicked man slammed me to the ground, big hands slapping at the flames.

“Damn you, he’s getting away. Get off me.” I gasped the words, barely any air left in my lungs after the tackle. I shoved at his bulk and managed to roll free. I climbed to my feet and put a healthy distance between us. I wrapped an arm still sheathed in blue flame around my ribs.

“I think you broke something.” I inhaled carefully, wincing.

He stood, confusion darkening his brown eyes.

“You’re okay? You’re not—burning?”

“No, you ass, but you are.” I doused the fire raging in me with a hard won effort of will.

“How?”

“I’m naturally flame retardant,” I said. “Unlike you.”

My flames died away and I reached out to yank off his smoldering coat.

He let me, his dark eyes watching. With unsteady hands, he framed my face.

“What are you?”

The whispered words iced over any remnants of the blaze inside me. In the uproar of the moment, I’d forgotten.

He didn’t know about me.

Correction: he hadn’t known about me.

He sure as hell knew something now, but I couldn’t think of any words to play this down. I’d been blazing like a torch of blue fire and he’d seen it.

“What has been seen cannot be unseen.” I muttered the words under my breath, knowing they were only partially true.

One phone call and Gemini sent someone out to clean up the mess, including a cozy little mind wipe of certain facts from Gordy’s mind.

“Are you human?” he asked.

I nodded stiffly, digging my left hand into my back pocket for my phone. I drew out the crushed device and swore.

Gordon offered his own phone, no questions asked.

One phone call.

I looked up into his eyes, knowing he accounted for the majority of my anger and fear. If he’d been hurt… if I’d lost him…

One phone call and I would absolutely lose him. Gemini didn’t like loose ends or potential security leaks.

But I sure as hell liked Gordon.

I shook my head. “I don’t need it.”

“Are you sure?”

I covered his hand with mine, my fingers dancing nervously over his.

“Yes.”

He dropped his phone and caught my hand, yanking me into his arms.

“We’ll get Von Brandt,” he said. “Together.”

@caramichaels
500 words

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7/9/2012 05:10:07 pm

You’re on fire. You’re hot stuff. You’re burning up.

I’ve heard it all. Being a teenage superhero isn’t as fun as it sounds.

I can hardly keep my algebra grade out of the toilet, let alone manage raging hormones.

Add unreliable superpowers and I’m a powder keg of chaos with zero stability.

Seriously. What kind of lousy power is fire anyway? I can’t do anything cool with it.

I either destroy things by accident, like that tree-house when I was seven, or on purpose, like when the cops needed me to burn out a den of methheads.

Mostly, I end up being the butt of jokes.

We’re all out of lighter fluid, kid. Can you start the bbq?

Why don’t you come out to the bonfire Friday night? We could use someone to keep the fire roaring.

Hey there, flame boy. Is that a fire in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

I’m learning to handle the ridicule and I’ve gotten better at controlling the flames. That is, until I see her. Red hair. Freckled cheeks. Smile like a sunbeam. The moment she comes into sight, my palms itch and the scent of sulfur curls around me.

Worst of it is, I don’t know which part of me truly wants her: the hormones, the superpower or the tiny part of myself that is truly me. There is a part of me that’s just me. Right? I mean, it’s not like I signed up for this. I’d have picked flying or strength. But no, I got stuck with flaming palms.

If I didn’t think I’d turn her to ashes, or singe my tux, I’d ask her to prom. But the way her blue eyes peek at me through those long lashes, and the way she says my name, ‘Tyson’, with that first syllable lingering on her tongue like cherry soda, well, she’s just too awesome to risk it.

“Tyson?”

Oh, god. It’s her. Don’t turn around.

“Do you have a moment?”

Breathe. But not too quickly or the heat will ignite and then –

“I was wondering if … if you would be my date for the -”

I turn around to stop those fateful words from coming out of her mouth, and when I do, I fall into those big blue eyes and … and it’s so cool and soothing. No hint of sulfur. My palms don’t even twitch.

Embarrassment spreads across her cheeks like wildfire as the silence stretches between us.

The words tumble out of my mouth. “Anna, may I take you to the prom?”

She doesn’t answer with words, just slips her hand into mine, and the sparks that skitter over my skin at the contact are directly related to the flame in my heart, not the oddly subdued heat in my palms.



@bullishink / 470 words

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7/9/2012 10:54:36 pm

“You’re on fire!”

“I know, these dice are hot!” Farren grinned, watching as the pair of dice danced upon the felt of the craps table.

He ignored the people backing away from him as the fire heated up and made it uncomfortable to stand near him. He smirked at the boxcar he rolled and waved his hand at the dealer. “Make with the chips.”

“Farren, you need to control it.”

The man turned his head to stare at his fellow fae as he stood a good distance. Fire and water didn’t get along very much but they made it work. Of course, Darren had been kicked out of his clan so he was a bit of a rogue. It had been his idea to come to Vegas.

“Yeah, yeah.” Farren blew out a breath and smoothed a hand over the brilliant red hair and adjusted his shades before picking up his chips. “If you don’t want to hang out.”

“It’s not that. But I like this place and don’t need to see it burned down. You’ve already weirded people out.” Where Farren was shades of red and orange, Darren was cool colors with Mediterranean skin. Black hair was pulled back and light blue eyes blazed from his face.

“Spoil sport. And that’s only if they would have screwed me over. Let’s cash out and get something to eat.”

“Yeah, that sounds go-“ Darren’s eyes went over his shoulder and he straightened up. “I don’t think we’re going to get a chance.”

His friend looked over his shoulder to see a pit boss as well as two hulking guys following behind him. It looked like they barely fit into the monkey suits they were wear. “Just what I didn’t want to do.”

“I told you, your luck gets us into more trouble.”

A wide grin flashed across Farren’s face. “Yeah, but if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be so much fun.”

A pair of fingers tapped him on his shoulder and he turned to look at the pit boss. “If you would come with me, sir?”

“Aww, and I was just about to cash out.” The fire fae hefted the stack of chips in his arms.

The man’s eyes flickered down for a moment before looking up. “Please, come with us.”

One of the goons cracked his knuckles, the sound audible to those around them. People were melting away, slinking away like rats on a sinking ship.

Farren glanced around before giving a slow grin. “It wouldn’t be about my winning streak, would it?”

“Just come with us, sir.”

Farren’s grin widened and he took off the sunglasses, the living flame within him dancing in his eyes. He heard a quiet ‘oh hell’ from Darren before leaning close to the man. “Back away.”

Flame sputtered from his hand and onto the floor. The pit boss jumped back and Farren took off laughing, dragging Darren with as they dealt with the flames on the floor.

“This is why I can’t take you places.”

500 words
@solimond

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7/9/2012 11:41:20 pm

“You’re on fire!” she giggled, and I began patting at the little flames that had sprouted along my shoulders and the edge of my spine. It was no use though as the fire began to engulf me.

“I told you it was too hot! That sunblock doesn’t work!”

On the ground I threw myself, stopping, dropping, and rolling, and yet the fire kept burning. I began to chuckle as well at how ridiculous this all was.

“What did you expect? It’s what we do!”

I shook my head and allowed the flames to surround me. Just once. That’s all I wanted. One time to swim in the water, to wear suits like the humans, to just be normal. But no, as soon as I stepped out into the sun or got a little emotional, there went the flames. I’d tried petroleum jelly, a hundred types of lotions, sunblock with SPF 60, but nothing seemed to work.

“Just face it, Fury. You’ll never escape the fire. It’s our nature. Fire fairies burn. It’s what we do.”

175 words
@rastrohman

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7/10/2012 01:17:24 am

Title: Into the End

“You’re on fire!” a woman screamed as Aidan walked down the street.

“Yes, I am,” he replied calmly, stretching his hands out, letting the flames fly down his arms. It was a convenient trick.

The woman took a closer look at him, turned as white as death, and then ran back into her ramshackle home. This was the reaction most people had when they saw Aidan. However, the woman was not his purpose for being there, so he continued down the path.

The street was dirty and littered with debris, but this was typical of the side streets. The populace no longer cared to upkeep their neighborhoods. It was already too much work to maintain their meager dwellings and to avoid the likes of creatures like Aidan.

Aidan came to a stop at a worn, wooden door, cracked with age and barely hanging on its hinges. With a surprisingly gentle push, he opened the door and entered the dwelling, taking care not to let his fire touch the structure.

“Davidson,” his voice boomed.

“I’m here, Master Aidan,” a withered old man rasped as he stepped out of the shadows. “Can’t say I haven’t been expecting you.”

Aidan clasped his hands together and regarded the man in front of him. Davidson was clearly unafraid, seemed resigned mostly. It was something Aidan had not seen before and made him pause before he continued his work.

“Well, get on with it,” the old man groused.

“You aren’t afraid?”

“Son, I’ve been around a long time. Nothing can scare an old man, not death, not even you.”

“Very well.”

Aidan stretched his hands out toward the old man and the flames exploded from his body. The room filled with incandescent light and the floor shook. Just as quickly as it started, the flames died out, the shaking stopped, and the room went dark.

The former home of Davidson looked the same as it did a few minutes prior. The dust and dirt of a lifetime of decay and despair were still evident. Aidan’s flames only claimed his target. He had done his job but for the first time in his existence, he felt … regret.

@MLGammella
361 Words

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7/10/2012 01:19:24 am

“You’re on fire!” Colaxil whispered behind me. I looked down. Sure enough, my lower leg had ignited. I reached for my personal fire extinguisher and sprayed a couple one second bursts. I checked the gauge, I’d used over half the coolant already this morning. Ugh, professor Utleg was so frustrating! I stashed the extinguisher beside my chair and tried to focus.

“The warrior clans have the most difficult time learning the techniques, but crossbreeds, for some reason, have even more. Even a crossing of the most peaceful clans, sibvenner and congitslat, produce offspring with an excessive lack of control.” My upper right arm burst into flame. I sighed, and reached for the extinguisher with my lower left. It was like he was trying to prove his point, and I was helping him. I sprayed the coolant and decided to keep the extinguisher in my hand while I took notes. If this was his topic today, I’d be better off not putting the thing down.

“However, if we breed within clans the reverse is true.” Professor Utleg paused when a student’s hand went up. “Yes, Brieont?”

“Professor, do the warrior clans still have difficulty with control when they breed within?”

“That’s hard to say, Brieont, because they don’t often do that. They actually pride themselves on finding mates from other warrior clans.” Utleg continued in that vein for a while. It annoyed me watching him. He didn’t even carry an extinguisher, like he was so controlled he didn’t need one. Maybe he didn’t. Maybe his ‘pure sibvenner for nine generations’ really did give him excessive control. I’d never even seen him spark!

I raised my upper left hand, indicating a desire to speak.

Utleg sighed, “Yes, Krisilloc?” I guess he was anticipating not liking my question, he usually didn’t.

“But, professor, why do we have the spark at all? The fires don’t even hurt—”

“You would know.” Maritax said under her breath just loud enough for me to hear, but not Utleg.

I turned to glare at her, but continued, “They don’t, so why are they a problem?”

Utleg crossed both sets of arms over his torso. I almost wanted to take the question back, but it seemed like he might actually answer it, so I kept my mouth shut. “Krisilloc, your exoskeleton will burn eventually. And when it does, it will make your body hot enough to do damage.”

“But isn’t there a reason we have the spark other than impetus to learn to control our tempers? It doesn’t make sense! –”

“Of course it doesn’t to you. You want to be special. You want your curse to be a blessing. Well it’s not.” My shoulder ignited. I sprayed a five second burst. “Your parents made you an abomination. You must live with it.” My hip ignited, then my upper left elbow. My coolant ran out.

Colaxil reached his extinguisher forward, “Here, use mine.”

I looked at it. What would happen if I just let myself burn?

498 Words
@lissajean7

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Rebekah Postupak
7/10/2012 01:39:39 am

LOVE this.

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Rebekah Postupak
7/10/2012 01:26:52 am

“You’re on fire!”

“Call the brigade,” I said dryly. “If you send the message now, they may arrive in time to see the city fall to ashes.”

Hagne coughed in a way a stranger might have mistaken for a laugh. “One day your tongue will get you in trouble, girl,” she said, but she waved me through the gates.

The soldiers stepped aside hastily as I approached. My hands were now gloved and my face veiled, so their small panic served more as melodrama (“We have to put up with you but we don’t have to like it”) than caution. Not that I’d have blamed them for genuine fear; it’s why I avoided the city as often as I could.

“Maybe I could ignore the summons….” I caught the wish leaking into my thoughts and stuffed it back into silence. No. Don’t dream, fool. Dreams are pointless.

Narrow, shadowed alleys twisted all through the sprawling city, and this would be the path I chose today. Nobody would bother me here, not even the shadows. I moved fast, almost running. Two lefts, three rights, you’re unwanted, under the bridge, up the wall, everybody fears you, left again, alonealonealone.

Despite my speed, despite the lonely hot tingles at the corners of my eyes and the rebellious wistful thoughts trying to push back in, still I should have heard the footsteps behind me.

But I’d heard nothing, and when strong hands gripped my shoulders, I cried out. Somebody was TOUCHING me?! Only one person had ever dared. Was it--

Yes.

“You’re in a hurry,” said an amused, familiar voice.

“I’ve been summoned,” I said weakly, my heart slowly returning to its normal pace.

“Of course you have,” he said. “What does he want this time?”

I ignored the question. “Why did you follow me? I thought we agreed—”

“I worry. You never come here anymore.”

“No. It’s not safe for the city, I realize that now. And I—I am not wanted.”

“Except by him.”

I couldn’t think of an adequate response, so I said nothing.

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” he said.

I laughed bitterly. “This life of mine is the best the world can afford. Leave me alone, I beg you. I’ve made my peace with it.”

“It’s the best *this* world can afford,” he said. “And this is prison, not peace.”

I studied his face; his brown eyes were serious. “Do you mean the human world? That’s forbidden.”

“Dare to come with me,” he said. “I’ve prepared a new life for you there.”

“What if he finds me? What if—”

“Let me worry about him. Come, lovely one. Give me your hand.”

So I did.

Zeus have mercy, I did.

I gave him my blazing, ungloved hand, and together we stepped through the gateway to where a figure sat alone in darkness.

“Don’t be afraid.” Pythagoras spoke gently to the human, who had leapt to his feet in terror. “There’s someone I want you to meet.”

500 words
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Rebekah Postupak
7/10/2012 07:09:58 am

---MAJOR TYPO! If not too late, please read this version instead. Thank you!--

“You’re on fire!”

“Call the brigade,” I said dryly. “If you send the message now, they may arrive in time to see the city fall to ashes.”

Hagne coughed in a way a stranger might have mistaken for a laugh. “One day your tongue will get you in trouble, girl,” she said, but she waved me through the gates.

The soldiers stepped aside hastily as I approached. My hands were now gloved and my face veiled, so their small panic served more as melodrama (“We have to put up with you but we don’t have to like it”) than caution. Not that I’d have blamed them for genuine fear; it’s why I avoided the city as often as I could.

“Maybe I could ignore the summons….” I caught the wish leaking into my thoughts and stuffed it back into silence. No. Don’t dream, fool. Dreams are pointless.

Narrow, shadowed alleys twisted all through the sprawling city, and this would be the path I chose today. Nobody would bother me here, not even the shadows. I moved fast, almost running. Two lefts, three rights, you’re unwanted, under the bridge, up the wall, everybody fears you, left again, alonealonealone.

Despite my speed, despite the lonely hot tingles at the corners of my eyes and the rebellious wistful thoughts trying to push back in, still I should have heard the footsteps behind me.

But I’d heard nothing, and when strong hands gripped my shoulders, I cried out. Somebody was TOUCHING me?! Only one person had ever dared. Was it--

Yes.

“You’re in a hurry,” said an amused, familiar voice.

“I’ve been summoned,” I said weakly, my heart slowly returning to its normal pace.

“Of course you have,” he said. “What does he want this time?”

I ignored the question. “Why did you follow me? I thought we agreed—”

“I worry. You never come here anymore.”

“No. It’s not safe for the city, I realize that now. And I—I am not wanted.”

“Except by him.”

I couldn’t think of an adequate response, so I said nothing.

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” he said.

I laughed bitterly. “This life of mine is the best the world can afford. Leave me alone, I beg you. I’ve made my peace with it.”

“It’s the best *this* world can afford,” he said. “And this is prison, not peace.”

I studied his face; his brown eyes were serious. “Do you mean the human world? That’s forbidden.”

“Dare to come with me,” he said. “I’ve prepared a new life for you there.”

“What if he finds me? What if—”

“Let me worry about him. Come, lovely one. Give me your hand.”

So I did.

Zeus have mercy, I did.

I gave him my blazing, ungloved hand, and together we stepped through the gateway to where a figure sat alone in darkness.

“Don’t be afraid.” Prometheus spoke gently to the human, who had leapt to his feet in terror. “There’s someone I want you to meet.”

500 words that should make more sense now
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7/10/2012 01:58:35 am

"You're on fire, man."

"I know," Jeanie said. "Right? I've never gotten this far." She jerked
the plastic gun, spraying the display with digital
bullets.

"No, Jeanie," Davey said, voice breaking. "You're really on
fire. I was gone for two seconds and...God, stop playing." Davey
grabbed her, tossed her to the floor. He patted her. She started
to roll much later than necessary. She sat up, smoke curling off of
her.

Arcade management came rushing over to check on her. People
surrounded them, some worried, a few even laughing. She pushed to her feet. "I'm fine. Just need a minute."

She rushed to the bathroom, looked at the hem of her charred jacket. She knew how it had happened. When she played Alien Invader, she zoned out. It was like she was catatonic, but she was in a different state. A transcendent one.

Unfortunately, in that state, she was easy to mess with. And she had
no lack of assholes to take advantage.

She splashed her face with water and threw her jacket in the trash.
Time to call it a night. When she walked out of the bathroom, she stopped like she’d run into an invisible wall.

The games were still bleeping, still singing, blipping. But no one was playing them. No one.

Even Davey was gone. She felt the urge to scream for him, but it wouldn’t make sense. If he wasn’t in here, wasn’t where she could see him, screaming wasn’t going to do anything.

She could see the exit from the bathroom, surrounded by the terrible prizes like badly stitched teddys, sticky-string hands or a plastic sets of brass knuckles. She’d just run for it and call the police as soon as she got outside. She patted her pockets. Her cell was missing. She ducked down to look under the Cycle Rider back to where Alien Invader sat paused. Her phone was on the floor right beside it.

She walked towards it, but with every step, a loud thump echoed around her. She glanced at the trembling lights, breaking into a jog and then all out runinng. She dove for her phone as shimmering alien invaders melted out of the walls, sliding toward her in jittering, static infused slithers.

Jeanie thought she should have stayed in the bathroom, or left the phone. Or anything besides the hallucination she was having. How do you fight aliens from a fucking video game?

She looked at the orange gun behind her. “No way.” But she grabbed it and shot the closest invader. Its image blinked. It disappeared. Jeanie stared. “Un-fucking-real, man.”

Pa-too, pa-too! The invaders blinked and dissipated all around her, falling into air hockey tables, Whack-A-Mole stations. She was winning! She was winning. This was farther than she’d ever been! This was record-breaking-high-score-heaven.

This was—she turned and an invader stuck its incorporeal hand through her. She felt light and the gun slid right through her hand to the floor.

“Game over,” the invader chortled.

@J_M_Blackman
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