Darkness and Beauty

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Chapter 36 - Darius

It feels like I'm being set on fire. Every cell within me shakes and screams for the flames. On my knees, I feel myself give into the rushing wave of fire. My arms fly open and I instantly feel different. Rather than my body burning, I feel every flame lit skim my fingers. The lit torches in the tunnels feel as clear as day, the lanterns lit around the castle and throughout the town growing brighter as the thing within me drags a caressing hand against them.

Not only can I feel the heat of the flames, but I can feel every breath everyone takes. Everyone in the room except the new crazy lady is breathing harshly. The guards throughout the castle grounds breath evenly, some I can sense laughing. My mother is in her room sitting before the fire, completely oblivious to the air change and fire sparks. Every breathing animal and person I can touch with a flick of a finger.

It feels like I've finally taken a deep breath, and now can breathe easy. Like every threat and attempt on my life was a test leading up to this point. It's more pain and relaxation I've felt in months, but it's made to create just as much as it is to destroy. With most of the energy gone, I can feel it shriveling back into me like a scared child in a corner. The wave recedes back, and I gulp down fresh air.

Both Clarice and I fall to the ground in sweaty heaps. My head pounds and my limbs feel numb. A set of hands touch my skin, my name being called from several voices, but I feel so tired.

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