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david.nelson1@uqconnect.edu.au David Nelson

This story emphasizes the danger of fire from a unique perspective.


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Pyro

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Woomph, heat, light, feeling, being; I was born. The spark of my existence ignited that cold July afternoon in a cleared patch the Nelson’s called their campfire spot. I tentatively lick out my flames feeling, smelling, tasting the cold hard surroundings. I find a leaf next to me and munch on that while I reach further out with greater confidence. But then suddenly I feel a poke, a stick is thrust onto me suffocating half my delicate flames. Scared I withdrew. I hear a voice of admonition ring out, “Now Adrian be careful not to put too much on. It isn’t big enough to tackle the thick stuff yet. First build it up with leaves, paper and twigs like this.” And gently a soft landslide of food slid to my feet which I eagerly started lapping up.

I soon grew stronger and was able to tackle even the largest logs they threw to me. I was happy at that time. I gently crackled as they roasted marshmallows and sent up showers of sparks in my excitement whenever they fed me. I would enjoy working away at the logs they threw me and once I had devoured it I would leap up eagerly awaiting the next one. It was a world of discovery; every type of wood tasted different, the sounds of people, feeling the wind through my flames they were all new to me. However I also discovered my containment, a circle of barren earth hemmed me in from the outside world. I tried leaping up into the air but could feel nothing but its coldness. When I leaned side to side I couldn’t find anything. It was then I realised that I was trapped, caged in here, tied down, unable to explore and discover more. I found it hard to content myself with the limited experience I had inside this circle of earth. I had discovered some but desired much. There was a whole world that lay beyond. How many new tastes and smells there are to be revealed but here I lay trapped, confined, just a plaything for these Nelsons.

My disappointment grew acrid and my flames darkened. How could they create my life and yet limit it so. It is true they are free to go anywhere and learn anything but I am not limited by their forms I could grow, expand to any size, how great and glorious I could be! If only I was not pinned to this charcoal scarred scrap of earth. Then they would fear me. Then it would be I that would trap them and I who would control their fate. But here I was powerless in their hands completely dependent on them for the source of my sustenance. I hated and feared it. Oh how it burned in my soul, yet I was powerless to act on my revenge under their watchful eyes.

I knew my fate was coming and sure enough at nightfall I heard the command given to my executioner, “Ok I think I’ll head in now but if you two children want to stay by the fire you can,” said the Father. “Oh, I’ll come with you daddy,” replied the voices of two children in unison. “Well then put out the fire and come indoors,” the Father said. I tried to flame up and look fearsome but that was no match for the slop of cold water all over me. I hissed furiously at him and sizzled and spat in rage. But yet another splash washed over me. It suffocated my emblazoned branches and extinguished all my external flames. I was blind and deaf to all around me and only just hanging onto life itself. I awaited the final blow, for those drips of water to extinguish my combustion completely. One more splash and those embers I had hidden deep inside the thickest logs would be saturated and finished. Long I waited yet it never came. Shivering from cold and weakened by the ordeal I fainted and fell deep into hibernating sleep and the few embers I had left darkened into a deep red glow.

I lived on and slowly my strength returned to me. I ventured to flick out some flames into the late night sky and saw that all was still. I slowly ventured out for I was still weak and wary. I found they had carelessly left a lot wood around me. My flames brightened as I chuckled at my good fortune and set about gathering as much strength as I could from them. It was a slow process but gradually I grew larger and larger. Yet even freed from the Nelson’s observance I was still trapped by that circle of dust and ash. Long I licked out my flames yet could not bridge the gap over that barren line. Nor was there anything overhead to lash onto. Panic flared up in my heart as my limited food was consumed and my proud flames went out one by one. Ravenous I scarred even the earth in my search for anything to combust. I was forced back on myself into a tighter and tighter circle of light. In shear desperation I spent my last heat in flinging up a maelstrom of sparks and embers and entrusted them to the winds of chance.

Yet even in this form I felt the thrill of adventure as I left those confines. Surrounded by the sparks of my brothers and sisters we strove to reach even higher heights of freedom. Up into the air I flew as if I were fiery phoenix taking my place among the burning stars above. But I saw my siblings one by one give out and disappear in the night’s darkness never to be seen again. Grief swept over me for them. This then turned into determination I would live on for their remembrance I swore and intensified my blaze. The winds must have heard my oaths for it was then that they changed direction and drove me down into the dry gutter of the Nelson’s house. I landed there nestled amongst the dry leaves which overflowed from these gutters. Eagerly I coxed them one by one into flame. I quickly spread along the whole line of them down one side of the house enjoying their sweet taste.

It was reinvigorating being transformed from an almost lifeless spark into the brightly burning fire. Yet I still wasn’t satisfied. With a renewed sense of discovery I crept under the corrugated iron roof biting into the wooden supports. Using that I stole further and further into the house passing rapidly through the attic until the whole space was blackened by my thick smoke. Whereas the wood at the camp fire was savoury this mixture of insulation, plastic wires and treated pine was acrid to taste and bellowed noxious fumes but I grew fat on it. My engorged flames reached far above and even scorched the metal roof. The vastness of my form was utterly transformed from my humble beginnings yet still burned from the hatred of that memory. Even the roof itself could no longer support me. It buckled and I crashed through.

Bolstered by the influx of fresh air and food I quickly flared up, growing from strength to strength. Suddenly the high pitch of a fire alarm alerted the Nelson’s of my arrival and my inferno was mirrored in their confused and sleepy eyes as they saw me in their doorway. Panicked the couple ran to the window to make ready their escape but I swiftly saw an end to that by bringing down the flaming gutter blocking their escape. I relished their fear as I continued to encircle them. Now with our places reversed I moved in to make my revenge complete. They are completely hemmed in completely in my power, oh how I desired to cremate them then and there. Yet in my pride I failed to see Mr Nelson’s quick action. He grabbed the mattress and flung it onto my flames at the door. I laughed as I tore through it with my blazing flames. Yet it bought him and his wife the second they needed to run over its protection to reach the children’s rooms.

I roared in fury and gushing out of my mouth came blood red flames and streaks of sparks with fumes as black as death. I chased after them but they blocked my progress by closing their door. Enraged I thundered hellfire against that door attempting to incinerate them. I could hear them attempt to force open the window in that room. I knew that my time was short so I changed tack and intensified my inferno in the portion of the attic above that room. Hatred, revenge, malice, vengeance these all fuelled the conflagration of mine. I seared through the thin plywood facing allowing drips of flaming tongues to be dropped in all around the room. Only the supporting struts held that that part of the roof from full scale collapse. Mrs Nelson wielding nothing but a pillow tried to suffocate these fiery forbearers of doom until it too caught fire. While Mr Nelson bore his strength against the window to no avail. I crept forward burning through whatever they threw at me. I sent my deadly smoke ahead of me blinding their eyes and displacing their air slowly suffocating them. Finally the scorched roof struts gave way in a pile of cinders and ash and that part of the roof collapsed. My storehouse of blackened smoke poured into the room. Yet even in this my moment of triumph as I towered over them Mr Nelson still refused to fear me. For he courageously grabbed the smouldering strut deeply searing his hand and thrust it through the glass pane shattering it completely. Then he hastened his family out of the window following them just before my flames reached out to scar the edge of the window sill. As soon as I reached that window I blasted out my scorching flames after them but it was too late they were safely out of my reach.

Furious at their escape I turned my burning wrath away from them unto everything that they owned. Precious toys, computer hard drives, expensive paintings all disintegrated into ash and smoke before me. I stood tall and proud in that house burning it to the ground. How I relished it. My sense of discovery had been transformed into a malice intent for destruction. Then the low wailing pitch of a siren was heard far off. Like I cared the last alarm did no harm to me. I saw those men drive up rolling out their hoses, their faces stern for the upcoming battle. Suddenly a jet of water shot straight at the base of my flames and a gigantic cloud of steam rose high into the air. I roared with pain and formed a many thronged whip from my blazing flames and sparks. Wielding that struck out at the central roof support, furling around it in rings of fire. Bringing all my heated strength against it I burned through it and what resounding crash it fell with. My flames leapt high flinging scattered sparks and embers across the dawning sky. I had reduced what was left of the house into a blazing inferno like the gate to Hell. At the sight of my awesomeness those firemen edged back and ushered the Nelson’s away. Long did I fight, they sometimes gained ground but then with unbearable heat I pushed them back. More trucks came and more men lancing me with water and covering me with foam. Even from the sky huge bombs of water fell from helicopters that lay far beyond my reach. I realized that once again I was trapped and my hands were in their fate. Despite my great strength I was powerless against this relentless onslaught. They were merciless and thorough. Every scrap of ground I retreated they never let me retrieve and slowly but surely they pushed me back. The one thing I feared most, the one thing that I had promised would never happen again was coming as sure as the sun was rising. And before that sun had reached midway through the sky all that was left of me were wisps of smoke rising from ashes that would never burn again. And that is how I lived, how I burned and how I died.

28 de Agosto de 2015 às 11:14 0 Denunciar Insira 3
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