Born Of Fire

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Born Of Fire 


"Come on Ember! Hurry up!" Phoenix called back to the young girl climbing a small log behind him.

"I don't need to hurry, you need to slow down! It's not fair. Your legs are longer than mine Phoenix!" whined the small raven haired girl about fifteen yards behind him. They looked strikingly similar, the two of them, trudging through the forest. He was tall for his fourteen years, shoulder length black hair that always looked unkempt, lean and gangly limbs that were a bit long for his frame, even with his height. But his eyes were definitely the feature that everyone noticed, a piercing blue like the summer sky. It was most assuredly a rarity among the native people in the nation of Yaag. Tanned skin, dark hair and eyes were traits of people in their country.

She scampered along behind him, hopping the occasional fallen branch with twigs breaking under her feet. She looked the same as he, including the eyes, which he knew would cause a problem when she reached marrying age. {I'm going to be beating suitors away with a stick thanks to her.} Her hair reached the middle of her back, a razor never having touched it in her nine years. She was under the impression that they were siblings, as his father had wanted it. The truth was, she was his cousin. Her mother, his fathers younger sister, had died giving birth to her. She wasn't aware of this, even though she was the only one in the entire village that could control the air. He leaned against a tree and waited for her to catch up, watching as she tried to jump a fallen tree trunk, but she landed on it with her stomach.

"Oof," she wheezed. "Phoenix, help me please?"

With a laugh he walked over to her and inspected her position on the log. "Wow short stuff, that little log got you stuck?"

He had served as her protector all these years, watching her to make sure she developed her control of air well.

Her face turned into an adorable scowl, her slight curls shaking as she spoke. "It's not little! I'm the little one here and I can't do it, please help me?"

He reached down, caught her under the arms and hauled her over, placing her on his shoulders where she gripped his hair tightly. All the way to the small river he carried her, and then put her down to sit on a small, charred black tree trunk.

She watched as he stretched, then piped up with her tiny voice. "What are you working on today Phoenix?"

"The orbs. I'm still having a problem controlling them once I throw."

"But orbs are easy, even I can do orbs, see?" 

She stretched her hand away from herself, palm upward. She closed her eyes and concentrated, until air started whispering around her each of her fingertips with a tiny 'whoosh' of displaced air, first one, then another, and another. Finally creating a sustained flow , that fed into a small ball of air that swirled above her palm.

"Not bad Ember," interrupted Phoenix, jarring her concentration, making the air trapped in her hand dissipate. "Let me show you a real orb."

He stood stock still, eyes closed in concentration with his hands at his sides. After a few seconds, the atmosphere around him began to crackle and heat up, all the moisture suddenly gone from the air around his body. Opening his eyes, he stretched forth both of his hands, and a large spark shot from each finger into the orb that was quickly growing larger in each palm. Pouncing forward he crouched, orbs still in hand, and threw them toward the river. They sizzled as they made contact with the surface of the water, but he was already moving on to the next orbs filling his hands. He once more turned to Ember, and shot both orbs toward her, which made her scream and fall backward off the stump she was sitting on.

He laughed, which made her poke her head back over the rim of the charred wood. "Are you trying to kill me Phoenix?" she screeched.

"Look Ember, you're not seeing them are you?"

She looked around for a moment, then her eyes widened and her mouth fell open. The orbs had stopped in mid-air and were gently bobbing up and down in front of the stump. He raised his fist and the balls floated upward, then he lowered it and the orbs fell through the air.

"Wow Phoenix! How are you doing that?"

"I can feel them after they leave my hand, and for some reason I can control their path."

She looked puzzled for a moment before a smile filled her face. "What else can you do?"

A pondering look overtook his sharp features. "I've been working on a new move, but it's dangerous. I don't want to try it with you here."

Her eyebrows went all the way up and her bottom lip came out in the perfect pout. Her eyes started to glisten with unshed tears and a small whimper found its way out of her closed lips. "Please Phoenix? I wanna see it."

His walls broke down and he murmured, "Fine. But stand back."

She smiled, all tears drawn back in, and ran behind a thick tree, poking her head back out to watch her brother. He stood still once more, concentrating on the fire he was trying to wield. After a minute, a small fire started under his feet, and worked its way up his legs, but he took no notice of it. All he saw were flames; beautiful red flames, destroying everything they touched, but bringing the warmth he felt within. The fire worked its way up his chest and shoulders, and Ember shook in fear before she cried out, "Phoenix stop! You're burning!" The best Yaagalay (A/N Yaagalay = Fire Users) she had ever seen couldn't cover themselves with flame as he was doing before her.

He didn't hear her and continued to build his power. When the fire covered his head and he opened his eyes he let loose a mighty roar. The flames around his body condensed into a giant oval orb and flew forward at an amazing pace. He stretched out his hand and swung it to the left and the orb followed, then he closed his fist and the orb halted, hovering silent and still. A bead of sweat appeared on his forehead as he attempted to keep control over the flame, but it proved too much for him. The orb started to shake more and more violently until he lost control completely, and was knocked down to the floor. Rolling over with a groan he looked to the orb and paled in fear. It still hung there, shaking slightly when a tongue of fire flared up from the left side and then the right. The flames grew larger until they were two feet away from the rest of the orb, then in one quick motion, they unfurled into the shape of wings. The rest of the orb unfolded, and a small beaked head rose from the top of it. His namesake. The mythical creature. The Fire bird. The Immortal Fowl. The Phoenix. Flapping its wings, it hovered there, staring at the young boy on the ground with the only part of its body not made of flame. Its eyes were as black as night, and drank in his image hungrily. He rose to his feet when a ball of concentrated air flew past his ear and exploded against the bird's chest. He turned around quickly to see Ember conjuring up another orb,

"Get away from my brother!"

The bird screeched loudly, causing him to cover his ears to block out the piercing noise. It flapped its wings powerfully and dived toward Ember, who turned and ran behind the tree, but she turned to look back. Just then the bird reached her, splashing against the tree and half of her exposed body, making her scream in agony. When the bird winked out of existence, Phoenix shook his head to regain his wits. I did not just see that! The phoenix doesn't exist! Oh my Gods! Ember! He sprinted toward the tree and running around the far side he saw his sister lying on a bed of roots and leaves, crying softly.

Falling to his knees beside her, tears ran down his cheeks as he inspected her charred body.

"Ember! I-I-I'm so sorry!"

"Phoenix it hurts, it hurts so bad," reaching a hand toward her older brother, her eyes pleading. "Please Phoenix make it stop."

"I-I-I don't know how Ember! I'm so sorry! I'll take you to father, he'll know what to do!"

His strong arms reaching for her burned body was the last thing she saw.