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It was supposed to be cold and windy that night, but instead the air was black with ashes and bloodred with swallowing flames. The buildings crumbled and folded and turned to ash as the licking searching fire sought them and hugged until collapse. I was sitting on my windowsill, my bare feet dangling over the street far below, as another fiery dragon shattered a building as people inside screamed.

And I don’t want to see what I’ve done

To undo what has been done

I sipped at my lemonade. Slowly, hesitantly, I smiled. I threw my half-full lemonade into the hellscape below and looked at my hands. I made them into fists, then jerked them open.—Bam!

They burst into flames, curling little yellow lizards of flame, like swirling clouds that bit and snarled and killed. I threw them. One then the other. To the screaming streets below. They landed and joined the ranks of the spinning, crackling fire demons.

“And already we see that cold shower we promised y’all last night, folks. Batten down the hatches! Open up the umbrellas! About ninety percent chance rain, twenty percent chance hail. Keep a sharp lookout, folks, my source in Albany predicts tornadoes. Again, I’m Jacob Morning on the Teleclock Weather News. So long!”

The blond smiling face disappeared and I snorted. And clicked off the TV. Predict tornadoes, will he? As if the winds themselves were at his command. Fool. Well, I’ll show him.

I hooked my feet around the windowsill and lit my hands. I opened my arms, threw them wide, flying. I was powerful. My arms were powerful. I summoned a lake of fire, a dragon that I’d never seen before, so powerful it put the Great Chicago Fire to shame. I smiled, gasped, reached my arms higher. I lashed them in a strangling motion. The dragon leapt up and guzzled the apartment building across the street.

See what you think of that, Jacob Morning.

On this champagne, drunken hope

Against the city, all alone

It was hell. That’s what it was. And I wasn’t being crass. Fire. Death, ashes, hot winds, crimson bloody fire. It was hell. The anchorman predicted cold and winds and tornadoes and this was what we got.

I giggled.

It’s what they got. I made it happen. “Ninety percent chance rain” indeed. Well, I guess it wasn’t his fault. No. It was mine.

I jumped.

The dragon caught me just before I struck the blackened, deserted street. Fire is a beautiful thing, I thought. Destruction is a beautiful thing. Fire is unpredictable—golden laughing flames in my hands and then you throw it and it’s a crimson demon that eats and snarls and drags screaming people and throws them in the sky.

I love fire.

I am fire.

I discovered it one day when I went too far inside the forest next to my father’s house. It was dark and I was trying with bleeding hands to light a fire so I could sleep and then die while mostly warm. And suddenly my hands were on fire. I screamed. I screamed, and I couldn’t stop screaming.

I could rise up, make a phoenix of fire, kill and destroy and laugh while doing it. I think I lost my conscience as the fire grew inside me. More powerful as the months went by, as days and years and school semesters flew underneath me. It tasted like bile. The fire tasted like bile. It rose inside me when I was angry or afraid and exploded out of my hands when I could taste it in my mouth.

I am so sick of creeping, smiling people.

I rose again. The fire pulled me upward, and I rode on the fire above the city. My hands were alight again, flames spinning around me as the skyscrapers toppled and crushed the streets below. The ash was riding on the wind and I tasted it in my mouth and it mixed with the bile that rose as well.

I let out a scream. I was not terrified. I was happy. Happy in a horrible, aching way. I was evil, I realized. And worst of all, I did not care.

Cause it’s a feeling that you get

When the afternoon is set

On a bridge into the city

The bridges break under the weight of fire demons. I have never caused such destruction before. I drank it in. I had never felt so fulfilled as I did then.

Years. That’s what it was. Years of hiding, of weeping in my closet with my fingertips on fire, of begging on my knees Why I had this power… well now I wasn’t going to do any of that. I lit my hands again and again and threw the fire again and again. I knew I looked like a goddess, rising above the city with whorls of fire flung from my hands.

How does my story end, I wonder? There are three ways.

One. I would die. I would fling myself into the flames and embrace death as my own flames embraced me. Not an option. I don’t want to die.

Two. I would kill everyone on earth. Fire and destruction would reign for days and months until there was no reason to. But it would destroy the soil as well, and any water source. And I am not bloodthirsty. Just lonely.

Three. I would escape. I could leave my city burning to its knees and flee to a wilderness somewhere. I wouldn’t have to worry about warmth, that’s for sure. That might be a good idea.

Again I laughed. Poor Jacob Morning was getting fired for sure. Or else he was dead. I smiled until I felt my jaws creak. The fire holding me buckled, and I stumbled before a new wave came in and steadied me. All those lives… sure, they deserved it, but what about the little kids who just wanted their mother to bring them a glass of water? What about them? What about the white-aproned baker getting ready for bed so he could wake and make doughnuts at five the next morning? What about him? What about the judge, dispensing justice where needed, always impartial, signing off from a long day of headaches? What about him?

I gasped. I put a hand to my face as a child screamed from a rooftop next to me, and the fire fell, carrying me with it.

On this champagne, drunken hope

Against the current, all alone

Everybody, see, I love him

“Gooood morning everyone. Welcome back after one of the most harrowing days in global history. Yesterday afternoon, an unknown source started the worst fire in national history, killing millions of people and destroying thousands of buildings. Witnesses have testified to seeing a woman—my sister, Relia Morning, to be exact—throwing balls of fire from her hands to the people below. But psychiatrists have testified that said witnesses are possibly out of their mind with shock. Unknown source died with the rest of the city last night in waves of flames only dreamed of. Just under a thousand out of five-hundred million city-dwellers survived last night. A moment of silence for this great loss of life.”

Static stretched across the airwaves, as somewhere in the distance a phoenix of fire was singing.

On this hope

Against the current, all alone…

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44 comments

06:11 Jun 26, 2020

I really loved this story because of the excellent use of personification and enviable description. Really well-written, and it's a fun read! Plus its exactly my sort of thing :-) Check out my profile and leave an opinion on my only work so far if you have time and want to!

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Zilla Babbitt
11:55 Jun 26, 2020

Thank you! Yes, I might do that sometime today.

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12:41 Jun 26, 2020

No problem! and thanks a lot!

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Khizra Aslam
17:16 Jun 25, 2020

A story worth reading....❤ Please if you don't mind check my recent story SCINTILLATING SMILE.☺

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Ismell Sarcasm
16:37 Jun 24, 2020

Woah, that was a very intense story! It was really good, you made a good job of writing Relia as sort of enjoying this but also feeling guilty One thing that could help would be to emphasize her relationship with Jacob a little bit more in the begging so that at the end the revelation that they're siblings can have more weight Other than than, amazing story

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Zilla Babbitt
12:49 Jun 25, 2020

Thank you! I like your suggestion.

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17:44 Jul 10, 2020

This Story Zilla! In my opinion, this story is one of my personal favorites :D

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Claire Tennant
23:04 Jul 02, 2020

Good word pictures and an insight to a troubled mind I too liked the use of first-person

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Arun .
11:20 Jun 30, 2020

Amazing! Your works are really aspiring.

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Harken Void
08:40 Jun 30, 2020

Those weather reporters, man. They're the true villains! Lying to millions of people, telling them to believe water would fall from the sky, when it's raining fire and brimstone. Put away your umbrellas and hold on to your Jesus and Buddha statues, for hell has come! Anyway, funny story with lots of great description and fantastic word play (he'll get FIRED for sure) :) One thing I noticed is that you use the word 'flame' twice in one of the beginning sentences. I'd change the first one to 'ablaze' or something, just to make a smoother re...

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Zilla Babbitt
12:42 Jun 30, 2020

You know, "fired" was an accident. I didn't realize it until you pointed it out. And thanks for the ablaze suggestion. If I could edit it, I would.

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Harken Void
12:46 Jun 30, 2020

Well in that case, I wish you more accidents ;)

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Sophia Rose
01:26 Jun 30, 2020

It is beautifully written and very well crafted. Great descriptions. Dragons would be my best friends if they existed, i'm a fire kind of person.I absolutely loved it. I on the other hand couldn't think of any thing to write for this particular prompts. If you could check out my story 'Going home without Zach' or 'The cliche of a game ending with a kiss' or both i would really love to know what you think. you advice with 'Silver Crown' was a godsend. Whenever you aren't busy i would appreciate if you checked it out and gave feedback. Thanks.

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Zilla Babbitt
12:43 Jun 30, 2020

Thank you! I'll gladly read your story.

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Jessie Nice
16:28 Jun 29, 2020

Ohhh gosh I absolutely love this. Anything with a dragon in the first paragraph is an easy way to entice me to read. Your writing is one of a kind, keep writing I'm hooked!

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Zilla Babbitt
01:20 Jun 30, 2020

Thank you!

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Anna Chidiac
23:08 Jun 28, 2020

Great action. I love fire, so this was my kind of story. :)

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21:59 Jun 28, 2020

Nice story! You're good at being descriptive of characters and surroundings, reall sucks the reader into the story. ps would you mind reading my first story? I could really use the feedback, especially from the most popular writer on this site.

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Zilla Babbitt
02:14 Jun 29, 2020

Thank you! I'd be glad to read your story.

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Luz Andara
17:49 Jun 28, 2020

This story was absolutely awesome! I know many people have said this, but the imagery was amazing. It inspired a missing element in my own story that I've been working on for months

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Zilla Babbitt
20:52 Jun 28, 2020

Thank you so much! Glad I inadvertently helped :)

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13:57 Jun 28, 2020

Your bio is so descriptive and aesthetic. I love it! Also, cool story! I like how the fire is both a literal and figurative part of the narrator.

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Zilla Babbitt
20:54 Jun 28, 2020

Thanks! I revised it several times and went with a quirky-and-personal-yet-third-person style. I've always both loved and feared fire. This was one result. There may be more.

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Amuelle Aguilar
13:18 Jun 28, 2020

This is amazing! The descriptions are superb! Looking forward for more of your pieces!

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Zilla Babbitt
02:14 Jun 29, 2020

Thank you!

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Nayab Ahmar
18:06 Jun 27, 2020

I love the story! The imagery was so clear and the emotions so heart wrenching that I felt as though I was Relia!! Amazing. I would very much appreciate it if you could read and give feedback on my latest story, but only if you have the time! Thank you regardless.

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Zilla Babbitt
20:54 Jun 28, 2020

Thank you! I'll try to read it sometime this week.

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Nayab Ahmar
22:23 Jun 28, 2020

Your welcome, and thank you as well!

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Laiba M
13:18 Jun 27, 2020

This was amazing! I loved the end especially :) Do you mind reading my most recent story? Thanks, Zilla!

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Zilla Babbitt
20:55 Jun 28, 2020

Thank you! I'd be glad to read your story.

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Laiba M
23:40 Jun 28, 2020

No problem, and thank you!

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I. Love
18:19 Jun 26, 2020

Critique: I would've liked more exploration of Relia's character- although it seemed like she'd experienced hard times in the past, her motivations were still vague. Compliment: The imagery was so vivid, I could practically feel the heat of the fire!

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Zilla Babbitt
20:53 Jun 26, 2020

Thank you!

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16:58 Jun 26, 2020

I just read literally ALL OF YOUR STORYS, and fell in love with them all!! You are such a great writer, I can't wait to read even more.

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Zilla Babbitt
20:54 Jun 28, 2020

Thank you!

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Amal Salisu
16:11 Jun 25, 2020

This story was brilliant! I love the way you started it with chaos, then did a little flashback and some backstory. The use of personification was to die for. I haven't read all your books (They are so many!) but just from this one I know they'll probably be amazing! I seriously need you to tutor me. If you haven't written a book yet, when you do, it'll obviously be a bestseller and when it gets to Nigeria, I would have to make sure read it

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Zilla Babbitt
19:07 Jun 25, 2020

Wow! That is serious high praise. Thank you so much.

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Amal Salisu
07:37 Jun 26, 2020

Your welcome! This is how I am when I see a good story!

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14:53 Jun 25, 2020

There was so much intensely good imagery in this story, I really enjoyed it

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Zilla Babbitt
19:08 Jun 25, 2020

Thank you!

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