Chapter IV - Firewalker

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Across the earth came a shift. The feel of the air twisted and turned with the humans’ actions. The weight of the Figure’s gift was now defined through Etu’s taken life. Taka stood still behind the charred, wooden altar.  His hand dripped with Etu’s blood. The humans cheers had wavered as they looked down at Etu’s smoldering corpse. The flame’s call was quiet in Taka’s head. The power he could harness. What he could do. These thoughts from the flame possessed his mind.  He slowly pushed his blood soaked hands through the smoke that rose from her charred corpse. The grove sat silent.

An energy flowed down into the grove as the flame from her smoldering body grew slightly.  It ran its way from her feet to her chest. It glowed that familiar orange and red as the flame had before, and brought a comforting smile to Taka’s face. Suddenly, pale blue glimmers began to show themself. Taka drew closer in mesmerized admiration of the flame’s expanding color.  He heard the flame’s voice return; softly.

“I am defined.”

Taka fell onto the ashy soil, after he stammered back quickly from the flame’s statement. The smile that was on his face moments ago quickly disappeared.

“I am defined,” the flame’s voice grew louder, and stronger.

The others heard the flame’s call for the first time.  Its voice was loud, aggressive, and assertive. The voice Taka had found so enticing was now painful to his ear. He stood, covered in ash, and cried to the flame, “I have fulfilled you! You are bound to me!” His voice was quivering and unsettled, but he did his best to hide the fear from it.

The flame moved from Etu’s breast, and engulfed her skull. It continued into her mouth and eyes. What once began as the familiar orange and red had quickly shifted to an all encompassing pale blue. Etu’s eyes opened and glowed this same pale blue, with the dancing flame; sending a chill down Taka’s spine.

“I am defined,” the flame called again in unison with Etu’s voice.

Etu’s eyes glowed brightly as her head rose; reawakened.

“I am defined!” Her voice, booming and overpowering, shook the groove.

The humans screamed in horror.  Some ran in fear at the sight of Etu’s charred corpse rising from the altar. The burnt wood she was once bound to fell to ashes as she rose. Taka stood shaking in horror of the sight.

Etu walked to Taka, and stared at him with her gleaming, pale blue eyes.

“I am what you have made of your gift. Something boundless. Your actions have now defined me.”

Taka made no sound, or movement.

“You felt you understood the gift, what you called the flame, but I was not to be used merely for your desires. You have cursed the ground you stand on, the consequences of your definiton now will be made known. The innocence gone. Your desires for power have brought you to something beyond your own comprehension.”

Reaching out his hand, Taka tried to reason with Etu’s smoldering corpse. His quivering wordful pleas dwindled.  He realized that the essence that was once Etu was gone. The Flame’s presence had replaced it.

“I was given to you as a gift. Though boundless and without limits, you sought to define me within your own perspective. You did your best to bend it to your will and for that, I called to you. The ritual was not for you to gain control, but for me to. Where there was nothing, you have created. Your morality is now defined.”

Taka’s face grew cold, and as pale as Etu’s shining blue, from fear and regret. Emotionally awakened, Taka’s heart pained with contrition. These new thoughts and feelings sent his mind into an overwhelming spiral. He raised his arms to the sky and unleashed a shrill cry from his mouth.

A smirk appeared across Etu’s face.  Taka’s ignorance amused her slightly. She turned, and grasped Taka’s throat.  His skin burned as her fingertips grabbed tightly at his neck. He tried to pull her hands away, but her skin, as hot as the flame, burned his hands. Etu raised him from the ground, her eyes glowing even more brightly than before. As he gagged and reached for air, Etu whispered, “The scales have once again become unbalanced.”

Taka fell to the ground.  Etu’s powerful grasp had turned his throat to ash. Flame grew from Etu’s fingertips as Taka’s charred throat fell from her hand. She stood, smoke billowing under her feet.  She looked down upon the others with her glowing eyes. They stared back in horror.

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