|The Tale of Dancing Flames
Author: Nerva al'Thor PM
[Oneshot] He had a decision to make. He was the most gifted manipulator to come out of his tribe for a hundred years. There had to be more to his destiny than just watching over sheep and conjuring fire...[Axel]Rated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy - Axel - Words: 1,611 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 5 - Published: 12-31-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3318722
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
First off, I've never played any of the Kingdom Hearts series. So pardon me for any slight inconsistencies in this little story. This is dedicated to Nikki, who plays the best Demyx ever.
The Tale of Dancing Flames
It was winter when he was born. Their tribe was a small one, living at the harsh environment of the mountains, always clad in furs, putting sheep forward as their most prized possession. You could tell their tribe apart because of the markings below their eyes – runes, he called them. Runes of protection for bad weather, he said. Their tribe was unremarkable – they were hardy people, shaped by their kind of living and they were poor. Bread, ewe's milk and meat were their only food – and luxuries from the lowlands came by only in years.
It was winter when he was born. The midwife said that he was a stubborn one; he refused to come down for some hours, agonizing her and his mother both. But when he did come out, everyone in that steamy little room knew he was destined for greater things.
It was winter when he was born. He was crying so loudly that the midwife said he had healthy lungs – perfect for the high altitude and the cold. His eyes were the most startling green, and when he wailed, the flames burning on the candles and the braziers blazed, as if honoring him.
It was winter when he was born. Just a few hours after he'd been cleaned and the first words of prayer whispered to his young ears (May your fire burn bright in the night, Amen); he had been taken to the shaman. The midwife had his little body swaddled in thick sheepskin and then tucked under her cloak.
It was winter when he was born. He received the markings below his eyes under the shaman's careful hands. He cried and wailed, and the shaman said he would make his tribe proud.
He was then named Lea.
He knew he would be different from the other kids. His name often irritated him, but in the tribe, you were given a name for a reason. But he wondered why he was named after an animal that they didn't even have. Cow. The boys liked to call him Cow. He didn't like it, though, because it sounded irritating.
He knew he would be different from the other kids. Aged five, his parents had taken him back to the shaman, who fussed over him, held his head between his gnarly hands while singing to the gods. And then the shaman asked him to make a fire without the use of sticks. How simple, he thought. He pointed to a brazier and the flames blazed. The shaman gave a shout of thanks.
He knew he would be different from the other kids. Together they would go down the slopes, when the snow was relenting, and drive their flocks to a valley untouched by the cold. For hours they would sing and play, all the while keeping watch over the sprawl of white, bleating sheep.
The shaman told him he was to play a very big role. He was going to protect the village and the flock from the winters.
His father taught him how to fight. He had chakrams specially made for himself; pinwheels of excellent make, labored over by the village smiths for a full five months and presented to his formal nameday and ascension. The blade would never rust, and he could ignite it however he wished.
His father taught him how to fight. The shaman blessed him and blessed his weapons – praying that he serve his village well and good. Then the shaman told them, in a loud carrying voice, that the worst winters were yet to come. He should be prepared.
His father taught him how to fight. Seventeen winters and he could manipulate fire like nobody else did. He could create his own flames to suit his needs, while the others had to have their sources. His mother was very proud of having such a gifted child.
He said that he would make them proud.
Life was dull. There were sheep. Lots and lots of them, even with good old girl Banana, bleating as the sun cast its final rays along the horizon. He was there, clad in his furs, chakram in hand, watching the orange glow die. The sun wouldn't show itself for another six months, and the sheep had to be well protected, not just from the cold.
Life was dull. Banana trundled up to him, bleating, and nuzzled into the folds of his furs. He absent-mindedly patted her head with a mittened hand.
Life was dull. He had a decision to make. He was the most gifted manipulator to come out of his tribe for a hundred years. There had to be more to his destiny than just watching over sheep and conjuring fire...
He looked at Banana. She looked back at him with pleading eyes, but he already knew the answer.
He was destined for greater things.
He didn't look back. He left in the middle of the blizzard, taking the fire and the life of the people and the flocks. He had served faithfully for most of his young life, and he deserved his own end. He would make the most out of his remaining years. Many fruitful years still ahead. He would not waste it with sheep.
He didn't look back. Even though his mother's cries carried over to where he trudged the lonely road. He whispered I love you, I love you ten times over but you have to understand. I am meant for greater things.
You said so. Everyone said so. I am meant for greater things.
Awestruck. Twilight Town was everything he had ever dreamt of. He was determined to find a place of his own. He would bank on his abilities maybe, and then catch the eye of some powerful politician or magician who would take him in. He would give his loyalty and his life, if needed.
Awestruck. His natural way with people earned him favor and good luck in high society. These people have never seen someone with naturally-given fire abilities. A strong politician had his back, and fame and fortune smiled down at him from everywhere. He was young, he was drunk, he was brave, he had beautiful girls by his side – he had everything he ever dreamt of and more.
Awestruck. He could watch blood flow out of a dying person without flinching. He could make a clean job with his chakram, or leave nothing but a pile of ashes and burnt bones in his wake. He could be unleashed against a platoon of soldiers and kill them all. The blood seeped into his hands, his skin, his mind, his soul...
...seeped through his everything.
She could have changed him. Changed him back to that faraway ghost of a simple shepherd boy who cared for everyone and was loved in return. She loved him with every fire of her being, and he loved her back with equal fervor despite the evil he had committed.
She could have changed him back. She could have told him to leave everything behind that night, when she gave him her everything. She could have reminded him how simple life was. She could have done something. She could have told him to come away with her and start anew while it was still early.
But her love blinded her, and she did not have the courage to do so.
He shouldn't have listened to her. She refused to see why he was working like this, working in the dark, falling down souls for his master – it was all for her and their growing child.
He shouldn't have listened to her. She never could understand. He only wanted the best life for her and the child she bore – he did not want his child to go back to those wretched mountains, doomed to guard dumb sheep all his life, giving up his potentials and talents to a world that did not deserve it.
He shouldn't have listened to her. She had wasted his time after all. He wondered how he could have been so blinded with a stupid woman and her stupid notions about starting anew.
He hated her so much. All his love for her had gone. He hated her so much.
In a fit of rage, he struck her down and his unborn child.
The flames ate up everything that could have been saved.
Nothing to it now except to go on.
Go on into the darkness.
Look back, and grief waited for him. Look back, grief and guilt waited to swallow him.
Look ahead, there was only darkness.
Darkness and nothing.
That was all where he's good at, really.
Running away and losing everything that remained of his humanity.
He chose the darkness.
Looking back, after everything, he could only laugh at his own stupidity. That was all he could do now. Laugh. Nothing else.
The black cloak was a perfect reminder of his ultimate stupidity.
He could still hope.
He could hope and fight, to whatever bitter end it may be.
He still had the markings down his eyes. His eyes were as green as ever. But his golden locks had made way for red. Red, like fire...
He still had fire.
What about his name? Oh, he could discard it now. Replace with something better.