I take a deep breath as I enter my room. My mind and body are both exhausted from the last day and a half. I’ve hardly had any sleep, not to mention the intense emotional events that have gone on. I lock my door, just because, and kick off my shoes, crossing to the couch and collapsing on the cushions with little grace.
I don’t like feeling this way, torn and conflicted both inside and out. Since the stupid voice of the lava awoke it’s caused me nothing but grief, but also, it has given me a passion that is not my own. I drape my arm over my eyes, mulling over the last thirty-six hours.
I heave a sigh, the rest finally taking hold on my mind and pulling me down into a restless sleep.
Heath feels heat; a searing, skin boiling, soul-consuming heat. He’s never felt pain like this before, ever. It starts in his fingers and works its way up his arm and through the rest of his body as the blinding orange light rushes into him.
In the few seconds of blinding pain he feels, a moment later it is gone, replaced with an empty darkness. He seems to float in the nothingness as if it was water. He blinks, confused, unable to see anything, not even sure his eyes are open or not.
Out of the darkness, a red glow oozes toward him, growing larger and more shapely the longer he stares at it. The glow becomes a figure, humanesque, featureless, with eyes like magma.
Ahh, so it’s time again, is it?
Heath stares at the magma figure, confused.
Your just a child. This will be no fun. What makes you think I would align with you?
The voice is rumbly and deep. Masculine maybe. He speaks with contempt. Heath can feel it.
“What are you talking about? Who are you? Why am I here? What is this place?” Heath asks, taking a step towards the figure in earnest panic.
You do have a lot of questions now, don’t you? I don’t feel like answering those. They’re boring. As for your second question, isn’t it obvious? I am the element on Lava, Magma, Whatever you call the blood that runs through the very core of the earth. Without me, this little planet wouldn’t even be here. So, my turn. I have a question for you. Why are you here?
Heath blinks, feet rooted to the unseen floor. Why was he here? He thought about it for a moment, trying to recall how he’d gotten here, but no matter how he tried, he couldn’t remember the events leading up to now. He couldn’t even remember his name.
Aww, you poor child. You’ve been betrayed. That’s why you are here. I see. So… we are the same. That’s why you’re here.
The lava man seems to ponder what he’s just said, sliding in the dark, circling Heath as he watches him, a sense of fear and uncertainty coursing through his body. Heath didn’t understand what this magma man was, why he was speaking to him, not even everything he said seemed to make sense.
The Lava man stops behind Heath, though Heath’s feet shuffle to face him. The man said they were the same, that he had been betrayed. Was it true? He couldn’t remember.
Alright, I have a proposal for you. I’ll help you if you help me. I want back what was mine and I think you want a chance at a little payback yourself. So, we can join forces and I’ll stay in the background till you… the man regards Heath, eyes roaming up and down his body, mature. Then I’ll guide you to my desire and you can have yours. Ok? Sound like a deal?
Heath watches the man, jaw hanging open. “That’s stupid! I don’t even know you! Why would I help you? It doesn’t even make any sense!” Heath shouts.
Oh, you aren’t a bright one, are you? We’re going to have some trouble here. Look, kid. At a time like this, you only got one other option. You die in this fiery inferno and disappear to the creators in the sky. What I’m proposing is a second chance at life! A chance to exact revenge on whoever put you in this mess and all I ask for in return is a little help getting me to my pet. Got it?
Heath folds his arm across his chest, propping his elbow in his hand and fingers his chin, thinking. He doesn’t understand what he means by payback and revenge. Perhaps, if he could remember, the offer would be more appealing. And all Heath had to do was partner up with this… thing? He didn’t understand it all, but if death was the only other option, he’d much rather enjoy life a little longer.
“Alright, tell me more about how this works. How are we supposed to be partners? How do I help you?” Heath asks, a genuine question worth answering.
The magma man smirks, an unnaturally wide, thin grin spreading across his glowing red face. Now we’re talking. I reside in you and you can use my power. I am the bubbling passion of the planet, the substance that creates the very foundations of the continents you stand on. You will become my vessel and together, we can enjoy what the open air has to offer. I’ll warn you though, I don’t much enjoy the pre-teen years. I’ll take a back seat until you’re a little older. There may be some side effects. I can’t predict everything, but I’m sure you can get over it. He natters.
“Right, right. Whatever. I don’t get what you mean by that.”
And I don’t feel like explaining.
Good. They both agree. Then let’s get on with this.
The magma man slides closer to Heath until he stands an inch from his skin. Strangely, Heath doesn’t feel heat from the man. The man shifts, shrinking to match Heath’s own size and raises a glowing red hand up in front of him as if to prompt Heath to do the same.
Heath mimics the magma man, raising his hand and pressing it against his. The magma seems to vibrate, sliding over Heath’s hand and up his arm. For a moment, Heath panics, eyes growing wide as he steps back. The lava follows him though, sliding over his arm, up his shoulder and across his chest and face until he is completely covered.
Heath feels a rumbling in his chest and as he looks at his hands, he can see the heat coming off him in waves.
Let’s light up this mountain, kid. The voice hums mischievously in his head.
Heath feels an excitement in him, a power he’s never felt before, at least, he doesn’t think so, as he still can’t remember the details of his past. The heat pours off him and he releases his excitement and power with a scream as the darkness melts away into a bright red caldera of bubbling hot magma.
The mountain explodes, raining hot magma and ash down on the surrounding landscape mercilessly.
Oh, this feels good! It’s been so long. It’s good to be back! The voice shouts excitedly in Heath’s head.
I jolt awake, eyes snapping open and jumping upright. My arms are glowing red, but thankfully, the couch is fireproof. I take a ragged breath, staring down at my hands.
How had I forgotten that part? It had been years since I’d heard that voice. When I’d woken up after the volcano’s explosion, I’d forgotten who I was and my past for days as the locals took me to the hospital. They figured out who I was and eventually, the amnesia wore off.
With the return of those memories had come a deep-rooted hatred for my brother, a mistrust for those close to me, and a driving passion to find someone who could understand who I was. All this and a will of revenge. But, how could I have revenge on someone who I had killed in the volcano explosion? Had I already had the revenge I sought?
No, there was more. It had been the deal I’d made. The lava within me had a will of its own and I was being called to fulfill my end of the bargain, only now, I didn’t have the same resolve as my nine-year-old self. I now understand what the lava had meant then, and I don’t agree with the ways lava wants back what he thought was his.
I slowly stand from the couch, moving further into my room past the bed. I walk to the window, where the afternoon sun shines in brightly, lighting up the floor beneath the window. I let out a sigh. So much to think about, and now that memory comes back. Just what I needed.
My thoughts are disrupted by a blood-curdling scream. I flinch, spinning around, ready to attend to he- I stop myself.
No, I can’t go to her. Andrei’s with her. That’s not my task, anymore.
Owww, got the hots for our little flame now too, do we? I had her first. Get in line.
“And what the hell is that supposed to mean?” I growl aloud. How annoying. Now I have a voice that I can’t run away from.
Well, just here to point out, again, she can’t hurt you and you can’t hurt her. You’ve both got the same magic in you. The fact that she’s screaming now means one thing and one thing only.
“And what’s that?” I question.
He ain’t much of a fire tamer, now is he? She’s had another dream.
“Yeah, and I can’t go barging into their room just because of a dream,” I reason.
And why not? Didn’t stop you from wanting her before. It snickers.
“Shut up! That was you,” I grit my teeth as I speak.
Oh, now, you can’t go blaming me for everything. You wanted her too, I gave you a nudge. It was bound to happen, but… I couldn’t stop from having my fun with her. Our little flame, she also loved a good two time.
“Shut up! I don’t want to hear it!” I grab my head with my hands, squeezing my eyes shut as if that will make the voice disappear. “Please, stop! Go away!” I squeeze the words out as I sink to the floor.
There’s silence, then…
For now. But I’ll be back.
I crouch there for a few minutes until nothing answers back, shaking. I thought things couldn’t get worse than high school. I thought I could actually get through this life by not relying on others and not having friends. I finally get over that and now look what’s come of it…
“I’m going bloody insane,” my voice sounds alien to me. I don’t like this feeling. I drop my hands, only to find them black up to my elbows. Things have just gotten worse since coming here. Why is that? A place of magic designed to keep people safe and they can’t even keep out the voices in their heads?
I stand up, crossing the room in four long steps and grabbing the door. I need to see if she’s ok.
I stop, hand on the handle, hesitating.
No, she’s likely calmed by now. Andrei’s woken her. They’ve sorted things out. It’s fine. I turn around, grabbing my shoes. Enough laying around. I need a distraction. I guess work is the next best thing. Time to find Markus.
By Kayla West