Cleanse Fire by Anastasia V Pergakis

Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pars I

15th day of Anima Moon, 1354

Fire raged inside his soul while the house burned down around him. Derac Vidor struggled to get up the steps to the second floor of the unit's headquarters. His chest ached from the acrid air and fear that crushed his heart. He had to reach the team. Maleena. The heat and smoke squeezed his breath from his body and he collapsed at the base of the stairs. His lungs screamed for air but inhaled caustic smoke instead. His vision blurred. He floated away. . .

Clean, cold air rushed into his lungs at the same time his body hit the snow.

Derac forced his vision to focus. His best friend Tyn stood over him. The elf's gentle brown eyes stared at him with concern. Derac shook his head, clearing it of the smoke induced haze. The smell of burning wood riveted his gaze on the building. The flames ate the house bit by bit. The wood cracked and splintered as the fire grew hotter. The smell of burnt flesh hung thick in the air. Haunting. Dark. Beautiful.

Screams erupted from inside the building. Derac shook his head. Who was screaming? Maleena! Derac shot to his feet and sprinted toward the door. He collided with Tyn who pushed him back from the blast of heat.

"You can't save them, Derac!"

Derac's fist collided with Tyn's jaw. "Watch me!"

Tyn's head snapped back from the force. He didn't hesitate and returned an uppercut to Derac's chin. Before Derac could recover, Tyn stepped behind him and forced his arms behind his back. He struggled against the hold, feeling a sharp pull in his joints. If he fought harder, it would dislocate his shoulders.

Ash mixed with snowflakes and coated the two elves. Hot cinders fell on their skin and burned small holes in their tunics. Tyn dragged Derac away from the debris.

A blood curdling scream pierced the cool night air and a ball of fire raced from the door of the house. The sight squeezed Derac's heart as he recognized his once beautiful wife. Her blackened flesh flaked off her arms. The firm body he loved and cherished collapsed into the snow, snuffing the flames on her skin. Her burned carcass lay against the stark white blanket around her. Stunned, he tried to deny the black mass was his passionate caring wife, but the few locks of golden blonde hair and the gold wedding ring on her finger couldn't be mistaken.

Derac screamed in rage and kicked Tyn's shin. Tyn let go of him and he scrambled through the snow to her side.

"No! No! Maleena!" Derac rolled the elfa over.

His breath hitched and his heart jumped to his throat when her flesh came off in his hands. He screamed at the bloody pieces of his love on his palms. His stomach churned at the gore and he feared he might be sick. His wife, his love, reduced to nothing in long, painful minutes. Derac wiped his hands on his thighs and choked on his sobs. His eyes turned to the sky and a scream tore from his chest. Tears fell onto her lifeless body as he trembled with violent force. Tyn came up behind him and placed a hand on his shoulder.

Derac shrugged it off. He stared at Maleena's body; prayed she would come back. He waited to wake up from this nightmare. His lungs gulped in air as he tried to calm himself and let his training take over.

He glanced around at the mayhem in the yard. The fire brigade tossed buckets of water on the house and dug a trench around the foundation. Derac scoffed and shook his head.

"Derac, there was nothing you could do," Tyn whispered.

"Yes. Yes, there was. I made a mistake Tyn, but I won't make it ever again." Derac rose to his feet.


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Genre – Fantasy / Military

Rating – PG13

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