About 1100 words.
A delightful, mischievous tale of a magic trick, scribed and sent by SomaCrow.
Who is a delightfully strange writer, also not as others are....

Love on Fire

WE STROLLED through the park, slow and leisurely as fish drifting through their watery clime. Our hands and mouths were stained with the suggestive juice of raspberries, picked near the old stone wall demarcating the park's entrance. Laughing, showing red-stained teeth, we floated down the dusty path, kicking at leaves and wishing on dandelions. We stepped on each others' shoes, bumped hips, touched each other's hair as high treetops fidgeted above us in the breeze. Silhouetted ahead of us, a clocktower balanced the marbled sky on its weathervane like a china plate on a wooden pole. The wind picked up for a moment, flinging grit against us and causing her momentarily to hide her face in my thin sweater. I held her against me a moment, kissed her soft, warm scalp, and allowed her to pull away as the air calmed again. She rubbed her eyes and smiled at me.

Even after a year, my heart still leaped into my mouth when she smiled. So many smiles, so many little deaths – I should be cold in the ground by now. I reflected that Fortune's beam upon me, in sending me my seraph and keeping me bound to her, could be seen, radiant and tenfold more beautiful, in her mouth, the pupils of her eyes. Why I had been given this goddess, this caryatid keeping my insides from collapsing, I did not know; but I appreciated the gesture and proved it by pledging my heart to her. A wise move, and insured – should she ever leave me, she would take my heart with her, and I then would be able to die with no pain. I do still need my heart to survive; its possessor keeps me alive by proxy.

My beautiful angel's eyes grew wide as I looked at her, just musing; I realized I was scaring her and awoke from my reverie. A quick grin and a hug reassured her and we continued walking, the wind still murmuring and tossing about us like a nightmare-seized sleeping child. Happy, we wandered for a few minutes, talking to birds, telling each other stories. Distant points became hazy and indistinct; the sky was growing darker, the air chillier. I quietly said something to her about getting home soon. We looked around us and found ourselves significantly further along the path than we had thought; we had been so involved in each other and the beauty of the park that we had lost track of time and distance. Getting home would take awhile. I turned around and began to retrace our steps, walking more quickly. She hurried after me, laughing, telling me to relax and not worry so much about time. Time isn't real, she opined, only love is real, and we had forever, so why was I rushing?

I stopped, pondered for a moment as she giggled at me, and decided she was right. I turned to her, laughed also, and opened my mouth to remark on her indomitable skills of persuasion. Suddenly the sky broke open and dense rain poured down. We shrieked, stared at the sky in disbelief, and I started running down the path through mud puddles already forming. She gave chase, crying that a little water wasn't going to harm anything. I replied that this was a lot of water and it had already set to harming her velvet shirt. Both of us already were soaked to the bone. She glanced down at her clothes, now even more bodytight than before from the wet, then threw back her head and shouted with laughter. Certainly a woman who enjoys life.

I always had admired her complete lack of care for material things, but I had bought her that shirt. Then again, she had put it to good use; she was lovely in it, even ruined as it was now. The shirt knew her every holy curve and knew the trailing sham of my bed as well. The delight of my soul ran her hands over the vanquished velvet, raindrops taking fatal dives onto her hands as her fingers ran over her sides, under her breasts. I blinked, all worldly care gone, just watching. Her fingertips followed the ways mine had taken many a time as they rode her ribcage and stroked her clavicle. I was enchanted. Her quiet laughter caught in her hair and wafted to me between the cold drops. The entire Zodiac sweated upon us, wanting her, but she was mine. I took a few steps toward her and noticed she was steaming.

Steaming. Did my eyes deceive me? I wiped water from my face and looked again. My eyes were as sharp as ever: a pale vapor rose from my love's arms, back, and hair. She seemed to be a glowing Pele, her aura's lava hissing in the atmospheric sea. My angel, burning hot as a demon, innocent demon-lover, the volcano deity resisting attempts to extinguish her eternal inner fire. I stood in a pool which crept higher about my shoes by the second. She started suddenly, raised her gaze to me, lips parting to see me regarding her in amazed silence. What was wrong? I paused a moment before telling her – nothing was wrong, no, this was beauty, and beauty is never wrong. She was steaming, steaming, I told her, a misty mountain unto herself. I lifted my hands and indicated the cloud over her head.

She turned, face to the rain, looking at the steam coming off her and the haze it caused, hanging over her, a wraithlike halo. Her face was lit up with wonder and a bit of fear. The steam thickened; she was a sauna, a purifying bath, a magic trick. Bubbles and chanting and fire and delirium and deep breaths. I ran the few remaining steps to her, caught her up, wheeled around with her, the mist swirling about us. She gave off heat almost visibly, like a sun, a star in my arms. The sounds of our awed delight echoed through the enveloping cloud and I kissed her. She was every hot drink in winter, every meal kept warm in the oven for a child come home late, every, everything. And we were together, and we were one, and we, unlike the fickle sun, would never fade. Night and day, rain and shine were the same, for she was right: only love is real, only we in our searing touch of perfection.

Encased within our safe, hot cloud, we tumbled down the path like a rolling stone on fire to whatever home awaited us.

Riana ~ July 1997 ©

Corvus Ignis