(Author's Note: This is a poem I wrote at about 3:45 the other night when I was awakened by a dream/nightmare. I have no doubt that the 'fire' in my dream was symbolic of someone that I know that people have warned me to stay away from, yet I find myself strangely draw to him...and I think you can figure out the rest yourself.)

- To Tempt The Flame -

They warned me to stay away, but of course I would not listen.
I was intrigued and entranced by what I feared and so I approached it.
A crackling fire in the center of a dark room.
Dancing and spiraling and moving temptingly.
I heard my friend's warnings as I stepped steadily closer.
"Do not go near! Leave it be! You don't know what it's capable of!"
I ignored them and turned from them, refusing to listen.
I could not…would not…be drawn back from this thing that so mystified me.

Yet it is not wise to play with fire...

I now stood at the edge of the fire, feeling the heat radiating from it.
It cracked loudly and snapped out at me, but I managed to dance back just in time.
I laughed at it, for it could not catch me.
I was far too smart and quick for it to ensnare me.
Yet I did not run from it, but instead only peered closer into those tantalizing flames.
Red…orange…yellow…blue…swirling before my vision.

I could not help but tease and flirt with such danger…

Unable to resist, I outstretched my hand to the flame daringly.
Tendrils of that mystifying danger crept upward and licked along my hand – yet it did not burn.
I spread my fingers and watched with wide-eyed wonder as the flames snaked in and out.
They twisted and turned and caressed my hand like a seductive lover.
My heart raced at the sensation and I took one more step closer.
Somehow I had managed to tame this fire and I knew no fear.
In the distance I could hear a final warning shouted to me.
"Stay away! For your own sake, please, stay away!"

But this warning was too late…

Suddenly the flame shot outward and grabbed hold of my legs.
I tried to scream but the pain was so great that no noise could come forth.
The fire raced across my body, pulling me tighter into its embrace.
I clawed at the flames and tried to free myself from it but it was too strong.
Collapsing to the floor with pain the fire managed to engulf me.
It fell upon me and covered my entire body so that I was paralyzed with terror.
No longer did I feel the caress of a lover but the power of a monstrous beast.
It consumed me and devoured me…and I knew I now belonged to it body and soul.

"I'm sorry… I should have listened…"