To Battle the Flames
By: Midnight Siren
"There was a time... when that town was a beautiful place."
"Before the buildings became taller than mountains, before greed ruled the streets, before people's hearts became cold as ice and nobody loved anymore. Children ruled the streets where adults feared to tread and they ran wild forming gangs and dredging up homes in muck where they could, there was a time when this town was warm, when it was my home... now it is merely a cage in which I long to be freed of.
"Lu promised me..."
"He promised that we would only steal enough to survive and steal only a little bit more until we had enough to leave this place and find a home together... but then Kat came and we needed more money, she was like a mother to me.
"My mother became a victim of this town... it got to her, it poisoned her, and now she doesn't love me anymore.
"She didn't love me so much that she fell off a building just to get away from me, the man with her called me a monster, then she didn't love me anymore.
"Lu found me just after that, when I found out Mother was in the hospital and when I found out I was going to live with another family, that's when I met Lu. He was with the same family I was and he didn't like them, he told me stories about when he was on the streets and how he ran around anytime he wanted, he only stole what he needed and he slept whenever he wanted. I couldn't help but be amazed at what he told me, he became my everything and I think I became his because he talked me into leaving with him. For him I shed my name and took on Fawkes, he taught me to spell it until I had it memorized, he told me my name was from an animal with hair like fire, a long swishing tail and quick clever eyes, he said that I reminded him of the animal the way I moved and spoke. When Lu told me I would only ever meet my namesake's children I was sad, he told me that Fawkes wouldn't come see me unless I was a good boy and that in the meantime he would send me his children to keep me company.
"Lu never lied."
"I met lots of Fawkes' children, they were soft and beautiful, in the summer they were sleek and a ruddy red, in the fall they were big and fluffy but a lighter rust color, and in the winter they were snow white with golden eyes and I thought they were beautiful. I loved my hair after seeing them in the snow, my skin was white like theirs and my hair the same pale golden shade as their eyes, but my eyes were green, they didn't have green on them. Following them around was the most fun I'd ever had, they showed me places that I never would have found on my own, I learned to run and jump like them...
"I learned to fly."
"I jumped farther than any person my age that I'd seen behind chain link fences, I ran faster than people on the televisions in store windows, Lu even timed me with a stopwatch he got one day, we lived together for a long time and he taught me everything. I got older and we grew closer, I don't know why but Lu always touched me and I loved it, he'd pat my head, give me hugs when I did something good, praise me, even kissed my forehead... even though he did all that I wanted to be more selfish because...
"I think I loved him..."
"Lu was my everything and I think his everything was me, but then Kat came. Lu would love me and give me kisses whenever I wanted, but then Kat came and Lu talked to me about my feelings for him, I told him that I loved him but he said he couldn't love me the way I loved him. Lu said that he loved Kat, that he only loved me enough to give me kisses and praise, that he didn't love me like I loved him.
"I didn't want to remember."
"I made myself forget."
"So I wouldn't hate them, I forgot them, I forgot everything, mother, Lu, Kat, everything that had happened. That was the first night I ran away and slept alone, I almost froze to death in the snow because I didn't know who or where I was but Lu found me, Lu had Kat with him and they brought me back 'home'. I didn't remember them, but just like before I fell in love with Lu but this time without knowing why I didn't say anything or show it I acted as a little brother would, they were sad when I didn't remember them, but Kat taught me school stuff and made sure I was smart, she bought chalk to teach me on the concrete. I learned adding, subtracting, dividing, multiplying, and history, and science and philosophy... she told us that she was a child genius and knew much more than normal adults.
"She talked about us buying a house together on the beach in the next town over, she taught me more than I thought existed in the world, she taught me to read and went to the library to check out books for me to read. We stole our food most of the time so we didn't have to spend lots of money, we even grew a small garden where we lived. I took care of it most of the time, we grew tomatoes, potatoes, an apple tree, watermelons, we sold some of them to the local market for extra money but kept most to eat. Sometimes our plants died and we had to steal more... I didn't like those days so I took extra special care of the plants, I stole stocks of straw from a farm just outside the city to put on them so they would be warm and safe from the frost.
"I was afraid... I didn't like the summer.
"Even though I loved growing things, I hated the summer. It reminded me of bad things, even though then I couldn't remember what had happened to make me feel bad, later I knew that it was because summer was when my mother had jumped off that building, all because of me. It's the end of winter now... the days are getting longer and a bit warmer, it's still cool though and I'm happy, this was when I still didn't remember the pain in my heart, the pain of Lu breaking it.
I had been a very naive child, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Then I met Him.