Being brave. Sharing the opening to my novella.
I can feel a howling in everything tonight, the people, the concrete, the sky. Right across the street someone’s home is burning to the ground. The red, red glow of it lights up our faces. The three of us Art, Nadia’s and mine. The shocked neighbours are out on their lawns. Smoke whips up from the windows, from our skin, from all.
The dirty worn bricks are falling one by one.
I am still as long as I can be across the street from it. I start moving my hips to the rhythm of the thing. The flame licking up everything, crackling inferno.
“Oooohoooo,” Art hollers.
The three of us, all gasping at it now. Because yeah let it all burn, let every possession, every memory burn away to the purity of nothing. These people would get over it, really they were made free by it. I rub my hands together in delight, creating sparks of my own.
The roof collapses with a whoosh of heat all over. It rivets my nerves into a frenzy. The sky is still crackling with its electric storm. Fire and electricity yeah! This night, life, once again was being shaken up and burnt. I have no idea where the pieces of it will settle once more. Good. Let them never settle again. I wave my arms around and jump and yell. Ash is falling like snow, the smoke making clouds, the heat of the thing blasting through my skin and straight onto my bones.
Nadia clasps my shoulder, “Monty, let’s move,”
I take one last good look and we run off down the street, the three of us do. Running from the inevitable finger of blame that always lands on people like us. Even though we didn’t actually light it, this one anyway.
Art takes the lead, his dark hair leaving a trail of ash in the sky. His long, pale limbs moving like grasshopper legs. The ethereal glow from his skin lighting up the dark streets.
Nadia is just ahead of me. Powerful muscle, brown skin, brown hair. She has the fiery presence of three people, and a mind that penetrates deeply into everything and everyone.
And then me, chasing after them as I do. An in-between, nothing at all. No gender, only half a name. But I am full and complete with the world, all absorbed up into it, as it. And full with fire now.
The streets rush pass as we leap through the yellow lights. We run too fast into things, we laugh too loudly. We are too young and too old and too much. We run and run and leap onto a train, which doors shut before my feet even hit the ground.
Art claps his hands together, “There we are then, the night has begun,”
Nadia goes over and wipes some black soot off of Art’s face. I dust some ash out of my brown curls. The train picks up speed.
We are whirling purely forward into time with fire dancing in our eyes. I glance at the timetable and do a whoop of joy.
“The night has aligned for us, we are on the correct train, Hmph even though every train would be the correct train.” I shrug to finish the thought.
“But this one heads to the partay,” Nadia adds.
“Well, I’ve orchestrated this perfectly, haven’t I?” Art says with a smirk.
“Not so perfectly as to have a bottle of anything…or is it tucked away?” Nadia starts to pat Art up and down like a copper. He bats her away but she reaches into his pocket and pulls out a black flask.
Nadia shrieks with excess rage, “You selfish, selfish boy,”
She undoes the lid and presses it to her lips.
“Careful my lady,” Art bows, “That is not an alcoholic beverage, that’s a herbal remedy, specially brewed by yours truly,”
I jump up to the railings and swing with the moving train,“Yep, that sounds very promising,”
Art’s face twists with sick delight, “Oh you have no idea,”
“Was that supposed to deter me?” Nadia takes a swig and chucks the flask to me.
I jump down to catch it and take a gulp of my own. The herbal remedy is bitter and thick. It burns down my throat and waters up my eyes. “Ack,”
I pass the flask back to Art.
I can feel Nads eyes penetrating me. “I hear the lovely Daria is going to be there tonight.”
I swallow, “So?”
“Yeah, so?” Art asks, mimicking my posture and arm positions.
“I like Daria and Mont likes Daria,” Nadia says.
I shrug and receive the flask from Art. I busy myself unscrewing the silver lid. “Why are you so keen on Daria anyway?” I ask.
Nadia takes a step towards me, “Because, I think you deserve something wonderful. You’ve had such a rotten time of it.”
I frown at that, take another gulp of the flask. But I have everything wonderful at my fingertips, I exist now in golden opportunities.
“What’s so rotten?” I say with a half shrug and a smirk.
Nadia let out a harsh breath and the train stops. We have arrived. I follow these two glorious beasts off the train, into the street.