10. A letter

I am telling you this story because you are the only person who will not judge me.

I set someone on fire. There, I said it. Just like that. A wave of my hand and he was screaming, rolling around on the ground, engulfed in flames. I could have saved him. There was a pond right next to me – I don’t know why he didn’t think to jump into it – and there was a blanket on the grass right behind me – we had been sitting on it earlier. But I didn’t use either to save his life. I just watched him as he writhed in agony, eaten alive by the heat, screaming for help, crying out in the worst pain I could imagine.

I hate to admit it, but I was fascinated. By the fact that that was my doing – my work, so to speak, and by how long it took him to die. The human body is something quite amazing, isn’t it? I caused this man to be on fire without even knowing I could, and no matter how futile it seemed, he just didn’t seem to be able to give up. But he did all the wrong things, it seems that one can’t use the logical part of his brain when he’s on fire. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

It was a simple flick of the wrist, and then the fire started with his hair. No fireball that flew through the air, not even a spark. Suddenly there was smoke, and then a small flame, and then a bigger one. At first he didn’t even realise it, it was only from my alarmed stare that he reached for his head – or maybe that’s when he started feeling the scorching of his scalp, I don’t know. But then it was already too late. It wouldn’t have been if I had helped him, let’s be honest – but I didn’t do anything, didn’t lift a finger. And so the fire spread, faster than I thought it would. It was nothing like making a campfire – do you remember when we used to do that, make campfires, sit around them, talk well into the night while waiting for some disgusting stew to cook into a grey mass? If I had known I could have lit fires just with a gesture of my hand, I would never have spent hours fiddling with sticks and dried leaves. Or let you do that, if I recall correctly. But apparently it takes some anger and some fear, and not relaxing evenings with friends. But, I digress.

The fire went from his long hair to his robes, and then it was a done deal. The flames latched onto the fabric so easily, and the robes extended all the way to the ground and covered his entire body, so he was burning all over, literally from head to toe. Come to think of it, he reminded me of one of our campfires, only much bigger – and very mobile. He rolled around for a long time, flailing helplessly, making sounds that I didn’t even think could exist even from an animal. It’s probably even worse that it made me think of marshmallows, even if just for a split second. Yeah, that’s really evil. It certainly didn’t smell like marshmallows, ew.

Either way, I did think of that, and eventually he stopped flailing. But he was still alive, because I saw his chest moving. The flames died down and the bits of his skin I could see were completely blackened, except his eyes. That’s weird, isn’t it? I thought he was looking at me, but I think he really had already died at that point. I didn’t dare to come closer to make sure. Maybe he would still come to his sense and cast some kind of freezing spell on me. Why didn’t he do that to himself? I’ve wondered that.

Either way, he’s dead. Not in the way that I had imagined, but then again, in my cunning plan I hadn’t taken into account that he might see through me and turn on me before I could even reach my blade. You were right, he is frightening – so cruel and calculating, and creepily creative as well. But don’t worry about me, I’m fine, and if I’m not, I will be. The most important thing is that you’re safe now. I know you didn’t ask me to kill him – I decided he deserved to die because of what he did to you, I made that decision all on my own. It’s a rare thing all in itself, isn’t it? Me making decisions. I hope you’re proud of me. I hope you’ll come back to me. I need to learn more about this ability. Maybe you can help me practice.

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