Manifesting Fire

She was bound, hand and foot, and thrown into the ruined doorway of her master’s house. Kindling was piled around her and the fire started. Enheduana could hear it, popping and hissing and singing.

… Singing?

Yes, it was. The flames were joyous in their work, eating the straw and licking her side where she lay. She knew she should be feeling pain, but all she could feel was the joy of the fire as she burned, and as she struggled to her knees her own voice joined it in song, ringing out across the square.

The crowd watched, silent and confused.

When Sidu appeared, pushing his way through the unmoving crowd, he wasn’t sure what was going on at first. He ran right up to her, putting his hands into the fire. It didn’t burn him either. She took his hands, the flames licking her fingers, and smiled at him. She told him that as long as he lived, so would her memory.

She told him that she hated the people of the town, and she would not forgive them.

“Look away,” she told him, but he did not. Her face crumbled to white ash as a wind blew up, and the fire grew and spread. Buildings caught. Clothing among the crowd caught. And now, now the screaming started.

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