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It was warm…
The girl had never been outside before. The sun had never touched her. And, for the first time, she could feel it, and the sun was warm. Her skin glowed white under its fiery red glow and her hair, long and golden, cascaded around her shoulders. His fingers were there, gently feeling through the girl’s hair. The Magic Man…
His hands were strong and filled with power and purpose. Always purpose. They moved through her hair, brushing past her shoulders and up her neck, to rest his fingers on her jaw.
He was warm.
The girl tilted her head slightly, letting the sun heat her face and feel the Magic Man’s fingers touch her. And before she could stop, she reached for his face. She had never touched him back before. She was never allowed. But, this time, she didn’t care. She pulled him to her mouth and kissed the Magic Man. He resisted at first, but then released his strength onto her lips. The girl’s mouth was cool, but his was hot. She pulled him deeper, feeling the heat spread through her and opened her mouth ever so slightly to inhale his power. He breathed slowly into the girl and her mouth burned like a fire leaping into her.
And then he froze.
The girl could feel his lips tighten and pull away from her. His hands went for her hands. She grasped tighter to his face, not wanting to be let go, but he stood straighter and unlocked his lips from hers. The Magic Man hovered for what seemed like an eternity, but then stepped away. He grasped her hands, gently taking them from his face, and held them to his mouth. His green eyes glistened sadly, lightly kissed her fingers, then backed away.
The sun was turning a deep red as it made its descent into the night and the Magic Man seemed to go with it. Her grey eyes watched his hands slip from hers and saw his dark silhouette disappear as the light engulfed him. She reached out with her tiny white hands, but couldn’t move. The warmth was gone from her skin, but she could still feel it inside her, burning her chest. But he was gone. The girl stared into the red sun where he’d just stood and then slowly shut her eyes from the fire.
Darkness followed, plunging her back into the cold. And then a different light came. She slowly opened her eyes and saw a white light peering down at her. There was no warmth from this light. She knew this one very well. It was the cold, lifeless light bringing her back to the black stage. Dancers circled her in their synced, acrobatic fashion, holding turquoise silks and invisible fans. At the same time, two larger silks, red and white, floated around her. Her gold hair wisped around her shoulders and face, her grey eyes tightening in search for the Magic Man. He was there. She could feel it.
As the girl stepped out of the circle of fans and dancing silks, she found him. The Magic Man stood opposite the white light, far above and out of reach, in his own warm golden glow, watching her. She could feel him. She could feel everything, all of the hot burning fire growing inside her chest, spreading through her veins, into her fingers and toes, her ears and the tips of her hair. She knew then why she couldn’t touch him, knew why she could never feel the sun.
The Magic Man watched her eyes grow from longing to knowing. They grew dark and piercing, like sharpened-grey stones. The girl turned away from him and circled around to the back of the black stage, never taking her gaze from the dancing silks.
She slowly crouched down, placing her hand on the cool ground, feeling the pressure of the woodwork, the intricacies of each fiber that created the panels of the stage. Two male dancers came to either side of her, took her delicate ivory arms in their hands, and lifted her into the circle of fans with the dancing silks. As they let go of her, she didn’t drop to the floor like she was supposed to. Instead, the girl lifted up, her long gold hair floating above her shoulders for only a few seconds, and then slammed down to one knee. Everything stopped. The floor shook beneath the dancers’ feet. The fans sparked and shut down. And the silks dropped dead.
Then, the girl lifted her right fist and smashed the floor, cracking the panels of black wood, and the silks lifted back to life into the air, the red one in controlled by her left arm and the white one controlled by her right. She shot them forward into the dark abyss that was the audience. They gasped, but she heard none of it. All she heard was the fire and heat of the power she knew she had taken from the Magic Man. The freedom she had found within.
The red and white silks flew back and swirled around her arms and waist, brushing her lightly with soft licks. Her gold hair was now as red as the sun, whipping against her back and face. She flicked one arm out, and the white silk rushed by and ripped through the air like an arrow. She flicked the other arm out and the red silk circled her until she lifted from the ground. The white silk returned to her and joined the red silk. The air was thick with heat and electricity. And then, without warning, everything slowed down. Her petal-like ivory feet returned to the floor, but the silks stilled, becoming a motionless flowerlike shape in midair. Throughout the stage and the audience, there were flecks of gold light twinkling and hovering all around. One could touch them and move them with their fingers, if they tried.
She looked up at the Magic Man, then, meeting his unwavering green eyes. They seemed bright with love. It was what she wanted more than the sun, or the power, or her freedom. The girl lifted her right arm sending out the white silk to him. It floated towards him and gently brushed his cheek, then slowly pulled away. The Magic Man reached out with his hand as the silk went by and he let his fingers graze against the soft fibers. She could feel that. The heat of his hand against the silk went through her arm and deep into her heart. The fire she felt in her chest grew hotter. She smiled, basking in the heat of her body and her prickling skin. Her breathing became heavier, shallower. The air seemed thicker than it once was. It was no longer cool and thin, but strong and hot. She inhaled slowly and felt the heat inside her start to burn. The Magic Man was gone from above and she realized she could not breathe and the fire burned into a searing pain.
Suddenly, she let out a cry of despair that shook the stillness of the air. The twinkling specks of light sparkled into nonexistence and the silks collapsed in an ugly heap, as the girl fell to her hands and knees.
It was gone. The power had left her and so had the fire. It burned itself out and left only a cold emptiness inside her. Tears flooded her pale grey eyes. She glanced up, seeing the audience for the first time. They were staring at her, murmuring and pointing, as if she were a deranged and dangerous animal. The other dancers, who once controlled the illusions of the dancing silks, stood offstage, staring at her as well, wary and fearful.
The girl’s golden hair looked dull now and the cold emptiness in her chest weighed her down until she could no longer support herself. She curled up onto the cracked stage, hoping to contain the last amount of heat she once felt. And then she saw black booted feet step towards her. It was the Magic Man.
He knelt down to her, brushing her hair lightly with his fingertips. His green eyes sparkled bright, yet were filled with a deep sadness. She knew what was to come.
“Don’t,” the girl pleaded, using the last of the warm air she had left.
The Magic Man hesitated, his green eyes unsure, but only for a split second, before they clouded over. He took a glittering tear from her pale cheek with his finger, then reached for the red silk laying on the floor. He slowly pulled it over her body, but before he covered her, the Magic Man leaned towards the girl and gently breathed warmth onto her face. The only warmth she’ll ever feel again. The girl kept her grey eyes locked on his green ones until the red silk enveloped her.
As soon as the Magic Man covered her completely, no sooner did he rip it away. The red silk fluttered offstage and the audience gasped. There were a few seconds of silence, but then a huge uproar of applause flooded the air.
The Magic Man reached forward, brushing the soft gold hair…
…of tiny rabbit. As he touched the cheek of the small animal, the head lolled to the side.
The rabbit was dead.
The Magic Man froze, the air inside him turning to ice. His rabbit…was gone.
He gingerly cradled the tiny dead animal into his palms, stood tall in the center of the stage, and displayed the rabbit. The audience would never know that the animal was dead, and they wouldn’t care. They stood, filling the air thick with heated applause, as the dancers quietly faded into the darkness of the wings of the stage. But the thrill of the audience continued…
…For the Magic Man and his…