I am an ember. I am the last piece of burning wood that everyone leaves behind. I am the hot coal that, when forced into something unwanted, will set things alight. That's who I am. I am an ember.


1. Desires

When I walk into this hallway again, the same hallway since my first year here, I notice a vibe. An unusual sensation runs through my arm as I touch the wall. I cringe back, clenching my jaw. It shouldn't be happening. It's new, since Tuesday, I think it was. Maybe I should see a doctor. I've thought about it, but I'm far too shy and I feel sick when people I don't know look at me. I don't know what they're thinking about me. Their minds are far different from mine. Whilst mine has been lately exploring the dark blanket in the sky, theirs are focused more on the light beneath a bed of clouds.

I hum, my voice echoing in the hallway. No one else is here. They won't be here for another eight hours. Right now, the school is mine. I head straight for the library, shaking a box of matches by my hip. The door squeaks as I slide it open, my nerves suddenly waking up. The night is dead and there's not a sound to be heard. I light a match and as I do, my breath is taken from me as I watch the sparks fly. I see nothing but a naked flame, and it brings me to life. It's flickering is like a dance, it's colours of the sun illuminating into the darkness, before is fizzles out of life, and leaves nothing but a bright red stub, which is just above my fingers. I close my hand around the end, where it's still hot, and let it burn my palm, before opening my hand and letting it fall to the ground in a black powder. I pick up the match box, and take the first book near me, pulling it away from the shelf, and tucking it away into my bag.

I leave as quick as I can. I've been coming here at midnight quite often lately. There's something about being here when no one else is. The feeling of the whole yard be abandoned and it all belongs to me, even if only for the short two minutes I stay here. I leave the library, and evacuate from the school. As I get down the dark footpath, I advance into a jog, and further into a sprint. My feet are bare and slap against the footpath, the cement grazing my toes and heels, rocks digging into the middle. It's cold, and weather enclosing me caresses my cheeks, curling and licking at my bare skin. My fingers are freezing and numb, possibly blue, but I can't see them. They catch on my top every few movements. With each exhale, a cloud of fog departs from my lips, venting the air for the most minuscule of moments. My lungs burn inside me, urging me on to cough and splutter, and I double over out the from of my old home, wheezing loudly.

After a short time of hacking, I stand up straight, step over the fence and sneak towards the front door. The handle is chilled over, the air in the night enclosing it. I slink into my house, shutting the door quietly, letting it click. As I start padding up the staircase, I hear my name being called and duck slightly. "Taja?" I padded up the stairs quicker, running into my room and not fully closing the door behind me. I dive into my bed, pull the blankets over my body, and shut my eyes, pretending to be in a slumber. "Taja?" My mum croaks, poking her head in the gap. I fake-groan.

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