“Umm… yes. Yes, I am on fire. Thank you for noticing.” I pulled in my wings to be less of a fire hazard. Lots of trees around here. Very flammable.
“Doesn’t that hurt?” Lilly gestured to my… on-fire-ness.
“Not at all. I’m actually immune.” No point trying to deny it. The evidence is kinda obvious.
“You’re immune to fire? Seriously?”
“Yeah. It’s… um…” I tried to think of a plausible explanation that wouldn’t reveal too much.
“I didn’t know magic could do stuff like that.”
It can’t. Not on its own. When it comes to physical results, magic basically just strengthens more mundane techniques. It can give you a better garden, but you still need to water it, kill the weeds, provide fertilizer, et cetera.
“I have this fire-resistant lotion,” I lied, “Add some magic, and I’m pretty much fireproof.”
“Neat. But…um… may I ask why you lit yourself on fire?”
“Um… because I like it?” I laughed at how stupid I sounded. “It helps me calm down. I know it’s weird, but… it helps me.”
Lilly smiled. “As long as you’re sure you won’t get hurt.”
“Totally fine. I promise.” I let out a sigh of relief. Glad I wouldn’t need to reveal the real reason I’m fireproof.
And then Ms. Slaphappy came charging at me with her–oh, a meter stick. She’s upgraded! Looks like a pretty nice one, too. Sturdy metal body. Sharpened at the edges so it can draw blood. Wonder where she got it?
I gasped involuntarily as the stick sliced through my side. Fell to my knees.
“ALEX!” Lilly ran over to me.
“Stay back.” I channeled the fire’s energy into the gash, trying to seal up the wound. Cauterizing it, basically.
“Insolent child!” Ms. Slaphappy raised her meter stick for a second strike. This one aimed at my neck. “Time to teach you the error of your ways!”
“NO!!” Lilly jumped between us, shielding me at the last moment.
“Thanks, Lilly.” I winced as I stood up. “Ms. Slaphappy… you’ve made a terrible mistake. Trying to kill me. I don’t care if you have tenure. Or a suspiciously sword-like meter stick. Because I have fire. And if you don’t wish to turn extra-crispy, then I suggest you–” I jumped to the side to avoid her attack.
HEY!! She hit me during my monologue! Not fair!
Okay, so… less talking, more lighting teachers on fire. Got it.
I ran back at Ms. Slaphappy, wrapped my flaming wings around her.
She screamed in agony as her flesh began to melt.
For a moment, I was tempted to keep going with it. To actually burn her alive. But I knew there was no need to go that far. Self-defense only counts until you’ve won the fight. Then it becomes murder.
So I stepped back, let her fall to the ground, engulfed in flame. She rolled around frantically, trying to put herself out.
No longer a threat.
I turned my attention to Lilly, who laying on the ground, covered in blood.
I quenched my flames and knelt by her side. “Lilly? You okay?”
“I… did we… win?” Her voice was weak. She was not doing very well.
“Yeah. We won.” I held her hand gently. “And now I think it’s time to get you to a hospital.”
“I… I can’t believe… she actually… tried to kill you.”
“Save your strength.” I squeezed her hand harder. For my comfort as much as hers. “You’ll need it.”
“How… how bad is it?”
“It’s… it’s pretty bad. But… you’ll be fine. I’m–I’m gonna get you to a hospital, and they’ll fix you up, and–” I gulped. So hard to be reassuring when I’m trying to stop myself from crying. It’s times like this I wish I were a little more emotionally-stable.
“I… I think I’m… gonna… sleep…” Her head fell back against the ground. Unconscious.
Shit. I tried not to think about her dying. Didn’t succeed.
I had only known her for a month or so, but… I really liked her. Love? I was beginning to think so.
“She does not have long,” a creepy, emotionless, monotonic voice said.
I looked to the source of the sound and saw a little kid step out from the woods. Smiling wickedly. At first glance, I thought he was another angel. But a quick feel of his mind told me that he was an incubus. And that his mind was seriously messed up. Like, “the trees can read our minds” messed up.
And he had power. Serious power, perhaps even more than I had.
There was no doubt about it: he was a god.