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Message to Readers

This is a piece i wrote on sexuality. The fire symbolises how i had always assumed that i was straight, and the water stands for other possibilities. Let me know what you think about it!
(Oh and i suppose i now identify as queer!)

Republished for Dmoral13's contest, for prompt 1: beginning of relationships, the beginning of the universe, the beginning of the end. So this is about the beginning of a new identity.

and you've always been in the centre of it all #kickoff

February 7, 2020


the world is made of fire. i am surrounded by towering hot flames, now ever-present in the foreground of all situations i find myself in, surprisingly benign, tame. they dance mockingly in the sides of my vision, slowly moving closer to tickle my cheeks and spread heat down my neck. i can't control them, don't want to. i welcome them. welcome them as slight contact sends sparks of electricity down my fingers, welcome them as smiles are exchanged coyly. it consumes me. it is me as i am it-- nothing separates us.

a small rain shower douses the red walls enough for me to get a glimpse of another possibility, a new perspective, before the fire rises again, covering its momentary lapse. although i don't suspect it then, this memory soon fades. auburn surrounds me. it's a coccoon in a way, i suppose, cradling me, whispering sweet nothings, teasing at a picture-perfect storybook existence.

then comes the water. it's gentle in its rise, moving slowly, inconspicuously, until it laps at my ankles, so soft-- silky-smooth, even-- that i take no notice. the fire sneakily tries to make it recede, but it persists. it's tenacious, commanding. it demands to be acknowledged and has almost reached mid-shin level when i do.

i look into it-- through it, rather (it's not deep enough to have any colour)-- and see flashes of images rolled through my vision so fast that all that remains in my memory now is an indifferentiable white blur. the fire, protesting at the lack of attention, hisses and splutters, passing light through a few droplets of water, and i experience a rainbow. it brands itself in my brain, the picture of it emerging at the juncture of fire and water seeming almost poetic.

the water momentarily recedes, and i turn my focus back to the fire before me. it overpowers me, slipping into my body through my mouth and my nostrils, forcefully reminding me that it's a part of me though it manifests itself outside my body. i push it away, frustrated at the secrets it's trying to hide.

there, for a moment, exists nothing. just the white of the walls, and the clear loss of any other element.

the flames rise. they don't bother asking for forgiveness, such a fickle thing. i see right through them, at the picture beyond, though i feel them in my actions, in my spirit. i don't mind them. the water too rises till my knees seeking notice. i ignore it.

suddenly, the water has reached my waist, and i am made painfully aware of its presence. it presses against me from all sides, forcing me inwards. it is now ice cold. it's almost like i'm a piece of dead wood, remoulded by circumstances so it becomes coal. how silly, i tell myself, chiding my thoughts for running amok. i concede to the will of the water. it is more powerful than i ever hope to be. 

the fire shows resistance against my choice. i try explaining to it that it wasn't my decision, not really. that i wasn't in control with my actions, though i agree with the outcome. god, it chokes at me, a last desperate attempt to make me turn in to its demand. what will he say? 
i don't have a god, i want to say. he'll adjust, i say instead. i kill the fire.

the fire doesn't control me anymore, but it's still part of me, still runs through my veins. i try to choke it out. it doesn't budge.

thus, both fire and water exist together, the azure still rising, the flames standing further away, observant, admonishing me for my decision. there, i realise that i, like everybody else, am made of the earth and will eventually rest in it. i was born amidst water and will go up in flames. that i am indeed re-moulded wood; i am made of red, i am made of blue. this epiphany knocks me off my feet, and a splash! resounds as i fall into the water.

it's not cold, that's the first thing i notice. the heat from the fire which had sneaked into the liquid had provided it with a mild sort of comfort, rather than the intended unease. my body is composed of water, i remember. but fire flows through my veins. i now see clearly, and such is my will that these struggling forces vanish, suddenly leaving me alone, looking into the world and its passing people with a reformed vision.

i am made of both, fire and water. they still battle inside me, perpetually struggling for dominance. it's a dispute i'm not aware of, one that is nevertheless present in my actions and my emotions. i am, for the first time, aware. i'm aware, and it feels like pure bliss.

fire and water. some are made of both, some none, some only one. for some, it's a constantly changing variable. it doesn't matter. we are all different, but we are all the same-- not more than tiny pinpricks on a spectrum of colours more vibrant than the rainbow.


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  • WtW's Fantasy League

    Hello @fatpanda!
    Check out the February Edition of the Fantasy League!

    2 months ago
  • Wicked!

    This is very well written. The way you've described the fire and water struggling for attention is just brilliant. And oh I love that last sentence so much!

    3 months ago
  • fatpanda

    @FizzyBaguette @loveletterstosappho thank you!

    3 months ago
  • FizzyBaguette

    I love how you used fire and water as a metaphor. I too identify as queer and I relate so hard to this piece. Never have I ever read something sexuality put so eloquently put into words. Great work!

    3 months ago
  • loveletterstosappho

    you lead the reader through this journey with such eloquence—amazing!

    3 months ago