Thursday, October 27, 2016

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learning to burn part 8

Please begin at the BEGINNING.

Osaretin, tapping his tail against the stone pillar, felt growing agitation. He walked over to the boy again and found that he was stirring, finally. He stood near Ofonode's face and waited.

The boy's eyes opened a little and then so wide Osaretin thought his upper lids might flip around the back of his eyes and out the bottom. He jumped back to avoid Ofonode's flailing arms as the boy rushed out of the tent.

“I've been waiting on you to wake up. We really should get going. The path down will take most of the day to descend.” Osaretin finished saying as he stepped carefully out of the tent.

I… I… I thought you were a figment of my imagination… or a dream or something. You're… you're really here. An invisian! Does anyone else know?”

I'm not sure. The elders of your village prayed the Father of us all send someone to accompany you since you wouldn't accept anyone in the village. I happened to hear their request. And then I got word from above that I should answer the call. So, here I am.”

You talk to God, too?”

Of course. Just because I don't look like you now doesn't mean this, of that of the dragon, are my only forms. My people are from another planet and we are also His children.”

Really?! I'd never heard such a thing! That's amazing! How are you able to change forms?”

I'm not sure. I think those who began must have known how they did it, but for me and those alive now… well, it may as well be magic. Actually, magic really is only unexplained… there is basis for it in our understanding, we just can't quite explain it because we don't know what we don't know. So, until we know what knowledge we lack, it seems inexplicable.”

I'm not sure I completely followed that. Basically, though, you don't know how shape-changing started among your people, right?”

Yes. Exactly so. Now, we must pack up and go!”

What should I call you? Invisian?” Ofonode starts packing the tent. It's small and easy to return to its tight packaging.

I have a name. You can call me Os. My full name is Osaretin.”

Os. That's easy. Okay. I'm basically ready, but hungry.”

Eat on the way. We must depart.”

You sure are in a rush today.”

Getting down the path in light of day is very important Ofonode. Please, get something out that you can easily carry and eat while you walk.”

Ofonode does as directed and the two begin walking down the path. It's easy going at first. Ofonode finishes his food rather quickly. Almost as soon as the two complete the descent as far as Ifueko showed Ofonode, the path gets increasingly difficult and the going slows dramatically. Ofonode finds himself daydreaming periodically. He realizes his loss of focus each time because he slips. He feels angry with himself and before he's fully calm from the time before it happens again and he just gets angrier still. Before he drifts off into a daydream for the fifth time, he realizes he can see the glow of his flame on the side of the plateau he's now climbing down. As he looks down the path he sees quite clearly that he must not fall because there is nothing to catch him for a good hundred feet. So, he focuses his breathing and thoughts, but finds it almost impossible to stop the angry thoughts completely. So the side of the stone he's moving against looks more orange than normal.

Briefly he remembers that Ifueko controlled her flame by singing. So Ofonode tries singing. His flame doesn't seem to respond in any way at all. More anger at himself sneaks into his mind and heart and the flames dance more wildly, but don't seem to grow.

Osaretin is watching the boy. He can see quite plainly that the boy is struggling internally, which is making the climb down take more time. He wonders if there is some way he can help the boy. It's so much easier for him to climb down in this small lizard form. Since he doesn't have to focus carefully in his climb, he sets himself to thinking about how he might help his young companion learn to control his fire.


The yellow sun is setting as the two reach the lower earth. Ofonode's arms and legs are shaking and feel exceedingly wobbly. Os is at ease. Tired, but not nearly as tired as Ofonode. Even though it's been ages since he took his humanoid form, he shifts easily and helps Ofonode out of the pack. Because he knows the boy is very tired, he sets up the tent and finds some food for him.

Ofonode eats silently and then, “Thank you, Os. You're a really interesting looking alien.” he says as he moves into the tent. “I like the way you look, I think.”

Well, thanks. You're okay, too, Ofonode.”

I have so many questions for you…”

We travel together, so you will have plenty of time to ask them. Sleep now.”

Yes. Yes, I need...” And he falls asleep before he can even finish acknowledging that he needs to sleep.

Osaretin smiles to himself and shifts into the lizard form Ofonode first met. It's small and hunger is less of an issue. He hunts and fills his belly which will be plenty in this form for the next few days. No need for water since he just ate. He'll have to worry about that tomorrow. And for Ofonode as well. His water supply was used up while still on the side of the plateau.


Os. Os.” Shaking the small lizard, Ofonode tries again to wake the alien. “Osaretin.” he wakes immediately with the use of his full name.

Yes. What is it Ofonde?”

We need to go. I had a dream. I think we are in danger here.”
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