Das Feuer liebt mich

-“There has always been an underlined caution to everything I do. I’m… ironically too wary of the butterfly effect.”
-“Sounds unfair, to hold yourself accountable for what you can’t possibly predict. Cause and effect don’t necessarily pertain responsibility.”
The air remained hot and heavy, clinged to their skin like blind bugs. Denzel would have pulled his shirt off if he hasn’t an hour ago. Whatever remained was flesh and blood and a thin sheen of sweat that he wore like a second garment.
-“I’m not concerned with judgment.” He told him, eyes squinting and darting to the horizon in a frantic search for something, anything, “Or fairness.” He added, and it sounded like spitting, like the very word offended him.
-“What are you concerned with?”
-“Chain reactions.”
He hummed the response indifferently. In his defense, he never sounded particularly concerned with the things he claimed concerned him.
-“Well then you’re only as responsible as the person before you was and as the person after you shall be. You’re aware, Denzel, we don’t know who started this.
Denzel snorted. He breathed through the heat and felt a rising burn in his throat threatening to overtake his vision. He spoke to distract it, “By ‘this’ I’m assuming you mean ‘life,’ because we most definitely know who started that.
-“Biggest chain reaction of all, huh?”

-“I’m thirsty.” The child hissed, voice loaded with a desperation Denzel knew he could identify with. His companion soothed, “We’re almost there. Just a bit more.”

It was a blatant lie, one that tugged on his chest and pulled where it hurt and he found it crude, vulgar… the outright deciet of it. Man lied and titled it a kindness since man knew how to use words. He thought it oddly provoking, how chivalry always seemed to walk hand in hand with hypocrisy.
-“How many hours do you suppose we have left?”
-“Before what?”
-“Death.”
-“What the fuck, Denzel?”
The child snapped her head up to them, her shadow laid before her, taller, less frightened. It will probably survive; it always does.
Denzel wanted to punch the mortified scolding expression on his companion’s face, neutralize it into something with the slightest resemblance to acceptance. It’s the only grace they had left.

“Momma taught me a prayer.” The child told them, edging on tears, and she made an attempt at reaching for Denzel’s hand. He recoiled from the touch violently. And if he had the words, if he did, he would have explained that bile gathered at the back of his throat and he tasted acid. Instead, he bent at the knees and clutched on his neck, retching and spitting whatever sustenance his body still thought to preserve. It wasn’t much.

Not graceful, no. But less demeaning than prayer.

His companion, nonetheless, dragged the child aside, knelt to face her, and with trembling lips and an intense yearning, a pitiful sparkle of hope in big tired eyes, whispered, “What Momma taught you, let’s recite it together.”

They did.

And Denzel caught himself foreseeing salvation.

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7 thoughts on “Das Feuer liebt mich

  1. Thank you! I am having fun with this a bit too much than I’d like to admit haha. I read it as a retelling of True Detective’s first season, the Nihilist, no not Nihilist, errm the pessimist, Denzel and his generic optimist friend. The little child I think would be representing that is which both men deem significant or worthy whatever that may be, the uncomfortable state of heat and suffocation is symbolism for how painful it is living a life that seem to lack any sort of purpose, and although both men are living it, it seems to hit the one who’s more aware a lot harder, Denzel was the one who took his shirt off afterall haha. The ‘shadow’ I’d say is what a person leaves behind after they expire, their errm Legacy? what else hehe, the Judgement, the Fairness and the Chain Reaction are quite obvious, and I loved, loved how you portrayed a pessimist talking about “Fairness” that was sooo good.
    “Not graceful, no. But less demeaning than prayer.” this line had me letting out a sweet, sweet evil grin reading it haha, so nicely written.
    aaand finally, the last line fucks my shit up, as it should I suppose, why salvation tho? why this word specifically? then again, chances are all that I am seeing in your words are but a reflection of what I have in my head and got nothing to do with what you had in mind writing them,
    the eternal mystique of art. :d

    • That’s actually what is fascinating about writing. There was symbolism to what I wrote, and though some of your thoughts and mine overlap, the original premise is still quiet different. But I find it very interesting to read your analysis because that was my intention with leaving the piece vague and without background information.

      I’ve been toying with the concept of liberated words. That once the words are written they are no longer my property and they are out in the world doing their own thing, inviting their own interpretations and offering their own agendas. So thank you for taking the time to interpret this, and I really love the True Detective parallels so I guess I’m not gonna ruin this one for you. 😀

  2. All I am hoping is for you to liberate more and more words, your fans demand it 😀 And you have my sincere thanks for letting my fantasies be, for now. 😀 since I’m at this point where everything I read I try to let it contribute to my learning curve, learning to write that is, so in a way, you are now somewhat a mini tutor of mine :d

  3. wait, forget about that “mini” part, that was the masculine pride talking.. 😀 but if you’re actually petite then take it literally, maybe?
    now I honestly don’t know which is worse but my intentions are pure, promise 😀

    • Well I kind of understood mini tutor as in, sorta amateur tutor so it is okay I’m gonna stick to my interpretation. 😀 Thanks though, I’m very flattered and glad.

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