I think I need a new name, he thought to himself as he sat down on the overlook he had just found. He let his legs hang off the side and swung his bare feet back and forth like a child on a porch swing. A passerby might have mistaken him for some carefree spirit pondering the small nothings of a simple life, but, alas, there were no more passersby. And carefree, he was not, for he was nothing. He had nothing. He felt nothing. He felt nothing unless the fire was upon him, and he had no desire to call it forth. He loathed it. If ever he was capable of feeling anything at all, he was certain that he would hate the fire.
Maybe I should just let them have me.
He thought for a while about a name. His old name was meaningless in this new world. He had nothing. His purpose had been taken. His will. His ambition. His love. He was nothing more than a rotting pile of apathy wandering aimlessly waiting to die.
Apathy. That might be a good name. Apathy. No, even that is too much. Nobody? Nothing? None? Fuckface? Dead Stupid Pathetic Empty Jackass? Ugh.
He could see the city from that overlook, and it seemed almost normal, the barren chaos that it had become notwithstanding. He dared not let his mind wander, so he began to imagine he could see little people in the far-off city, like little ants leading little lives. Over there was a banker granting a mortgage to a newlywed couple for a tiny house just outside the city. And over by the apartment were children playing some kind of game in the street while poor little Johnny sat by himself off to the side because nobody ever picked him for a team. Oh, and there in the window was a man and woman arguing over what to get for dinner. And next door, another man and woman arguing over a recent infidelity even though they were both guilty of it on multiple occasions and neither would ever leave the other. He looked over to the park in the distance and imagined a man stabbing a woman over and over again and he wondered if there would ever be enough holes in the woman for the man to be satisfied.
Damn it all. He would find no peace. It had been weeks since peace had left the world, and it was not returning. And now they were coming. He didn’t know how he always knew, and he didn’t really care enough to think about it. His quiet respite would soon be interrupted, yet again. He sighed.
It was almost second nature at that point, summoning the fire. He called it from somewhere behind the pit of his stomach, deep in the recesses of himself. He could not think of words to describe it. He did not know why it was there. He did not know why he could summon it. But summon it, he did; for they were upon him.
The first to reach him grasped out and found nothing but air where he had once sat. The fire had given him speed and in an instant, he was on the opposite side of them. They turned immediately toward him as if they had been expecting his sudden teleportation. But he cared not for their expectation, and he let loose his fire.
A giant torrent of flame erupted toward them, yet still, they came at him, slowed but only a little. And then, like always, the fire brought that damned emotion with it and his emptiness pierced his heart and he cried out to them.
“You have taken everything! You have taken everyone!”
As if a dam had burst inside him, his flames poured forth with even greater intensity, and they began to melt and burn.
“You took my mother!”
They could no longer move forward for the force of his flames. They still struggled toward him despite their inevitable demise. Pieces of them melted into entrails of molten goo whilst other pieces burned to ash and dissipated into the gale of his fire. Yet, they did not cry out. They did not falter. Then all sensation became lost to him and he could only pay heed to his loss and his nothingness.
“You took my Samson! You took my Persephone!”
Tears welled in his eyes and he could no longer see. The flames turned white and illuminated the sky.
“I HAVE NOTHING! I AM NOTHING! THERE IS NOTHING!”
What remained of their forms began to disintegrate entirely. Every bit was reduced to char and ash, even the molten goo, but the flames did not quell. Even when nothing at all remained, the flames did not relent. He found himself laughing, giddy on the raw emotion the fire had brought with it.
Am I enjoying this?
And with that thought, the spell was broken, and he released his fire and sat where he had been standing, still giggling to himself, in spite of the emotional vacuum left behind after releasing the fire. So I am nothing and I have nothing and now I’m high on that damn fucking fire. I couldn’t even turn the stupid thing off when there was exactly zero percent of the things left, not even a toe, not even a single bit of ash. He smirked. Ha! I think I’ve just thought of the perfect name.