The night trembled, vibrating under rolls of thunder. The noise cascaded from the heavens to the crumbling mountains below. Rain clawed against ancient rocks and boulders. Clouds covered the sky, lightning struck the earth, trees bent like bows under the force of the howling wind. A narrow mountain path became a river, erasing the boot prints of a young boy. The sky split, illuminating a cave above the flood waters.
A spark of orange lit up the cave’s depths.
A boy with round cheeks and slopping shoulders, crouched beside a burning mass of twigs. Thunder shook the tiny chamber. His blue eyes rotated, glaring at the mouth of the cave. Anger flared up his spine. It had been on a rainy night that his life had changed. He remember it all well. The blood stained walls and the corpses of his siblings, his parents, they had been murdered on a night like this.
He had been away.
Since that night he could no longer see beauty in the world.
Still glaring, he stared into his fire. Sweat ran down his face. His eyelids drooped in weariness. He stretched himself on the ground. His eyes closed.
A dank, hazy fog filled his vision. Whispers swirled in incoherent mutterings around his body. The sound of feathers rustled over his head. His fire receded, lost in the entombing gray. He glanced at his right, were he lay on the floor dreaming. A smile played at his lips.
“What is your name,” a ringing voice asked, echoing in the depths of the boy’s mind.
“Fuego,” he answered.
“You have dwelt on the bitterness of your family’s death for to long. Your mind isn’t right with God. Fuego, how can you worship Him if you blame Him for what happened?”
“If God wanted me to worship him, he would give me something to praise him about,” Fuego answered, his voice bouncing off the invisible walls of the cave.
“God has laid many things at your feet that are worthy of praise. Look into the flames of your fire and you shall see.”
The fire consumed his vision. He studied its flickering edges gathering together. Its tips intertwined forming a sturdy peek.
“What do you see?” Fuego’s invisible friend asked.
“I see a mountain with towering peeks,”
“God made these mountains to give shelter to lost boys like you.”
The mountain melted, its presence spiraling down to lay flat against the twigs it consumed. Its surface rippled, puffs of flame exploding from its center.
“Now what do you see?”
“I see a geyser,” Fuego answered.
“What praise can we give God for a geyser?”
“Its so tall and always frothing!” Fuego exclaimed.
His friend laughed, “A good start.”
The geyser’s middle puffed up, reaching for the roof of the cave. Flames grew into a trunk, its tips branching out. Leaves and flowers grew on the pulsing tree. Flower petals cascaded around Fuego like tiny, glowing stars.
“Its so beautiful. Bright as the sun, yet ever so delicate,” Fuego admired, “God surely showed imagination in creating such a tree.”
The tree shrank. From the fire grew a plant, its fragile petals pointing to the sun.
“So small and thin, God made the tulip’s blossom like spun glass.”
“You’ve been worshiping God Fuego,” the voice rang, “remember to keep giving God the praise he deserves. Fuego, open you eyes.”
The world around him blurred. Black spots swam in his vision. Hard rocks dug into his skin, the warmth of the fire engulfed his body.
“Fuego, what praise can you give God about your fire?”
Fuego’s eyes snapped open. The torrent of rain had subsided to a drizzle. Fuego gazed into the flames. "God, thank you for the fire. Its heat keeps us alive on nights like this."
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