"Up in Flames"

December 20, 2009
When you said you’d stay, did you really mean it? Or was it some ploy to make me feel important, when I was really nothing to you? You held me in your arms, always so strong and secure and whispered words that danced in my ears like a song, lively yet quiet and comforting. You could have held me, loved me all you wanted, and I wouldn’t have fought. Your love was a cage, but I threw away the lock.

It’s funny how it’s so cold after a fire. The red flames dance in the air to an unknown rhythm. They are free, flowing carelessly about the midnight sky covering the stars with their dangerous brilliance.

You were fire. I was the midnight sky.

At first you complimented me, a nice diversion from the constancy of black and diamonds. You lit up all that I had built below me, my entire world that I hovered over like a protective blanket. You jumped and leaped and urged me to do the same, but I was confined to who I was. Everything was perfect, interesting, lively, and exciting.

I could see the way you spread, inflated, began to cover more of me and then even more. Your flames changed to yellows, oranges, blues. Your heat would not cease. What was once careless is now a dangerous, threatening tyranny. And I have no choice but to let you suffocate me.

Everything I love below me turned to ash as you left each monument of myself in complete turmoil. Nothing was recognizable.

I was just your canvas. A pretty thing to overpower and show your brilliance on. Your arms smeared down me, rough and unforgiving. Dripping like paint down the world below me, you used me for a game. The colors of your fire were a collage, oddly mixed together to create a beautiful, lethal mixture down into the depths of my heart.

Piercing screams. Low life moans. Calling out to me, begging me to stop. And I am forced to merely watch as you hold me with unforgiving tenacity.

And it’s all my fault.

I have thrown away the lock.

But now you are through; your damage is complete. You have left me, staring at the massacre you molded single-handedly. A massacre that is all my fault.

The diamonds have faded against the smoke that rises up, clogging my memory of what really happened. No longer is my simplicity beautiful, my black has turned to a mixture of leftover reds and blues and a murky gray.

And then with a gust of wind, the heat is swallowed with an indecisive chill that spread throughout me, as if cleaning out all that I was.

But like a silly child refusing to accept the crushing reality, I wonder wistfully, if ever for a moment, you really loved me.

Join the Discussion

This article has 13 comments. Post your own now!

deka9 said...
Jul. 2, 2010 at 9:16 pm

sleeplessdreamer, this is beautifully written!! I love the imageries that danced across my mind as I read this. :)

I agree with redfer that it should be the key and not the lock, but that's just a minor detail, hahaha.

I have two questions. Is the low life below the sky was her conscience? Where were her family and friends? I imagine that if she was slowly self-destruct and being destroyed, her family and friends would have come to aid or advise her ... (more »)

sleeplessdreamer replied...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 9:53 am
For the family and friends question: First of all, I thought it would be kind of a damper on the flow of the story if suddenly moral guidance came in. But when I wrote this, I imagined that (and this is sort of an answer to low life question) his presence (the fire) was destroying the relationships (aka family, friends etc.) that she had built. But to be brutally honest with you, I began writing this as a joke, and the deeper I got into the less and less it became kidding and I kind of fell into... (more »)
deka9 replied...
Jul. 4, 2010 at 12:20 am
Hahaha, seriously? You started this out as a joke?? It is very nice and you're welcome.
Lost-In-Life said...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 7:05 pm
Beautiful! I love this piece. I really like how the whole thing was written as a metaphor. The way you painted the images in my mind was outstanding! Never stop writing!
kysh15 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 23, 2010 at 10:26 pm
this is without a doubt stunning! i love the format
PurpleCoat said...
Feb. 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm
Great work! Lovely Imagery. I wonder what exactly is going on here?
sleeplessdreamer said...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm
it didn't take long to actually write, but it took a long time to organize it so it didn't sound corny.
MJBlack replied...
Jan. 24, 2010 at 10:45 pm
ha ha! nice ;-)
Icefeather said...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 1:19 pm
This is a beautiful piece of writing. How long did it take to write?
redfer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 29, 2010 at 11:23 am

Powerful emotions and great imagery. The only thing is, I would change "threw away the lock" to "threw away the key" just because throwing away the lock would free the lover, not imprison him/her. =)

Keep at it, it's great!

Icefeather replied...
Jul. 2, 2010 at 10:51 am
I agree! Its really good though!
sleeplessdreamer replied...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 9:56 am
Thank you, redfer, for pointing that out. Very good point.
Icefeather replied...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm
I LOVE this story!
Site Feedback