Teenage Wildlife

Putting Out Fire

by Lady Pretzel

"See these eyes so green-" The man turned to me, pointing, a slender finger at his left eye, his green eye. "I can stare for a thousand years." His eyes drew me in and held me frozen in their gaze, and his eyelids narrowed, analyzing me, as if he was studying my soul. For a split second, his pupils drew themselves into vertical slits. I blinked and shook my head, trying to resist his enchantment. "Colder than the moon" He cocked his head as if waiting for a response. I opened my mouth and he smiled slightly, laying a finger on my lips to quiet me. I stared helpless at the twin points of light in his eyes, reflected from some unholy source. They flashed suddenly and blindingly, expanding until they enveloped the two of us.

When I could see again, we were standing on a vast, icy, plain, where time was stretched painfully thin. Pitiful attempts at landforms surrounded us, as if God had left the glaciers unfinished and gone inside for a cup of cocoa. The man was facing me and staring into my eyes with rekindled hope, and, with the hope, the promise of eternal joy. "It's been so long" he murmured to himself.

Seeing that I was fully aware again, he gripped my hands in his. He looked at me with wide, urgent eyes. Through clenched teeth, he half-spoke, half-sang, "Feel my blood enraged" His hands were hot and alive. I didn't want him to let go. "It's just the fear of losing you," he whispered, with infinite despair, as if he had already lost, long ago.

I couldn't fight the spell that he cast over me. His spare, electric form filled me with a desire that I somehow knew could never be fulfilled, and I knew that I would willingly serve him until I died, if he wished me to. And if dying were what he wished me to do, then I would do that as well. He looked at me expectantly, but I couldn't say anything. I could think of nothing but wanting him He took me by the shoulders and shook me desperately and fiercely, with the motion of a man dying of thirst, who is given a jug with a drop of water at the bottom. "Don't you know my name??"

I looked at him in mute terror and longing, and his gaze hardened. The hope in his eyes vanished, and a hard, mocking, glint took its place. He pushed me roughly away, and I landed hard on the cold ground. With narrow-eyed contempt, he looked down at me and spun away. I saw his hands clenched in grief and rage at his sides, and I was filled with pain at the torment I knew he suffered. He flung his face toward the dark heavens and screamed, "You've been so long" I closed my eyes in helpless sympathy. When I opened them, he had regained his composure and was standing over me, half-smiling, and looking at me with something that resembled amused pity. In one hand, now gloved in black leather, he held a glowing, night-black orb that pulsed with an unearthly energy, and seemed to hold rainbows within its opaque depths. The other hand he proffered to me, and he gently helped me to stand. I realized that I was not the one he wanted; I was merely a false hope in a doomed search, and now he saw me as a pathetic, mewling, girlchild. I would do anything to change this. I would not cry; it would only make him despise me more. He lowered his face to mine, and his lips curled in a slight sneer. I could see that he hated me for unknowingly misleading him. "And I've been putting out fire" he breathed. Suddenly, he leapt toward the sky, his gloved hand stretching heavenward, releasing the orb and propelling it straight upwards. His body was stretched taut with the fight between the strength of gravity and the force of his own will. For a split second, time froze and he hovered in the balance. "With gasoline!" he screamed, and then gravity won. He landed next to me with a defiant cry, and ice crunched under his black leather boots. We both - he expectantly, I apprehensively - stared at the orb, which sank gently toward the earth as if time had been slowed. Suddenly, in a blinding flash of darkness, it shattered into millions of shards of night that blazed black rainbows as they fell. Where the shards hit the white earth, towering flames shot skyward.

We were surrounded by a dancing ring of flames that forced me closer and closer to the tall, pale man, until we nearly touched. His white face was bathed in the flickering, hellish light of the fire, which was reflected in his eyes. He smiled slightly, looking directly at me, and I caught a glimpse of his wolfish teeth. Pointing at his eye again, he murmured, "See these eyes so red" With a sudden, expansive motion of his arm, the man whirled into the flames. The background changed, but the fire stayed. We were in a jungle at night. I saw countless, nameless eyes and teeth in the shadows. Which were his? He had disappeared beyond the ring of fire. Then, without warning, I heard his voice out of the night. "Red like jungle burning bright" he crooned. Frantically, I spun, trying to find him in the dark, but the soaring red flames blocked my vision. So disoriented was I that I did not see the hand that reached through the flames, yanking me by my collar out of the ring of fire and into the tropical night. Intense heat enveloped my body for a split second, and then I felt the welcome coolness of the man's hand upon my cheek. But there was no welcome in the coolness of his eyes, which held a tired hatred for the world, bred of rejection and loss. "Those who feel me near"he murmured, smiling slightly with one side of his mouth "pull the blinds and change their minds"

The potency of his charade was wearing thin. I consciously decided, then, not to let his particular brand of sensuous machismo terrify me any longer. Leaning on a nearby tree, I crossed my arms and raised my eyebrows skeptically at him. I refused to remain the object of his pity and contempt.

He smiled in delight. A challenge! "It's been so long" In his way, he told me the story of his heartbreak. "Fill this pulsing night; a plague they call the heartbeat," he sang, almost conversationally. Drawing an arm companionably around my waist, he told me: "Just be still with me; you wouldn't believe what I've been through." Then he went on a bit about how it had been so long and he had been putting out fire with gasoline. I studied his face as he sang; he looked somewhat familiar. Posters on my older sister's wall, when I was very, very, young, came to mind. "Hey!" I interrupted him to exclaim. "Aren't you Boy George, or somebody? You definitely resemble an aging, effeminate rock star! You were popular in the '80s, right??" He growled in frustration. "Damn! They've been screwing up the musical fantasies again! You'd have preferred Jakob, I suppose? Or Gavin?" This was someone's fantasy? Weird. To each her own, I guess. The man strode away, his hands thrust deep in the pockets of his fitted leather trenchcoat, muttering something about an ageless heart that could never mend. I couldn't help but feel a pang of pity for him; his fan base was probably shrinking by the day - if he still had one. Then I squeezed my eyes shut in embarrassment, remembering how caught up I had been in the charm of this artifact of a rock star. When I opened them, I was standing in a stark warehouse carpeted with an American flag. I saw a pair of familiar bright blue eyes. "Come on, try a little. Nothing is forever

Meanwhile, Bowie visits the minds of people all over the Universe and tries to forget those times when he encounters unbelievers.

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This document last updated Saturday, 15-Apr-2000 15:37:47 EDT
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