To Tend His Flame

This prompt was provided by a relatively new viewer of my streams. Someone who has been eager and supportive. I felt this to be a rather interesting idea that I was keen to explore, but it has been a more difficult concept than I originally anticipated. However, I have enjoyed giving it thought and have relished the challenge that it has presented. There is a theme to this piece that I would like to explore further in the future. Perhaps as part of another writing prompt, or as a separate exercise.

The prompt: “A person in isolation must keep a flame burning with limited resources, or succumb to madness.” – Twitch user ZeypherBro

To Tend His Flame

The chamber was sealed. Thunder shook the walls and the earth and a will greater than my own had decided my fate. It had once been shown to me that this day would come. I would be tested. We all strive for that moment to be tested. That moment when He chooses us to prove our love for Him.

I am a Flametender for the Exalted One. The Ash Prince.

———————-

I was chosen to be sealed in the chamber of His Terrible Flame. Chosen to keep it alive while darkness encroaches from all corners of the world. I am the most pious. I am the correct choice for this test. I will feed the flame until the day He sees fit that I shall be released. I shall be Elevated. Placed among His elect. Shaped into one of His Torches.

This is my greatest joy.

———————-

Through the smoke’s aperture, I can only see darkness, but His Flame burns brighter than ever. Stronger than any who oppose His will. This test shall be completed with no difficulty. There is naught to eat. No water to slake my thirst. Little but my faith to sustain the flame. It is all I require.

I kneel in supplication. I offer my strength and my faith to the inferno reaching up before me. When this has passed, the Flame shall be used to consume all who refuse to take the Rite of Cinders. I will bear the Flame in the name of the kingdom. He shall wield me as His Torch

———————-

The sun does not rise. No light enters the chamber and none exists here save what the Flame casts. It may have been days. It may have been mere hours. Still I kneel. Still I feed the Flame with my faith. My shadow the only thing to keep me company. It dances on the walls. Moving to a rhythm I cannot hear.

Pain has engulfed my body. My legs. My back. All burning. I feel the Flame taking what it needs from me. Sustaining itself. Feeding off my will. My faith.

Hunger. Thirst. They mean nothing to me now.

———————-

Days? Weeks? I cannot know. There is no sign of anything outside this chamber. My faith falters and the Flame shrinks. It is not enough. It was never enough.

———————-

He sees me.

He sees me.

He knows I have failed.

I feel His eyes through my shadow. Watching me as I falter in this task. There is nothing here to feed this flame.

He sees me.

The Chamber is bare. No wood. No coals. I slip in and out of sleep. Euphoria keeps me buoyed. I feel the hollowness of hunger long since passed and that emptiness has collapsed. My lips are cracked. My weakness now boundless.

He sees me.

He sees me.

He knows I have failed.

———————-

I awaken once more to find the dim. My shadow is gone. The walls breathe around me. Heaving. Seething. I am withered. I am without life.

It was never faith.

Faith cannot fuel a flame.

He laughs from His throne. I hear it slip into the aperture. It echos around me. The Flame flickers with the staccato nightmare of His voice.

It was never faith.

The darkness outside is more apparent than ever. The sun has never returned.

This is the last of my strength. By inches, I pull myself forward. By inches, I decide the end.

———————-

On this precipice, I understand what truth makes a fire burn.

It was never faith. Never in this dark room.

I tumble into the ashes. The last of the embers.

A shadow dances on the wall.

He knows nothing.

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