I browsed Craigslist for a cradle for the baby. I saw a variety of things: worn out night toys, half eaten maracas, old clothing that kids grew out of. I remember the five different sets of the same clothing I got for the unborn boy. Jen was absolutely sick of me getting baby clothes. Dammit Chelle, I think you want to drown the kid in clothing. She said once to me. We laughed about it. But I want this. My mom was never around. Dad did his best raising me but I think growing up I needed two parental figures.
I hit the clothing section and browsed it. One more clothing set couldn’t hurt. My mouse wheel chirps after browsing through hundreds of listings. One thing catches my eye though, For Sale, Babies Shoes: Never Worn. I laugh. Were the shoes so shitty that the baby cried after they put it on? I hit the link, curiosity piqued by the five dollar label. The link opens and I don’t know know what I was expecting…
“Hi, my wife has been crying for the past few months and keeps looking at all the things the baby never got to wear. This stuff is in excellent condition, please take them off our hands. It hurts too much to have reminders….”
I breathed in. I didn’t need to see that. Why couldn’t I have just stayed on the section for cradles? My heart knocked on my ears. I closed the computer, take my now lukewarm coffee and recited a minor heat spell. Steam wafted out of the cup, the wind through the window seeing to it. The birds were screaming at each other outside. The dogs were yelling at me, mocking me for daring to look for more clothing. Maybe dad was right; the world is pretty cruel. The Fire God doesn’t really care about all this. He just wants ambition.
“Michelle, can you help me out for a moment?” Jen called out from the other room. Full name. Shit.
“What’s wrong?” I laughed a little to dispel any worry building inside. I exit my room.
“Please don’t freak out.” She begged. Double shit. I’m in the hallway.
“Pshhhh, why would I freak out?” I laughed louder this time. I’m in the kitchen.
“The water broke.” She said. I nodded fifty times. Fluid dripped own her leg.
“I’m sorry, what?” My head snapped between her eyes and her thighs. The next several moments include her lying down on the bed as she begins to breathe heavily. Our neighbor is a doctor so he stared straight into her vagina as he encourages her. Hey buddy, looking at that is my job. I shook my head. He’s a doctor, don’t get jealous Chelle…
After several moments, the baby is born, but he isn’t crying. Why isn’t he crying?
“No heartbeat!” He screamed out. Oh no. Please. “Stay with me little buddy.” He’s performing CPR. No use. Oh god no. He’s not breathing. He tried to perform a healing water spell. No use.
I raised my hand. I began chanting a healing flame spell. No use. Again. No use. Again! No use. AGAIN! No use. Please… I don’t want to lose him…
“PLEASE!” I screamed out. I readied the spell again when my sense are snatched away. An old man with an auburn beard rested his chin on a mahogany staff. He sat on a white throne staring at me. The Fire Vessel. Why am I here?
“Shhhhh. Quiet young Michelle. Calm is key for what is about to transpire.” He raised his hand.
“My kid is about to die. Calm is the last thing I need right now!” I yelled. How dare he tell me to calm down!
“You would have perished if you had continued. You’ve depleted all of your mana.” The Fire Vessel waved his hand, images of my skin cracking and embers falling off my skin surrounded me.
“We don’t have much time child. This body is failing me and I believe we can come to a mutual agreement.” He raised his staff and hit the base into the ground. The room transformed into the Fire Altar.
“You want me to…” I cupped my mouth. A Vessel Deity. He wants me to become the conduit in which the Fire God interacts with the human world. It meant an eternity of loyalty towards him.
“No, I want you to articulate the intensity of your desire. I value ambition. I value desire. What do you want more than anything in the world?” He held out his hand.
“I want to save my child. I want to give him what I never received. I want him to be loved so dearly and so preciously that he never has to wonder if his mothers love him.” I take his hand, the Fire flows into me, transforming me.
It is done Michelle. We are one. Wake up, your child will live. The Fire spoke within my own mind. With the knowledge of a God flowing through my mind, I return to my child. I cast The Flame of Affinity. Fire has now marked him, he can no longer choose for himself the elements. Wind, Water and Earth are forever locked.
He begins to cry. He’ll live. Jennifer looks at me with fear. The doctor comes to me and asks me a simple question.
“What’s his name?”