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Brotherhood

Prologue

“Why is the sun always so bright?”

I thought as I walked home from school. The heat I can handle, but the way it always seems to shine upon my face blinding me can be annoying at times. I’ve always preferred the night when everything is quiet and dark. No bright sun, no loud people, nothing that comes with the everyday living of the day.

“Hey Dante!”

An easily recognizable voice coming from behind me. Before even turning to see her running towards me at full speed I knew it was Amelie. She’s always like this, so full of energy and life, just so vivacious. Most would look at our friendship and wonder how two people of total opposite personalities could end up being such close friends. The only explanation I have for it is maybe opposites really do attract. “What’s up Amelie?”

“Well I was wondering,” she started to say as she looked up at me with her big caramel colored eyes without making direct eye and her hands buried deep into her pockets. The usual signs that something’s making her nervous. “Um… If you’d like to go out later?”

“Yeah sure, what’d you have in mind? Wanna go bowling again? Ron’s been looking forward to a rematch after last—”

“No”, she stopped me before I could finish. “I meant as like a date. Or not LIKE a date but a for real date-date. You know? Just us two and romance stuff.”

I’m left speechless. This was a completely unexpected but welcomed surprise. I’m not sure how to respond to this. “I would love to, but maybe another time? I have a lot of homework and studying to get done today and I don’t want to fall behind in my classes.”

After I said this her eyes faded to a darker shade of cobalt blue, then suddenly back to her normal brown and her expression became that of excitement. “Alright, yes! Another time. Saturday, no excuses, you’ll be all mine for the whole day!” She said, nearly shouted just before turning and skipping away. Heading to her home I assume.

I got home to find my bedroom door closed, just the way I left it earlier this morning, but I could clearly hear the sound of gunfire coming from the tv in my room. I opened the door to find my younger brother, Ron, sitting on my floor, bag of Doritos on his lap, my favorite N64 controller in his hands and his friend Stevie right next to him with the other controller, playing Goldeneye. “What do you think you’re doing?” I ask him. He knows I’m not fond of people entering my room without permission, especially when I’m not present.

“I think I’m kicking some ass with my best friend.”

“No, I mean what are you doing in my room? You know you’re not allowed in here. Actually, what are you even doing home so early?” He’s not supposed to out of school for another hour.

“Well the usual happened, so of course we got let out early. And Stevie said they’ve never used a N64 before I just thought they needed to play some classics before going home. It’s not like we’re messing with anything else. So stop nagging and chill grandma.” He made a shooing motion with his hand and went back to focusing on the game.

He’s trying to make a good point, but I’ll let it go for now. I won’t ruin his time with Stevie, I know they don’t get to get out much with their strict parents. I’ll just talk to him after Stevie leaves. For now, all I can do really is try to relax before I get to my mountain of homework. I put down my backpack, lay onto my bed, and reach for the matches I had hidden away within my pillow case. I light it and almost immediately Ron tells me not to do this while Stevie’s here.

I ignore him and hold it close to my face. The warmth is soothing, the colors are gorgeous, and the way the flame dances is mesmerizing. The general feel of the fire is purely magnificent, this is one of the most powerful and destructive forces of nature, and yet here it is contained on one tiny wooden stick. Powerful yet also, not. Even for something so tiny one can still easily sense it’s capability, I can. The heat coming off it like a steady pulse through and up my arm, I can feel it, in my arm, in my chest. I can feel it in me, calling me, whispering to me.

“Is it supposed to do that?” I hear Stevie say snapping me out of my trance.

“Dante how’re you doing that?” Ron asks, jumping up and backing away panicked.

That’s when I notice it. The match was gone while the flame, now a little bigger, continued to dance in the palm of my hand. How did this happen? Why isn’t this burning me? This should be burning me. This should be extremely painful, but it’s not. I can’t feel anything more than the pulsating warmth of the fire that is slowly growing in size and enveloping my hand. The pulses increasing in speed as it grows. “What the hell!” I shout as I squeeze my hand shut and close my eyes. “This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening.” I repeat to myself hoping that maybe it’s another bad dream. When I open my eyes there’s nothing, no warmth, pulses, no fire. Nothing expected the shocked, or is that horrified, looks on Ron and Stevie.

“Are you okay?” asks Ron, breaking the silence that was suffocating the room

I look away from him and examine my hand, “I don’t know. I mean I think so.” there were no burns or marks. No sign that the fire was really there. “I’m not hurt, so I guess I am.”

“Does this mean you’re…”, he begins.

“I don’t know.” I cut him off already knowing what he was going to ask.

“They’re going to come for you.” he says now speaking at a lower volume than before.

“I know,” I respond. “Only if they find out.”

He’s staring me in the eyes with this look I can’t quite read. It’s like a mixture of fear, awe, and excitement. He shifts his eyes to look at Stevie, then back at me. The room begins to drown in silence again just before he says “So we keep this between us. What’s the worse that can happen if no one knows, right?”